You hear stories of data hacks and breaches with large firms all the time – right? And right now you are considering changing your pawn shop software but that means all your data will be in the cloud and it has you worried.
I want to let you know that you’re not the only pawn shop owner that has concerns. Many do, but after learning more about data and cloud security, it really helps put the mind of the pawn shop owner at ease and allows you to make the best-informed decision for your pawn shop.
I’m hoping this post will help clear up a few concerns you might have about storing your data in the cloud.
A few weeks ago a well known Pawn Shop Consultant who provides auditing services emailed me and asked me all about cloud storage and security. Below I’m going to summarize the conversation we had.
Cloud Storage Basics
There are hundreds of different cloud storage systems. Some have a very specific type of data they store, such as web email message, or pictures. While other cloud storage systems store all forms of data. Depending on the size of the storage operations, some are small and others are huge and the physical servers filling up an entire warehouse.
Take a 360 tour of one of Google’s Cloud Storage Facilities
At the most basic level, cloud storage only needs one server connected to the internet. A client (e.g., a computer user subscribed to a cloud storage service) sends copies of files over the internet to the data server, which then records the information. When the client wants to retrieve the information, he or she would access the data server via a web-based interface.
Now one very important aspect about cloud storage systems is on occasion they require to be maintained or repaired so it’s best practice to have the same information on multiple data servers. This is what’s called redundancy.
Having a best practice redundancy plan in place is a must!
When you are running cloud-based pawn shop software, you don’t need to worry about running out of space for your storage. The reason why is typically the only storage is a backup of data on a set schedule. A real-world example on which PawnMate adheres to is to backup our clients’ data every 30 mins across multiple data servers across both Canada and USA.
To take the cloud one step further, cloud storage is a subcategory of cloud computing. Cloud computing systems offer users access to not only storage but also processing power and computer applications installed on a remote network.
Some examples would be QuickBooks Online, Microsoft Office, Googe Drive along with Google Docs and PawnMate Software.
Big Concerns about Cloud Storage
Now for some Pawn Shop owners, you have concerns with reliability, stability and most importantly security. It’s understandable, you are entrusting another company, that you don’t really know with your data and typically without any real guarantee that you’ll be able to access your information whenever you need it or make sure no one else can access your data.
When securing data it’s best to make sure you are using a combination of techniques, including:
- Encryption, which means using a complex algorithm to encode information. To decode the encrypted files, a user needs the encryption key. While it’s possible to crack encrypted information, most hackers don’t have access to the amount of computer processing power they would need to decrypt information.
- Authentication processes, which requires you to create a username and password.
- Authorization practices — the pawn shop lists the people who are authorized to access information stored on the cloud system or cloud software.
- Framework — Building your own framework which is the backbone to software development eliminates the possibility of hackers knowing the framework and how to break into it.
Now even with these measures in place, many people still worry about their data being compromised. Of course, there is a chance that your data could be breached if a hacker finds a backdoor access to the data.
However very the above is very unlikely for a hacker to breach a pawn shop, but what’s more common is a disgruntled pawn shop employee who could alter or destroy data using his or her authorized access, or even steal your physical hardware.
Now with PawnMate Pawn Shop Software, you can feel secure knowing that we take all the above measures very seriously and have added additional security components to safeguard your data.
The other concern you may have is reliability and stability. No one wants to save data to an unstable cloud storage system or run a cloud software program not knowing from one day to the next if you’ll be able to operate your pawn shop or not. This is where the redundancy plans take over, making sure the server is running at optimal levels, and the database structure is being optimized on a consistent basis.
Cloud software companies live and die by their reputations. It’s in each company’s best interest to provide secure and reliable service. A great idea is to ask around on what other’s experience or just doing a quick google search to find out if there’s been any reported issue with the cloud software you are using. Another thing, the responsibility of a data breach usually is outlined in the service level agreement and the responsibility usually falls on the party at the entry point of the breach. For example, if you do not have a secure computer, and someone steals your password that you store on your desktop, then the responsibility would be you.
One thing you’ll like with PawnMate, we are transparent and show our clients our server speed within our software so that you always know how our pawn shop software is performing.
Now keep one last thing in mind…
Most hackers are only interested in data that have high value, that they can sell on the dark web for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is good for you and us because the perception in the world is that pawn shops do not have the highest caliber of clientele. Food for thought.
I hope you learned something of value that will help you make the best decision for your pawn shop and staff.