I was chatting to someone at a business networking meeting last night who said he’d thought about shifting his books to the cloud, but had decided against it. He felt that the cloud wasn’t secure enough, and he was worried about someone hacking into his data and trawling through his private information.
This guy is a gardener. A lovely gardener, with his hands in the soil and his head quite far from the clouds. I could have raved on about how Xero and LiveAccounts have security similar to the banks, with multiple firewalls, anti-terrorist protection, 24/7 video security, and so on. However, I wondered if I’d be missing the point.
So I asked this guy two questions:
Are your accounts really THAT interesting?
Maybe your ex-wife/ex-husband/best friend/main competitor might have a fleeting interest in how much you earned last year, in a voyeuristic kind of way. However, would your business really come crashing to the ground just because someone hacks into a computer somewhere and looks through your books? (Not that this is likely, etc, etc — I’m just posing the question.)
I mean, just how much interest lies in a set of hairdresser’s/musician’s/gardener’s accounts when viewed through the eyes of a Siberian hacker?
(Of course, if the Siberian hacker wants to figure out why my petty cash was out of balance while he’s there and send me an email, that’s fine by me.)
I had another question:
Be honest: Are your backup systems foolproof?
In my experience, the average small business owner may have great intentions about backing up, but they usually have systems that aren’t worth a pinch of parrot poo.
Try this simple test:
- When did you last backup? (score 10 for within the last day, 5 for within the last week, 0 for so long ago you can’t remember)
- What did you backup? Did this include emails, word documents and accounting data? (score 10 for everything, 5 for emails and accounting data, 0 if you what you backed up fitted onto a memory stick or a single CD)
- Where did you store your backup? (score 10 if you took your backup away from the office, or 0 if the backup hasn’t left the premises).
How did you score? Most small business owners I come across would score less than 20, and that’s if they’re conscientious.
My point is …
Why the insecurity about cloud accounting not being safe? After all, what’s so scary about your data (fascinating insight into your psyche that it is) being backed up to the latest minute, mirrored in multiple different locations around the world with 24/7 security, and protected by the very latest in technology?