In 2010, buzz around financial advisor conferences seems to always include the topic of cloud computing. Advisors stand to save considerable money and time by offloading the management of programs historically installed on local computers and servers. But one concern always pops up during cloud discussions, and that's the concern of data security.
Advisors are justifiably concerned about data security when coupled with cloud services. Client data is sensitive, private, and confidential, and advisors are under legal obligations to keep the data safe in all circumstances. So when considering cloud services that hold client data, how secure is that data? Unfortunately I can't answer that question in one brief column.
But what if there is an alternative to cloud services where advisors can still access client data remotely, but the data isn't stored on anyone's server but the advisor's? Enter the Pogoplug.
The Pogoplug is an external piece of hardware that connects to external USB hard drives. In less than 60 seconds, the Pogoplug can be connected and service can be activated so advisors can access all files and data on the USB hard drives through a web browser. Files from the hard drive pass through Pogoplug servers and are fully encrypted and are transferred through the HTTPS protocol. No copies of the files are ever kept on the Pogoplug servers.
So this device, at a cost of just $129.99 on Amazon.com, allows advisors to build their own storage cloud. So any piece of data, whether it be a PDF, Word document, video, or podcast, can be accessed remotely through the Pogoplug service.
Pogoplug's website is filled with informative short videos on how the device works, technical specifications, and examples of techniques to get the most out of the device.