Why you have to back up your online financial data
Any type of security compromise might lead to disruptions. However, when it comes to financial data, a data breach can have dire repercussions for the consumer as well as the financial services provider. Sensitive account information may be stolen, enormous sums of money may be lost, and the company's staff as well as its clients may suffer severe consequences.
The possibility of fraud and infiltration grows more significant as the systems and procedures that allow our banks and other financial institutions to function become more digital.
The importance of backing up QuickBooks Online financial data
QuickBooks Online is the accounting software of choice for more than 29 million small businesses(SMBs) in Canada and the US. It’s used in just about every industry, favored for its user-friendly interface and variety of integrations.
QuickBooks Online performs platform-wide backups, but those can’t be used to restore individual account data like transactions, expenses, or reports. If any of that information were to be lost, deleted by mistake or compromised, it would be incredibly difficult and stressful to rebuild the data—not to mention the uphill battle you’d have convincing clients that they should trust you with their accounts.
Data loss can occur for many reasons
Here are a few examples:
Data loss resulting from a computer system update
Computer hardware or disc failure
Loss of physical premises (fire, water,...)
Files or data deleted by mistake
Malicious software (malware) or ransomware
Injurious intent (deliberate deletion of files)
Incompatible apps or third-party integrations
What could happen?
Regardless of the reason, the outcomes are the same. Data loss hurts everybody, resonating throughout the organization, dampening morale, and damaging your reputation. You could lose clients, or it might impact your business continuity altogether. You could face fines or legal consequences if Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is exposed. At the very least, it will force you to work much harder to get things back on track.
Here are some of the items at stake:
Bank account information
Payroll data, reports, and pay stubs
Vendor account activity
Reports and report groups
Should this data be lost, you and your team would have a lot to overcome. Can you imagine all the time, effort, and resources involved in re-inputting all that data from hard copies or other sources?
Fortunately, there is a solution that helps you avoid all this. Rewind Backups for QuickBooks Online is a reliable way to maintain a continuous backup of all your files, allowing you to restore everything from individual items to attachments, expenses, reports, and more.
Backup Software Benefits
1. Safe Data
Your data is protected by encryption and held safely in the cloud, where it leverages the latest data security solutions. Backup software from a trusted company is the safest and most reliable way to ensure data integrity and availability.
2. Scheduled Backups
Set your backups to run continuously, daily, weekly, or at any interval that makes sense to you and your organization. A set schedule enables disaster recovery as when you need to restore, you can do so from a specific point in time.
3. Automated Backup Process
Once you’ve configured your backup software, the process is completely automated. Automation allows you and your employees to focus on higher-value tasks, like building your business.
Backups increase compliance and audit readiness
For many financial professionals, backups of financial data are not a nice-to-have but a must-have.
Accountants and bookkeepers are facing increased scrutiny from regulators as finance (and related sectors) are being more frequently targeted by cybercriminals. Additionally, firms need to remain in compliance with a growing list of regulations by the CRA, FTC, IRS, etc.
Remember that you have the responsibility to keep your financial documents and data for 6 years, as per the CRA request. That’s your responsibility, and if you don’t have a backup solution in case of problem, well Bam! You are no longer in line with the CRA regulations.
It is no longer a convenience but a legal requirement to implement strong security measures when using cloud accounting tools to store and manage financial data, especially PII (personally identifiable information). Insurance Companies have started asking clients if they have measures for such issues.
Backup tools for online financial data also help firms stay audit-ready. Many regulations, including SOC, require firms to prove to auditors that they are regularly backing up their clients’ sensitive data and can restore that data within an acceptable timeframe if data loss or corruption were to occur. Audit logs of when backups and restores were performed and by whom make complying with various regulations easier and faster.
Backing up your QuickBooks Online data
In light of growing cybersecurity threats and the increasing complexities of doing business online, keeping your financial data secure is essential. To complement your security posture, you’ll need a comprehensive backup solution.
What is a data restore?
A data restore is simply the process of restoring data—data, files, images, folders, systems, and software—from a backup. As such, the two practices rely on each other to work; in other words, to restore data, you must have a backup.
Should an error occur, whether caused by human error, malicious intent, malware, software incompatibility, or loss of premises due to a disaster, knowing how to restore data quickly reduces expensive downtime and mitigates the risk of damage to the company and your brand. Essentially, it’s data recovery. Restoring data means you can get back to business fast, and that pays dividends in peace of mind.
It’s easy to accidentally delete critical transactions. Or in another case an angry employee which you just fired could delete critical financial data on purpose, or when testing third-party app integration with QBO and realizing it’s not working like you thought it would: in all these cases you’d want to restore your data to a previous point in time. I
f your company doesn’t have the proper tools and adequate backup and restore system, you’ll face a lot of stress and panic if things stop working for no apparent reason. Having a clean backup ready to restore means you can get on with what you’re doing and keep everything up and running nicely.
Financial Data Protection Best Practices
Knowing financial data protection best practices is an excellent first step to protecting your organization. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Enforce Strong Passwords
Compromised credentials are one of the most common causes of financial data breaches. According to a Verizon study, 61% of breaches are caused by unauthorized people accessing employee accounts.
Phishing attacks, weak passwords, and shared computers as employees switch to working from home are common culprits, but they can be avoided. Best practices include two-factor authentication (2FA) or a single sign-on solution like BitWarden to reduce unauthorized access.
2. Implement Role-Based Access
Not every employee needs to have access to all aspects of your systems. Restrict employee access to files and folders they need and nothing more. For example, your marketing department does not need access to financial data, and your accounting department does not require access to your website’s back-end code.
3. Train Your Staff to Recognize Security Threats
These days, hackers don’t waste their time hacking into systems. They can gain access much faster and easier from the inside, either through phishing emails or by tricking employees into clicking on malicious links.
Establish a company security policy and ensure all personnel understands their responsibilities in upholding it. You might even encourage some to become data security champions and provide incentives for enforcing and promoting security policies. Update your policy regularly to reflect the evolving threat environment, share it in person in a quick meeting and provide periodic training upgrades to reinforce your policies.
4. Use Data Backup
Data backup is an essential component of financial data protection. While it won’t prevent a cyberattack from happening, it will ensure you can get back up and running quickly. In best practice, you’ll want to have three copies of your systems on two different media, with one stored off-site or in the cloud.
Consider also; not all data loss stems from malicious attacks. In many cases, it can be the result of an innocent mistake. Accidental file deletion happens all the time and can be just as devastating if you don’t have a backup.
Data disasters can also result from bad CSV files, incompatible third-party software, or unpatched system software. Data backup software gives you an added layer of protection. It also reduces the anxiety you’ll feel if data loss occurs as you’ll know you can access a secure copy of your files and restore them when needed.
How the App Rewind helps
BaaS (backup-as-a-service) apps automatically backup your files, taking the worry out of data security, allowing you and your team to focus on what you do best.
Rewind’s continuous backup solution was designed from the ground up specifically for QuickBooks Online. Since it maintains a continuous backup of all your files, you can restore a single item, including attachments, reports, and expenses, multiple items at once, or all of your files. Backups are automatically run in the background, but you can kick off a manual backup whenever you’d like. If anything should happen, your files can be restored with a few clicks, minimizing downtime and mitigating the fallout of data loss.
Whether you use QuickBooks Online for your own company or to manage multiple entities, Rewind is an affordable, reliable backup solution you shouldn’t be without. Explore the features of Rewind Backups for QuickBooks Online.
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