How Safe Is Your Time and Billing Data?

Your time and billing data is a crucial element to your firm and the business you run. But, how safe is your data? Our experts at Hilltop recommend using a cloud-based solution. Some worry about putting their files in someone else’s hands, but cloud companies consider it paramount that clients’ files and privacy are protected. To do so, they utilize a variety of methods, most of which are much more complex security methods than your average computer does.

When it comes to protecting your data, cloud systems rely on a variety of encryption methods. Encrypting your files means that if someone tries to get into your files, they’ll just get a bunch of random letters and numbers with no significance rather than your data. Unfortunately, encryption isn’t 100% percent foolproof.

When the cloud service encrypts your files, only you, the original user, should be able to decrypt them, which means that you should have complete and total control over who can access your files. That said, someone can still decrypt them if they try hard enough. Doing so requires a lot of work. It requires a LOT of time and a lot of computer processing power and forensic software to decrypt files. Cloud services are always updating and improving their security and encryption too, which means that your data is consistently getting safer.

If you’re already using the cloud, or thinking of utilizing a cloud-based solution, there are a lot of questions that come up about just how safe and secure your data truly is. With so many data breeches being reported these days, how do you know your time and billing info is secure? Hold off on the panicking! Hilltop has created a list of some important tips and some questions you should be asking of your cloud service providers.

  1. Research your providers, then research some more! – Research your service providers and ask a lot of questions. Trust in your cloud service is vital, and your cloud service provider should be able to provide you peace of mind by answering important questions and maintaining transparency. You should be given credible certification of security and adequate notice of system upgrades and changes. Clear information regarding how the security of the physical database is ensured is something you should be educated about. Service and technology providers, vendors, and their servers need secure firewalls, data encryption, and constant monitoring. You should be monitoring this closely, or hiring an IT service provider that will be able to stay on top of this for you.
  2. EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE! - In addition to ensuring you have the right cloud service, it is important to educate your staff, admins and system end users about security risks and behaviors that can lead to data breeches. This creates an added and essential layer of protection against data breeches. For example, is your staff up-to-date on the importance of multi-factor authentication? Phishing scams? General email safety? Are they aware of the importance of a strong password? If not, contact Hilltop to set up and assessment and training on new processes that can be implemented to protect your data!
  3. Learn from other’s misfortune - There are many lessons to be learned from data breach history. Some valuable lessons that have resulted from other’s misfortunes:
    • Many failures occur when databases are not performing as designed. Updates, encryption and patching are crucial. Damaged databases require immediate repair and restoration.
    • Businesses must segregate authorities and powers of both users and administrators.
    • Administrators must stay current and consistent in their security practices. Assessments of systems should be scheduled regularly with your IT service provider. Staff should be educated often on safe practices and protocol.
    • Despite the above steps to prevent data breaches, threats evolve and persist. It is imperative that a back-up plan be put in place.

You need to be able to trust and rely on the enterprises and databases holding your valuable time and billing information. Hilltop Consultants can assist your company with finding the right solution for your needs and help to ensure your data is safe and secure.