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Cloud ERP: Is My Data Really Safer Online?

Posted by Jack Beech

Apr 28, 2014

465891421It’s 2 a.m. and you’ve been asleep for about an hour when, suddenly, your smartphone lights up and begins to vibrate.

“We’re sorry to wake you, sir, but it looks like the data server in our office has gone down,” says a weary-sounding technician. “I guess the toilets in the floor above the server flooded and soaked through the ceiling. Nothing is turning on. I think we’ve lost everything. What do we do?”

While there are perhaps many nightmares for owners of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to endure, losing days or weeks due to a server malfunction is among the worst. Fixing or replacing the hardware is one expense; recovering the data is another headache.

Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a reason for you to lose sleep. By outsourcing your primary IT functions to the cloud, especially your ERP software, SMBs eliminate the possibility that the above “disaster” happens to them. By using cloud ERP, your data is much safer than it’s ever going to be on an office data server, despite the fact that the information is accessible online.

For many SMB owners, this is a difficult concept to grasp. A lot of people feel like their data is safer in their own office. After all, they see the servers in the server closet. They installed the locks themselves. But, that’s not safe. Whether it is an act of nature, a rogue employee or the toilet overflowing upstairs, there are several events and circumstances that put SMBs in tough situations like the one described above. The real question to consider is this: “Could you afford the potential impact of these worst-case scenarios?” 

An article on ERP Cloud News describes several key reasons that your data is safer in the cloud than in your own office. Here is a wrap-up of the top three reasons.
  1. Data centers are physically more secure than your building: You have to put your information somewhere, and it’s clear that office data closets leave much to be desired. Data centers, while not under your direct lock and key, are always going to be much safer than your closet server. These buildings log all access, install security cameras everywhere and require high-quality authentication technology such as ID badges, fingerprint scans and retina scans. The entire business of the data center is staked on its ability to secure your data, which means it uses every available effort to protect you against physical security breaches, intruders or even disasters.

  2. Data centers help you secure user authentication: Securing your data needs to happen at both ends of the computing process – the data center and your office. While you probably won’t need to use retina scans, you do need to protect login information and quickly disable passwords for former staff members. Cloud ERP makes these kinds of processes automatic. Many of these items are automated and/or handled on the solution provider’s side, again taking the burden off you to perform these tasks.

  3. Data centers help you control user access: Not all of your employees need or deserve access to the same information. Some only need to read it, while others should be able to edit and delete information. Data centers of cloud ERP providers help you do this automatically. “To simplify management, systems offer role-based security so administrators can assign broad security policies to specific individuals,” the ERP Cloud News article explains. “By assigning roles, administrators can change security for many people at once without the responsibility of changing individual records.”

After finding the right cloud ERP vendor to help you with security, it’s also important to do your part. Make sure ERP users have proper virus protection software deployed on the devices and hardware they use. Employ best practices such as deleting suspicious email, applying security settings for web browsing and practicing safe onboarding and “off-boarding” of users.

Although some SMB owners feel better about “owning” their software licenses, infrastructure and hardware and having these in the next room, it’s becoming clear that the cloud is more cost-effective, efficient and much safer.

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