Securing your payments in the cloud
Jo Gibson, operations director at leading Payment Bureau, First Capital Cashflow discusses the comprehensive security benefits of cloud payments software and the systems construction businesses can put in place to ensure customers financial data is always fully protected.
Cyber security is rarely out of the news at the moment, with high profile hacks and data breaches happening on a regular basis. It might be tempting to assume this isn’t something that is likely to affect the construction industry, however it would be risky to ignore the potential consequences.
While there is a stereotype that construction firms have ad hoc systems, and rely on verbal contracts and cash in hand, this is not the case for the majority of firms in the 21st century.
The internet has revolutionised the way that the construction industry works, opening new avenues for sharing information and exchanging data including plans, designs, tenders, contracts and financial models etc.
An increasing number of firms are now making and taking payments using automated methods like Bacs Direct Debit and Direct Credit services which rely heavily on the cloud to ensure customer’s financial data is safe.
Safety of the cloud
Cloud-based payment processing is proven to provide comprehensive security benefits that are far superior to paper-based or in-house software solutions.
Hosting financial data in-house can present business owners with problems and stresses they don’t need on their plate. In-house technology requires constant maintenance and a lot of tender loving care, not to mention an expensive monthly budget.
Using 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. This makes secure Direct Debit and Direct Credit processing more easily accessible to a wider range of businesses, not just those of construction firms, giving them real time connectivity to their financial transactions.
Benefits of the cloud
Firms that make and take payments using cloud-based technology reap the benefits of being able to access the data anywhere at any time. With data being stored in the cloud, business owners have the flexibility to gain access to this information at their own convenience. This doesn’t just help the practicality of the working day, it means that actions can be taken fast if a security breach occurs.
For example, if a laptop is lost or stolen, data can be accessed immediately from any location in the world and wiped to prevent client’s financial information falling into the wrong hands. Further, if a burglary takes place at headquarters or even if a natural disaster occurs, financial data can be remotely accessed instantly and the situation can be contained.
It is well documented that missing laptops are often the source of data breaches, so the ability to remove data from these systems remotely is a major advantage of cloud payments technology and something that currently isn’t clearly communicated to businesses and their customers.
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, and the highest quality environment possible for data storage, with experts on hand to tackle any unwanted incidents.
By opting to use cloud-based payment methods such as Direct Debit, construction firms that hold large amounts of customer’s financial details have the ability to host the information in specialist off-site data centres. Managing directors, of both the construction firm and its clients, can be safe in the knowledge that such data centres provide the highest quality environment possible for data storage, meeting the challenges of big data, remote offices and short backup windows. Data can even be split between multiple centres, giving an additional layer of resilience against any potential issues.
As the threat of cyber-attack becomes more present in everyday business life, it is important for construction firms to be proactive and take important measures to ensure that valuable financial information remains safe.
Firms that opt to collect and process payments via cloud-based platforms like Direct Debit or Direct Credit have the peace of mind that data, such as client’s or customer’s payment details, will not be accessed by unwanted hackers.
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