[IMGCAP(1)]The use of cloud or web-based applications is becoming prevalent across the spectrum of accounting activities. The simple reason: Cloud applications shift the pain of managing technology to a vendor who deals with updates, feature enhancements and uptime in return for a predictable per-user fee. But more importantly, delivering apps over the web offers the flexibility that accountants and their clients increasingly need to support decentralized and mobile teams who must access information from anywhere and any device. It’s clear that web applications are here to stay.

But the shift to the web has also introduced new challenges when it comes to data security and control. One clear challenge is the potential for data compromise when users trust the local browser to safeguard client information (including login credentials). Sensitive data is usually well protected as it sits in the cloud. But as it’s accessed and dumped into the local browser, the likelihood of misappropriation increases sharply.

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