Why Your A/E Firm Should Look to the Cloud – Part 2: Security

Posted by Jeremiah McNicholas on February 5, 2014


Blog Series: Five Reasons Why Your A/E Firm Should Look to the Cloud

This is the 2nd in a 5 part series. To read Part 1 click here.

Download full whitepaper Five Reasons Your A&E Firm Should Look to the Cloud

Part 2: Enhanced Security

There are a number of great reasons to use the cloud including streamlined setup, enhanced securityzero maintenanceimproved performance, and a proven disaster recovery plan. Over the next few weeks we’ll explore each of these benefits in great detail.

This week, we’ll discuss how to improve the security of your firm’s financial data by migrating to the cloud, but first let’s address the elephant in the room. There’s a common misconception that relying on the cloud for your firm’s vital software resources will put your organization at risk in some way. This idea stems from a natural fear of the unknown: your data resides on a server that you can’t see or touch. Keep in mind that just because you don’t have any direct interaction with the hardware doesn’t mean it’s any less secure than a server in your office.

In fact, cloud solutions are typically far more secure than their onsite counterparts. Let’s start by considering your server’s location. It’s probably in your office somewhere an IT specialist could easily get to it. This makes sense, but does it also mean any employee or guest could access it just as easily? This is far more common than you’d expect. It only takes one disgruntled employee or conniving competitor to sink your ship.

Malicious intentions aside, there are other considerations to make regarding access to your server; like implementing a data security policy for example.  This is a policy intended to create and maintain an environment that safeguards your organization’s data from threats. Without a data security policy in place, an employee could be misled into downloading a disastrous file or even mistakenly bring one into the office hidden on a USB drive. If you have mission critical data stored on your local network and encounter a virus like this, you risk losing this information or even worse: having it stolen. With your data in the cloud, these kinds of threats will have no bearing on the security of your firm’s cloud data.

While proper server location and network policies are essential for security, safeguarding your connection to the server is equally as important. Many AE firms struggle with meeting security standards due to a lack of adequate IT resources. Even if resources aren’t a concern, your IT team may not have the time to devote to it. A cloud hosting provider can offer a dedicated team of security experts with the sole focus of monitoring your data with security safeguards that typically exceed any on premise solution.

Just what are these security standards that could become a drain on you staff or even end up neglected entirely? These are priorities such as intrusion prevention and detection, firewall and antivirus maintenance, and SSL encryption. While it’s possible to meet proper security standards with your existing staff, your organization is an AE firm not an IT firm. As an AE firm, time is your only inventory. The effective management of this time determines the profitability of your firm. Dedicating the non-billable effort necessary to meet these security standards goes against an AE firm’s business goals. So, keep your focus on billable activity and leave the IT to the experts.

Click here to proceed to part 3 in series.

Download full whitepaper Five Reasons Your A&E Firm Should Look to the Cloud

For more information about the Ajera Cloud click here.