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Security Overview and Policies
DATA CENTER RESOURCES
Data Center resources are provided by Quality Technology Services, one of the largest data center operators in the USA. QTS complies with the highest standards of operation. All QTS data centers are SOC1 and SOC2 certified. We can provide QTS compliance reports for industry standards.
We currently lease space and facilities in the Suwanee, GA and Richmond, VA data centers. Only a few designated personnel in our organization have site access. They must have a photo ID entry key that provides access to the facility lobby only. They must then check in with 24/7 manned security desk to have their entry key activated for data center floor access. There are multiple separate biometric access control activated doors (two fingerprint stations and one retina station) to pass onto the data center floor. The physically separate doors are monitored with surveillance cameras by security personnel and are designed to prevent tailgating. Our operation is housed in a locked cage on the data center floor. Our personnel must check-in at the floor operations office inside the data center to obtain a key to our cage. The floor operations office has real-time access to their security system telling them who is on the floor and where they are at all times. Keys must be checked out and checked in each time the cage needs to be entered. When our personnel exit the facility their entry key is then deactivated for data center floor access. Here is a link to their site that provides a lot of information and a virtual tour of the data center.
We employ a number of mechanisms to provide network security.
1. Fortinet firewall - In our QTS data centers we have an industrial-strength Fortinet firewall that has rules set up to restrict access to certain ports as well as to detect and stop denial of service attacks. Fortinet is a major network equipment and services provider, landing high in the Gardner magic quadrant.
2. VPN - all of the eApps internal and administrative systems can only be accessed through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that is for the exclusive use of eApps employees. The access list is controlled by our LDAP based directory service which allows us to immediately restrict access in the event that a person's employment with eApps is terminated. eApps staff must have a personal security certificate to access devices on the network. Also, we provide private VPN services for customers as an option. Our Private Cloud service includes a VPN gateway for administrative and back-end server access.
3. Password control – All internal systems have a rigid password management process that ensures that passwords are secure and revised periodically. Also, our hosting management system requires that all customer-created passwords pass a cracklib test. This helps us enforce secure passwords. We also have a password scanner utility that we use on an as-needed basis when we suspect that a customer has a weak password.
4. Monitoring - we use a sophisticated monitoring system that alerts us to not only outages but unusual levels of resource usage, with particular sensitivity to data transfer rates. This allows us to act quickly if our bandwidth usage spikes. Our data center operator also has monitoring set up to detect unusual activity on our Internet circuit as well as power and temperature monitoring variances. We also provide resource monitoring and uptime monitoring for all customers at no additional charge.
5. Intrusion Detection/Prevention System (IDS) - Our firewall has a built-in intrusion detection system that alerts us and deactivates access protocols (such as SSH and FTP) whenever numerous attempts are being made to attempt to compromise an access protocol. The IDS also provides reports of abnormal activity.
6. Vulnerability and Malware scanning - we perform various scans to identify vulnerabilities and malware that find its way onto our customer's systems. We also provide malware scanning services to customers as an option.
7. Exploit/Vulnerability Response Process - we have an aggressive response policy regarding the identification of known exploits. We take appropriate action as soon as we determine that one of our customers has an exploit. In the case where a major exploit is reported to be in the wild, we form a response team. This team determines the impact within our network, assesses the risk, and implements an action plan to mitigate the risk. Our company received many compliments from customers for the way our response team handled the 2014 Heartbleed vulnerability.
8. DDoS Protection - eApps employs multiple systems and processes to protect against both Inbound and Outbound DDoS attacks. These include automated Inbound DDoS protection systems provided by our Data Center providers. The inbound DDoS protection system is from Arbor Networks, a major vendor of DDoS protection systems.
We also have an option for enhanced DDoS/WAF protection through our partner StackPath. The use of this service is included free of charge for all eApps customers. This optional service works the same as CloudFlare's $20 per month PRO plan and requires that the server is configured to hide (cloak) the assigned IP address, to prevent direct attacks against the IP.
We have an extremely thorough order verification process for new customers. Since we implemented our order verification process in June of 2004 it is very rare for anyone to purchase our service using a stolen credit card. This effectively eliminates the possibility of a hacker posing as a legitimate customer to gain access to our services.
We have a rigorous screening process for new hires. This includes extensive interviews and 5 types of background checks. New staff are trained on security policies and procedures as part of the onboarding process. Staff must sign a security and privacy agreement prior to beginning work.
We control access to our internal systems using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), LDAP controlled access lists, and individual security keys instead of passwords on our servers. These tools allow us to block access by a former employee immediately in the event of their leaving the company, which is much faster than manually changing passwords on each server.
EAPPS CREDIT CARD SECURITY
Most of our customers pay for their service using a credit card. Our payment processing systems use a credit card "vault" concept. What this means is that credit cards used by customers to pay for their eApps services are stored at the payment processor location and are processed using a token. This approach is recognized by the PCI compliance process as having a very high level of security. For our customers that process credit cards, we offer PCI compliance assistance services to help them achieve PCI compliance on their eApps servers.
CUSTOMER PCI COMPLIANCE
The eApps hosting service is PCI ready. However, PCI compliance is a shared responsibility with eApps and the customer.
1. Each customer's application is unique and can have inherent PCI issues over which we have no control.
2. Customers have a responsibility to update their operating system components or migrate to a newer operating system when needed. We apply patches for severe, publicly known vulnerabilities but we do not update the various components automatically because this will often break a customer's site or web application. We provide services for upgrades and migrations upon request for a billable fee.
3. There is no universal definition of PCI compliance. Various scanning services are used to certify PCI compliance and their exception reports are not uniform. We provide assistance as a billable service to interpret scanning reports, perform updates as needed, and interact with the PCI scanning service. PCI compliance assistance services are available on a billable as request basis and on a quarterly fixed fee basis.
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