Locking Down Your Cloud

Posted on December 9, 2015

At Seneca Systems, their mission is to rekindle passion for public service in America’s 10.5 million local government employees. They have worked with offices across the country, from Oakland to Chicago, to improve constituent relations with a powerful, modern CRM called Romulus.

By Chris Maddox, CEO, Seneca Systems – LinkedIn and Twitter

downloadFast, easy-to-use, affordable, and available everywhere: cloud software has a lot to offer. At the same time, you’re entrusting your data to a third party and you want them to be protective of your sensitive information. In this post, we’ll walk through the three questions you should be asking cloud software providers to ensure you are safely bringing your department into the digital age.

Does your site use SSL everywhere?

Best Answer: Yes!

What it means: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) means your information (and that of your constituents) is encrypted and protected from snooping.

Think of it like sending a letter. Without SSL, all of your information online is being written on a postcard — anyone can read it. With SSL, your information is sent inside a safe, protected envelope.

Why it matters: Government work involves personal information about employees and constituents. You’re entrusted with sensitive information and cloud providers should (and do) take every precaution to keep that information safe.

How often do you backup your data?

Best Answer: Daily (at least!)

images (2)What it means: Backups are full copies of all of your information. Sometimes computer data gets corrupted or servers go down. It’s rare, but it happens and you should be protected.

Why it matters: If you’re trusting a third party with storing your information, you need to know it isn’t going to get lost. Cloud providers should create full copies of your information every 24 hours at a minimum.

Bonus: Ask a third party provider if they store their backups in a separate data center. If one datacenter goes down — again, rare but happens occasionally (even to Google and Facebook) — your information should be backed up and available in another location.

What actions are audited?

Best Answer: All of them!

What it means: Auditing is the process of documenting every change that happened in a system. Additionally, audit logs track who made that change and other important information like the time it was made or the location of the computer that made the request.

Why it matters: From freedom of information (FOIA) requests to disgruntled employees, auditing saves you when things go wrong. Like all security measures, auditing has to be in place before you need it. Mature systems track every change—from users logging in to copies of deleted information—just in case.

Moving to cloud software is an exciting step for your team. From providing an affordable and more usable alternative to legacy systems to enabling you to work anywhere, local governments across the country have been embracing technology to better serve their constituents. Trusting your software partner is incredibly important, so if you have any questions feel free to reach out on Twitter!

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