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Cloud Security: Things to Know Before Choosing a UCaaS provider

Category: B2B News

Cloud communications is changing the way business communicates. From cloud PBX being a more flexible alternative to on-premise legacy PBX systems, to achieving true unified communications by being able to integrate different channels like voice, fax, conferencing, SMS, and team messaging into one cloud-based service, thus the birth of Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS).

With all the advancements in cloud communications, Gartner is predicting that unified communications spending will grow at 3.1% CAGR through 2020. There is just a lot of optimism regarding the rise of cloud in terms of business communications.

However, there are still some enterprise who are not totally on-board the cloud. In fact, in a recent study, small and medium scale businesses are more likely to move their communications to the cloud compared to large companies.

One of the possible concerns is, of course, security. It is not that enterprises are not recognizing the benefits of moving to the cloud, it is just that the idea of having your conversations and other sensitive data pass through the public Internet is quite scary. And if you also own a business, big or small, it should concern you as well.

That is why if you plan to move your communications to the cloud, you should realize that you are putting an enormous amount of trust to your UCaaS provider because they will be the ones responsible in safeguarding your data as it passes through your end, through their data centers, and the public Internet. So before choosing your next provider, be sure that you are well-versed about cloud security and multi-layered defense. For more info on this topic, read our guide article on the most useful SaaS solutions for small businesses

Here are some of the things your next UCaaS provider should give you details about when it comes to cloud security:

  1. Safe and secure data center. The UCaaS providers should have the ideal a strong physical location with redundant power and reliable disaster recovery procedures. It wouldn’t hurt if they have multiple data centers from different locations to maximize redundancy so that when one data center goes down, another can take over. Security and reliability should also be backed by independent certifications.
  2. Encrypted data including voice. All data that passes through the provider’s network should be encrypted in transit and at rest. This, of course, includes voice data. Voice traffic should be encrypted to prevent eavesdropping or any form of hacking during the flow of any data.
  3. User access control and account administration. Providers should also be able to give you a way to control user access. This includes defining user roles and permissions. The company or the administrators should also be able to demote and revoke these accesses in certain situations like when a user leaves the company.  Vendor should also implement a strong password policy and, if possible, two-factor authentication. A nice plus would be a single sign-on feature to prevent employees or users’ log-in fatigue.
  4. Fraud prevention measures. The UCaaS provider should have protections against possible fraud risks like toll fraud and credentials theft. Continuous monitoring against anomalies and other fraud indicators should be a must. Provider should also promote best practices against fraud to all their clients.
    This is not to dissuade anyone from moving to cloud communications. This is just to make companies aware that while there are a lot of benefits, moving to the cloud has its own security risks and their provider of choice should not only be aware of these risks but are also implementing countermeasures to protect their subscribers.

We hope you found this piece useful, you can also read our related article on how data from uCaaS solutions can help your business.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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