When Comparing Cloud Fax Providers: Prioritize Network Security
Network Security, a key protective measure, is the subject of this third installment in our blog series about the essential attributes of a successful cloud fax solution. Information technology is now the backbone of almost every organization, regardless of industry. We all have become reliant on sophisticated technology as an operational foundation for much of our work and as a support for much of our lives. Concurrently, threats to the security of our IT systems are more common than ever. They have grown in their capacity to wreak havoc and take advantage of inadvertent weak points. When choosing a cloud fax vendor, you need to know that a potential service provider is very serious about security risks and goes to great lengths to protect itself and customers.
Whether your organization is looking to eliminate fax machines or on-premise servers, or you’re seeking a replacement online fax provider, our checklist will get you started. Use this checklist to assess what’s important to all of your organization’s stakeholders in this project, so that you can find the right fax solution for your entire organization’s requirements.
Being Vigilant about Security and Compliance Is Essential
To allay the concerns of IT Security Professionals, there can be no room for doubt when assessing whether an electronic fax vendor adheres to security and compliance standards. For many industries being supported, there are regulations in place—an internet fax solution should be built with them in mind. Ideally, your vendor’s Information Security team must stay vigilant about changing threats as well as identify every new practice and technology designed to help safeguard data and support clients’ industry specific needs. For example, when supporting healthcare clients who require HIPAA compliant fax solutions, your fax vendor should always be willing to sign a business associate agreement (BAA), which attests to their satisfying HIPAA regulatory requirements and creates liability between the parties for damages and breaches. Encryption is another way that a vendor can demonstrate the commitment to security—leading vendors encrypt all communications over TLS or via Secure HTTP. Image retention policies also can support security measures, especially if users immediately remove sent images when they are received, prevent any image or document storage, and thereby simplify security requirements.
Make Security a Key Component of Any Cloud Fax Initiative
Security should be high on the priority list for any anyone sending or receiving sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information, especially organizations operating in environments that are heavily regulated. Below we break down security requirements into three parts with some specific measures for physical, network, and application security.
- Physical Security: A cloud fax vendor must make every appropriate effort to protect the fax platform’s hardware, software, networks, data, and personnel from physical attacks and natural disasters—these sorts of events may result in a data center that is inoperable and also may permanently destroy provider and customer data.
- Network Security: Electronic fax providers have to protect their network infrastructure from unauthorized intrusions resulting in access to systems, software, or data. Though every component of a security infrastructure is critical, none are more important than safeguards protecting the network. A fax platform whose network security is inadequate will likely suffer a wide range of external attacks, some of which may succeed with disastrous results.
- Application and Logical Security: A fax platform’s applications and underlying operating systems also need security protection to be in place. Someone gaining unauthorized access to provider applications can distribute, modify, or destroy fax provider and customer data. Application security must be included in every application development process, so that it is an inherent part of the system.
An organization considering internet fax service must pay close attention to how network security provisions are supported by prospective vendors. You need to know that every document involved in running your business, whether covered by privacy statutes or not, is always secure. Likewise, your cloud fax vendor must demonstrate its commitment to security at every level.
Download fax requirements checklist
To help you gather the right questions to ask other internal stakeholders for your fax solution purchasing process, we’ve put together a checklist of considerations to help you begin scoping your project. Download the checklist below.
Start asking the right questions about your organization’s fax uses and needs, so you can find the right solution for the entire organization.