After recent data breaches, Jo Gibson, Operations Director at leading cloud-based payments bureau First Capital Cashflow, explains the security benefits of using cloud services.
After a number of high profile security breaches, both in the UK and overseas, the use of cloud-based systems has recently come under the microscope. Many people are becoming increasingly concerned with the reliability of the cloud and whether or not customer’s data, in particular financial data, is in fact secure. It is now more important than ever for businesses to ensure that customers sensitive information is firmly locked away, guaranteeing that customer confidence remains high at all times.
Benefits of the cloud
Cloud-based software provides comprehensive security benefits to all businesses. Despite what people often believe, cloud solutions incorporate a vast range of security measures covering a variety of eventualities. In fact, they’re often more secure than paper or in-house software solutions, especially when it comes to avoiding breaches and preventing disasters. One of the biggest advantages that the cloud has to offer is the ability to host information in an outsourced, offsite data centre. Data centres provide a cast iron level of security, they are the highest quality environment possible for data storage, with experts in their field on hand to tackle any unwanted incidents.
Having sensitive information spread across several data centres adds further resilience against any potential violations that may occur. Ensuring that disasters like power failure don’t impact on the safety of customers’ data. So, hosting financial data externally on the cloud provides an extra layer of security, eliminating the potential threat of data being affected by incidents that may arise at a company’s offices – such as burglary or human error.
Cloud solutions also prevent fraud by removing the risk of data tampering and unauthorised user access. People can be provided with unique log in credentials – recreating a personal bank account for every user. Additionally, with a cloud-based service, delicate customer information can be encrypted, removing the risk of any unwanted breaches. Furthermore, unlike paper or software-based solutions, the cloud also gives the option to easily capture a full audit trail of all user activity, giving full peace of mind over who has accessed and viewed the secure data.
In the unlikely event of a disaster of any kind, data needs to be accessed instantaneously to alleviate the problem as quickly as possible. The cloud supports this by allowing sensitive information to be available on demand wherever and whenever, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Cloud in practice
The real security benefits of using the cloud can be seen when processing payments. To do this, a business needs access to its customers’ financial information – arguably the most sensitive data of all. When using our cloud-based service to take and make payments by Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, clients are safe in the knowledge that it is highly secure, while also saving them time and money – there’s no need to manually chase late or missed payments which can be costly.
Our cloud-based technology has the added advantage of being designed to seamlessly integrate with existing payment processing methods, taking only a matter of days to set up and allowing for lower and more predictable costs by eliminating the need for in-house software and infrastructure; negating the expensive upfront costs of software installations and removing the need for on-going upgrade costs. This makes secure Direct Debit and Direct Credit processing more easily accessible to a wider range of businesses, giving them real time connectivity to their financial information.
As the first cloud-only service provider in the Bacs sector, we knew security was paramount, and our cloud-service has stood the test of time. Time and time again, we see businesses embrace the potential of the cloud to enhance their payment processing systems, safe in the knowledge that our systems, supported by experience in-house developers, have allowed clients to securely process payments for the last 15 years.
As long as businesses use a reputable and trustworthy cloud provider, then the cloud is actually one of the most secure methods of hosting and handling data.