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SHA-2 Protocol: to cloud, or not to cloud?

When the Bacs payment scheme implements SHA-2 internet security certification next year, anyone submitting direct payments will need to upgrade their Bacs approved software to ensure they can submit securely. With the change looming and cloud adoption on the rise, it seems prudent to weigh up the pros of cloud-based Bacs approved software over the on-premise alternative – and why new security accreditations are pushing for it.

Internet security has always been a vital concern to anyone who submits payments online – so it’s not surprising to see the Bacs scheme is implementing the sophisticated level of security that is being adopted by the internet community. The not-for-profit organisation is taking this action to provide greater protection for communications between their internet-based access points, specifically Bacstel-IP and the Bacs Payment Services Website, and the service user.

When the changes come into force on 1st June 2016, anyone submitting directly through one of the Bacs Approved Software Solutions Suppliers will need to have operating systems in place to support SHA-2.

Putting a migration strategy in place

Although cloud technology has been around for a number of years, many treasury and finance professionals are still uncomfortable with the idea of processing payments and submitting to Bacs via a cloud-based solution. With data breach stories hitting the headlines every week, it’s understandable why many in the industry are reluctant to move away from their traditional software.

But while on-site infrastructure and physical servers can be appealing reasons to use the on-premise Bacs software solution, when you consider that a cloud-based solutions supplier has devoted their entire business to working through online data-centres, it’s fair to say their system security will almost certainly be of a higher level than any business could deliver on-premise.

With the added benefits of cloud computing such as limited capital expenditure, huge cost savings and the capability of the cloud to roll-out automatic updates – alongside increasingly secure online protocols and internet security certifications like SHA-2 – it’s no wonder that cloud adoption continues to climb.

While there’s still a considerable amount of time until the cut-off date, other companies are also in the same position and are delaying roll-out until an upgrade is obligatory. By postponing this decision until the eleventh hour, you may well find your business in a backlog, disabling your ability to make payments via Bacs.

 

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