One of the biggest misconceptions about online software is about security. A myth has been perpetuated that cloud-based software is not secure. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Online childcare software is more secure than any on-premise system, unless you can lock your on-premise systems in a supermax prison cell, which would be extremely inconvenient. Web-based childcare management software was created with security as part of its DNA, whereas legacy systems, also known as premise-based solutions, came of age when hacking and data breaches were almost unknown.
Updating legacy systems with new security can be expensive and problematic. Online childcare management software, on the other hand, keeps your data secure at all times.
Cloud vendors know security keeps them in business
Cloud service providers understand that their business reputation is only as strong as the security they provide their customers. One data breach and a valued partnership is severed for all time. Cloud vendors take every possible step to keep your information from the hands of bad actors.
- Cloud vendors practice tight access control. The data servers are physically separated from the company to reduce the risk of human tampering.
- Cloud service providers use multi-layered security defenses including barbed wire, high fences, guards, and security cameras at their data centers.
- Cloud providers specialize in data security and hire skilled IT professionals, and their data centers are purpose-built for security.
- Cloud vendors do not rely on a simple firewall to keep data thieves at bay.
Online software vendors are audited thoroughly and frequently to ensure there are no security flaws. Legacy systems are under no such requirement.
It’s the physical vulnerability that counts
Data security is more about physical access to the data infrastructure than you might realize. On-premise systems suffer an average of 61.4 brute force attacks (as opposed to hacking). Due to the vulnerability of most childcare facilities, data kept on servers and computing devices residing within the center can be easily stolen, just by carrying a laptop out of the building.
Cloud-based providers can also suffer brute force attacks but at less than half the rate of on-premise systems. The various layers of security make stealing hardware or destroying cables much more difficult than the locks and alarms your childcare facility uses.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that data that is under your direct control is more secure than allowing security experts to watch over it. If you wonder how easy it might be to breach your premises physically, take a close look at the location of your computing devices, whether any devices leave the facility and become vulnerable to theft, and where a dedicated thief could access and bypass your building security.
Test your security system for vulnerabilities. An untested system is an unsecured system.
Develop a cloud strategy, no matter the size of your business
Even if you operate a home-based daycare, consider the risk of storing all of your client data on a desktop in your home office. What would you do if that device was stolen from your home? Unless you have back-ups of the data, you will need to start from the beginning while worrying about how the data on your computer could be used against your clients’ interests.
Large childcare enterprises are just as vulnerable. Not only is an on-premise software solution physically less secure than cloud-based software, but your business is also less productive because it cannot share data between facilities.
- Consult with your IT, administrative, and childcare staff about the business needs of your facility.
- Realize that different cloud models require different risk management and access control techniques.
- Frame your security questions to ask your staff if you are using the cloud securely, not whether the cloud itself is secure.
Cloud computing isn’t the wave of the future; it’s here now. You and your IT staff must understand that over 90% of cloud security failures are due to human error, not the security of the cloud itself.
Develop a clear policy and practice for access control management to protect the data from your end. Perform an accurate requirement analysis with better architecture. Then select a cloud-provider with impeccable security techniques to secure your data in the cloud.
Security in registration and payment processing
Beyond assurance that all data is secure, your customers need to know that their information is kept safe when they enroll their children or pay their bills online. Cloud-based childcare management software provides secure registration and payment applications that are kept up-to-date and continuously monitored for problems.
Online childcare management software uses proven technology to ensure family information and payment data are kept secure while providing efficient processes for you and your customers.
- Today’s parents are digital natives who expect to perform business transactions online.
- Online registration and enrollment via a secure parent portal improves the accuracy of your data and allows you to offer calendar-based enrollment.
- Online payment streamlines your payment process by reducing turn-around-time. Payment is sent directly to your account, and you can provide e-check processing to eliminate check delivery to the bank.
- Immediate payment processing improves your cash flow.
Besides keeping the data secure, online payment and processing paired with automated check-in and check-out tracks and adds late pickup and payment fees without intervention from a staff member.
You receive higher revenues with less administrative effort.
Cloud computing is not inherently insecure. How you use the cloud determines how secure your data is. Cloud vendors build their businesses with a deep understanding of security requirements and the knowledge that their companies rely on protecting client data.
Traditional on-premise childcare management systems were built with convenience in mind. Security efforts came later and, often, legacy systems are difficult to update with adequate security. Also, unless the system is housed in a high-security facility, the chance of data loss through device theft is higher than with a cloud-based solution.
Is online childcare software secure? Yes, yes it is. Much more secure than on-premise solutions that can only be accessed from a specific device. You not only gain a secure application to protect your customers' data, but you also get any time, anywhere access with any device.