A couple of weeks ago, Scott and I were attending the AICPA Tech+ conference in Vegas when wildfires started ravaging Colorado.

On our drive back to Colorado from Vegas, we stopped off at Bryce Canyon for a couple of days of rest and relaxation and stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast, Stone Canyon Inn. While there, we chatted with a couple from California, and when we told them we were from Colorado, they ran and grabbed their iPad to show up photos of their best friend’s son’s house which was completely burned up in the Black Forest fire.

Luckily, all the residents and their pets were safe. The couple informed us, however, that the son not only lived in the home, but worked there as well. The fire wiped out his business along with his home.

My first thought was that I was glad the family was safe.

My second thought was that it was a terrible shame that the son had lost his business when it could’ve been completely avoided. He could’ve kept most, if not all, of his business records for the consulting business in the cloud. If our house had caught on fire, none of our or our customers’ data would’ve been compromised; he could not say the same.

Often when we talk to people who are considering moving their businesses to the cloud, they ask about security. For some reason, people feel very safe when they know they have a copy of a file or program on their hard drive or local server, “safely” tucked away in a computer in their home or office. But this illusion of safety and control is quickly dismantled when they forget to make a backup and their system crashes, when someone breaks into the house and steals their unencrypted laptop, or God forbid, their house burns to the ground.

Most small businesses don’t have redundant backup systems or armed security guards protecting their data – unlike those who are using cloud services hosted on Amazon servers.

One of the best advantages of having your business in the cloud is the flexibility, protection, and security you have when you have data that only needs an internet connection and secure logins in order to access it. Even in more “normal” circumstances such as attending a conference, our business travels with us.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have been affected by these fires. As of today, there are still many wildfires burning across Colorado, and most recently, Arizona. If you feel like helping, please consider donating to the American Red Cross.

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