It’s imperative you know what happens to member data once it’s out of your hands. Ask your partner to demonstrate how your database will be fully protected against loss, intrusions and breaches of confidentiality. Ask for a description of the physical location where data will be stored and how the location is protected by firewalls, hard passcode policies, active monitoring processes, encryption and limited access by credentialed experts. Each step in this protection process should be documented to allow for accountability and tracing history. SBS systems employ Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to secure traffic between client election systems and voters’ computing devices. These are the same encryption techniques utilized by U.S. financial and banking institutions.
When a vendor manages an election project for you, the member and voting data is usually out of your hands until results are delivered. Be sure to ask the vendor to trace the paths your data will take – where it will reside, who will have access to it and what will be done to protect it at each step. This is a 24/7/365 process that is best handled by experts within an Enterprise Data Center operation. A qualified data center can provide physical security from monitoring who is on the premises to hardware and network security. They can also manage a wide array of important operational details including reliable power sources, climate control, connectivity and redundancy systems with both active and passive monitoring processes.
When working with third-party vendors, you should be assured there are checks and balances that guarantee the integrity and accuracy of all final and certified results. Look for procedures, chain-of-custody and accountability policies that ensure accurate results while providing defensibility in the event of any questions after the project. Policies and procedures should include check-ins, daily counts (or delivered counts) and locked vaults for storing the documents with limited access by credentialed staff.
It’s crucial that the entire flow of data is tested and proven accurate. Any partner should be able to demonstrate their accuracy rates at points before, during and after the counting is done.
SBS employs staff solely dedicated to measuring and improving the accuracy of our voting processes. Always inquire about a vendor’s quality assurance staff and ask how you can reach them during the election process.
Contact us for more information on SBS security processes.