I t is no secret – everyone is concerned about data security these days. In our personal lives, we worry about whether it is safe to use our debit cards as we shop and dine. What if a retail store’s database is hacked?

Did someone install a fake card swipe machine on the gas pump I just used? Will the wait staff steal my debit card number when they walk away with my check? Is it safe to use my credit card on this website?

In our professional lives, the need for data security is even greater. In addition to worrying about our own data, we must ensure the safety of our clients’ data. Imagine that you run a technology company that is responsible for delivering content in a timely, secure manner to hundreds of clients. In this case, you’re worried about the plethora of data that can be compromised for the Fortune 500 and Global 1000 organizations relying on you to keep their data secure. It is a lot of responsibility, but an important challenge to embrace.

While everyone is concerned about data security issues (as they should be), they often forget about our overwhelming reliance on the technology itself. While we hope our credit card information isn’t stolen at the store, we still expect the store to accept credit cards and have safeguards in place to protect our information. While we certainly don’t want our cell phones stolen, we still expect our service providers to keep the towers up and running. (In fact, we often suffer from stronger heart palpitations when we don’t have the signal we need to check our email than we would if the device itself simply went missing.) The bottom line is that we rely on both security and uptime – all the time. And so do our clients. 

What to look for in a technology partner:

If your organization is looking for a Vendor Management System (VMS) partner, there are many important characteristics to consider. For example, it is important to understand how a technology partner will ensure VMS Security & Compliance when it comes to protecting your data. In addition, if you rely on a Software-as-a-Service model of software delivery (whereby software and data are hosted externally and delivered over the Internet), look for a partner that will act appropriately to maintain uptime. According to Forrester Research, “As firms make heavier use of SaaS solutions, CIOs must ensure proper due diligence in the selection process.” Consider these four important questions when shopping around – and don’t hesitate to ask how the provider measures up. Beeline is the industry’s most secure VMS solution and has never had a security breach, and we offer state-of-the-art hardened data centers in both the United States and Europe to meet the needs and standards of our customers.

Does the organization employ systems that rely on cloud providers?

Most applications that operate in the cloud have data dependencies. Unlike others, Beeline systems don’t rely on cloud providers for parts of its applications/systems, as all information is stored in Beeline’s private data centers on Beeline-owned hardware behind our firewalls.

Does the provider have contingency plans in place?

One of the problems associated with running many systems in the cloud is that when one system goes down, multiple systems may go down, which requires providers to have a back-up plan in place. In addition to our independence from cloud providers, Beeline also provides and staffs our own disaster recovery site, which is always ready to assume production activities and is monitored 24/7. Beeline has four data centers spanning two continents. The physical security of our two data centers in Europe is nothing short of impressive. One data center is located in a WWI underground bunker, while another is highly protected on top of a hill.

What is the infrastructure of their technology? Does their SaaS solution use single-tenant or multi-tenant architecture?

Not all SaaS providers are created equal. A multi-tenant architecture stores client data on the same server, in the same database. This creates the potential for exposure to another client’s data, due to a low security barrier. Clients have peace of mind knowing that Beeline follows the industry-recommended best practice guidelines for high volume, high availability systems, using a single-tenant SaaS Technology & Architecture so that each client has a dedicated database as well as a dedicated application server. Because client data is contained in distinctly separate databases from each other and is secured by a robust security model, Beeline can support customers with strict security standards.

What technology does the provider use to deliver Internet content?

According to an article by Forrester Research, “People are becoming aware that they can avoid future problems by detailing expectations in areas such as uptime and performance.” Beeline uses Akamai – the world’s premier Internet content delivery network that provides web application acceleration to all corners of the Earth with a 100% uptime SLA and a 100% performance improvement guarantee (over using the public Internet). If Akamai should ever happen to go offline, traffic would redirect to Beeline’s network and route the data through Beeline’s data centers.

Beeline customers are some of the largest companies in the world, and we know that auditors hold them to a high standard. In turn, we know that our customers hold us to high standards for data security and reliable technology services. In a world where technology is progressing and becoming more sophisticated, we recognize the need to implement the fail-safe measures that our procurement, sourcing, and human resources customers deserve.

Ensure that your company’s confidential information is protected by a trusted partner.

Utilize our Data Security Checklist to ensure your provider can answer important questions about the safety of your confidential information. Seek a technology partner that invests in premium application architecture, employs a dedicated team that keeps up with industry best practices, and works with leading technology partners to meet your standards for data security.

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