Posted: May 25th, 2022
cloud-based Accounting Information Systems is Marks’ “Are cloud based accounting apps ready for prime time? 5 things you should know.” The first of the five points about utilizing AIS through the cloud is that security is typically not a problem with utilizing such services. One of the chief reasons for this, the article explicates, is because of the various forms of security available. Firstly, there is the security that the cloud service provider has against outside threats. These include sophisticated firewalls and other types of cutting edge IT security systems. Moreover, there is the security that is found at the user level, and which helps to protect organizations internally from individuals within their own organization utilizing (or even viewing) data that they should not. Specifically, there are user-based access mechanisms that enable those leveraging this service to present the requisite credential to view relevant data. Additionally, the author references two cloud AIS providers who have exceedingly high rates of availability — nearly 100%. Moreover, the author also references the fact that service providers typically provide backup copies of a user’s data, which can be beneficial for security purposes as well as in the event that some attack erases a user’s data.
Therefore, the specific internal controls that applies to data in a Cloud AIS system is three-fold. Firstly, there is the physical defenses of the site where the data is hosted, which can include doormen, security guards, and various means of identifying employees who are working there. Secondly, there is the IT security for those hosting such solutions, which includes things such as firewalls, masking, encryption, etcetera. Thirdly, there is the security mechanisms for the end user, which typically requires passwords and some variation of role-based access to an organization’s data.
For the most part, I believe that the risks can be controlled effectively. For instance, it is a widely confirmed fact that when organizations are utilizing the cloud for the purposes of storing and accessing data, as well as utilizing applications for their data, that most instances of security breaches occur on their end, as end users, than on the part of the entity hosting those services. Still, the article does mention the fact that complete security is likely an illusion, and that “The risk of some kid from Malaysia … hacking into your data … for nefarious purposes … is always there” (Marks, 2013).
There really are not too many ethical issues that relate to using or abusing this type of technology. Virtually the only salient one would be on the part of cloud providers, who could potentially devise ways to hack into the data of their users. Doing so, however, would seemingly provide little use when compared to that gained from satisfying — and retaining — customers for lengthy periods of time. A more likely scenario would involve a rogue employee’s attempts to gain illicit financial information from the cloud for his or her own personal gain.
Marks, G. (2013). Are cloud based accounting apps ready for prime time? 5 things you should know. www.forbes.com Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2013/07/29/are-cloud-based-accounting-apps-ready-for-prime-time-5-things-you-should-know/
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