3 Must-have Security Standards for Your Business' Communications
When thinking about security, many don’t initially view their phone systems as a security risk. But, it has quickly become one in our technologically advanced society. Customer and internal communications regularly contain health, financial and confidential information, which is often stored on desk phones, softphones, voicemail and call recordings. Not to mention, your customer contact lists and CEO’s personal call history or messages! These are things that you certainly never want getting into the hands of hackers, your competitors or the public.
As a result, businesses are flocking to the cloud, specifically Unified Communications as a Service (UcaaS) for its advanced security assurance. Business communications overall, have become a pivotal part of security plans for every business. However, there is an important set of criteria that needs to be met when evaluating providers and communications solutions.
Here are 3 must-have security standards for your business’ communications.
Encryption has become a vital piece to the security of a business’ communications infrastructure. Today’s best cloud UcaaS providers guarantee calls using the public internet are encrypted from the handset into a secure network, ensuring call data remains both protected and confidential. The most secure UCaaS providers like Broadview Networks, take it a step further and encrypt calls, messages, meetings and recordings with Transport Layer Security (TLS), cryptographic protocols which provide communications security over a provider’s network, and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a symmetric encryption algorithm. In order to break Broadview’s AES encryption using a brute force attack, it would take more than 1 billion years. Talk about reassurance! Some cloud-based UC systems, like OfficeSuite UC® even allow internal IT staff to change user settings through flexible web portals that work across multiple devices. Offering these additional internal abilities, like controlling who in an organization is permitted to forward voicemail recordings, further safeguards your private information.
Compliance is another big concern for B2B businesses and their customers, and it should be. In order to meet the compliance standards set forth today, communications providers are required to adhere to stringent security audits that demonstrate they have adequate controls and safeguards to keep their customer’s mission-critical communications secure. Since B2B businesses have customers who rely on them to keep their information protected, it’s extremely important that they enlist a provider who adheres to these standards. UCaaS providers in particular, are required to undergo audits of their security protocols, such as Service Organization Controls SOC 3 and SOC 2 audit reports, which can and should be available for their customer’s review.
In addition, the most secure UCaaS providers that operate data centers should be Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 16 certified by independent third-party audits that confirm their systems and services are protected against both physical and logical unauthorized access. If a business or any of its customers are in the healthcare field, it’s important that their communications provider signs HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAAs). In addition, their solution should be hosted in carrier-grade HIPAA/HITECH-ready data centers with strong security controls which ensure calls and messages are encrypted. This will protect patient data and prevents unauthorized access to private health information.
The method of storage for your communications data is key to its level of security. Cloud-based unified communications (UC) systems, especially those which utilize the cloud for 100 percent of its storage and processing are hosted on a provider’s server and are accessible through an encrypted web browser, ensuring that no critical data is left on-site where it could be vulnerable to hacking, theft or damage. In addition, this expands the security of critical information to devices outside of your place of business. When the data is stored exclusively in the cloud, it is more readily accessible from any device needed, enabling more secure ways to communicate and work beyond your office walls. Security measures for business technology have been enhanced to combat the emerging threats and concerns of our time, and phone communications are certainly no exception. The risk is high, given the amount critical and private information involved. Be sure that no matter what communications solution and provider you enlist, they meet the necessary security and compliance standards to keep your business and your customer’s adequately protected.