Financial data is always sensitive data. Vulnerability increases exponentially upon transferal of said data between parties. However, transferal over the cloud presents an entirely new digital landscape for this type of information to travel across. The cloud is easily one of the most important innovations of the networking sphere, and for very good reason.

The innovations brought about through its use are incredible, to say the least. Unfortunately, the cloud also comes with its own set of dangers and risks. This undoubtedly carries over into the realm of financials and financial data forms that may reside on it – causing business owners and professionals to consider this article’s titular question hesitantly.

Although there are definitely concerns to take into account whenever financial data comes into the picture, coping with the cloud’s weaknesses might not be as difficult as some would expect. In fact, there are a few instances in which the use of the cloud can go quite a long way to improve upon data security measures and guarantee safety of important information. This article will deal with these important factors of cloud usage and help you to determine just how safe it is to transfer financial data over the cloud.

General Concerns

Cloud security is known to face a few simple concerns. These concerns are not necessarily indomitable, but they can necessitate the use of certain tools to overcome.

In particular, the issues of wider accessibility to private data and diluted defense mechanisms are the most worrisome to arise.

Both of these issues are, however, facets of a single pervasive problem that cloud technology will always have – that of data being too easy to get a hold of. This is, of course, an extremely valid concern and should certainly not be taken lightly; but it might not be as dire as it seems.  

The Reality of Cloud Security

Cloud security is as important of a topic as it is misunderstood. Many company owners hesitate to move aspects of their business as vital as their finances and accounting operations onto the cloud for fear of private data leaking out onto the web without their knowledge. Unfortunately, unless the reality of the situation is known, no number of potential optimizations can sway such logic.

There are a number of threats that affect cloud systems. Notwithstanding, almost all of these threats are bound to affect any system that has consistent network access – albeit to a lesser degree. Cloud technology is, at heart, network technology. Although cloud capabilities transcend those of a more traditional network setup, the general make up of a cloud system is the same. Thus, the weaknesses that they possess are also the same.

The biggest issue with cloud technology as pertains to data security is the fact that a collective of business data stores kept on a single cloud network makes for a far more appealing target than individual data stores might.

Factors at Play

As we mentioned above, the single most important aspect to consider is the fact that cloud technology will always be susceptible to accessibility concerns. This type of technology was borne of the necessity to improve upon standard accessibility options and relative processing power. As long as the cloud remains accessible, it will be potentially susceptible to data pirating efforts of some sort.

Thankfully, there are other factors that can be taken into account, such as the level of server maintenance offered by the company from whom you intend to acquire a cloud-based solution from. Also, the use of anti-APT (or anti-advanced-persistent-threat) optimizations and powerful encryption keys limits the total number of threats that could realistically affect your data to a handful.

Recurly, a subscription management solution that optimizes payment processing through the use of cloud technology contributes to data security by following the PCI-DSS and managing all of your data locally at their own guarded facilities.

Choosing Solutions

When it comes time to choose a solution, it is best to remember what level of security is particularly necessary for your company. Some service/platform providers offer exceptional security options, but the prices they command are off-putting to businesses of a smaller scope.

Financial data of a certain magnitude could require the use of such a solution, but many business owners will likely not have an issue using the cloud and its many capabilities for their company. In some cases, a simple protection policy is the best reassurance. MineralTree offer such a policy in the form of their ‘Silver Guard’ guarantee which protects against fraud.

Making use of the many innovative aspects of emerging cloud technology and services can be a very tempting prospect for savvy business owners. The potential for monetary savings is great and the relative risks are low enough to make the available options particularly reasonable. However, it never hurts to know exactly what factors must be taken into account to guarantee the safety of your business’s most valuable information. The points that were covered in this article should paint an accurate portrait of the cloud’s suitability for such uses.

Take a closer look at any of the options that were cited in this article if you would like to discover more about cloud technology options for your business.