Nov 21, 2014
Your choice of software can have massive implications for your organisation. As well as directly affecting the productivity and efficiency of your entire team, your chosen software will also impact the security of your organisation’s critical data. To help you choose the right software solution for your organisation, I’ve looked at six crucial components of secure software. Choosing a platform that follows the best practices laid out here will help minimise the risk to your data, and your organisation – and allow your entire team to work in a safe, secure and productive digital environment.
1) Private vs. Public Cloud Storage
With cloud storage underpinning most modern software solutions, it’s crucial that you understand the type of cloud storage your software uses.Software platforms will use either private or public cloud storage. Public cloud storage environments are shared with other software users, with your data saved on and accessed through servers that also handle data from other companies. Private cloud storage will instead segregate your information from other datasets – securing your data on its own private server, away from third-party information. If data security is a paramount concern for your business, it’s a great idea to look for a software platform that uses private cloud storage.
2) Data in Motion and Data at Rest Security
Your business data needs to be secure at all times. Data at Rest security protects your data during storage; but in order to secure your information during transit, it’s essential that your chosen software platform also uses Data in Motion security. This typically involves secure encryption of your data, protecting it from unauthorised interception between your organisation’s computers and the software’s own storage servers.
3) SSL Encryption
SaaS platforms often use browser-based dashboards to allow you to access and manage data and information. With customer payment information, financial records and other sensitive business records often accessed through your browser, it’s essential that your chosen software platform secures critical web pages with SSL encryption.
4) Compliance with Industry Security Standards
If your business operates to strict industry security standards, it’s essential that your chosen software meets the same standards. Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is a particularly common standard of adherence; and if you intend to use your chosen software solution to handle customer payment details, it’s essential that your chosen software explicitly mentions PCI compliance.
5) Robust Password and Permissions System
Secure software should protect your data inside your organisation, as well as outside. Software should make it easy to set password protections and assign access privileges to different people within your organisation. The most secure software will also make it possible to assign different levels of permission – granting access to critical data only when necessary, offering read/write privileges where appropriate, and capturing event logs whenever information is accessed.
6) Software Security Accreditations
Many of these security issues are addressed by software security accreditations – certification schemes that aim to create a unified standard of data security across software platforms. Whilst the validity of different accreditations can be hard to assess, the act of pursuing and promoting a security accreditation suggests a particular software platform was at least built with data security firmly in mind.Wherever possible, research different accreditation schemes, and choose software that fully complies with as many of the aforementioned tenets of data security as possible.