Host Compliance security overview

Protecting your data and our services is our top priority. The availability, confidentiality, and integrity of your data is of utmost importance and we use multiple safeguards to protect this information.

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Our data centers

Host Compliance hosts our applications and your data with Amazon Web Services (AWS) which provides a highly reliable and scalable infrastructure platform in the cloud. AWS is the market-leader for such services and powers hundreds of thousands of organization in 190 countries including government institutions such as the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Center for Disease Control, the State of Washington and Multnomah County, OR.

AWS is a secure, durable technology platform with industry-recognized certifications and audits: PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001, FISMA Moderate, FedRAMP, HIPAA, and SOC 1 (formerly referred to as SAS 70 and/or SSAE 16) and SOC 2 audit reports. All the datacenters we use are have multiple layers of operational and physical security to ensure the integrity and safety of our data. Here are some resources from AWS with additional context:


Physical security

AWS has state of the art data centers where physical access is strictly controlled by professional security staff using a combination of video surveillance, intrusion detection systems, multiple sets of two-factor authentication and other electronic means. Only authorized personnel with legitimate business needs are granted access to the data centers. All physical access to data centers by AWS employees is logged and audited routinely and all visitors require ID and are escorted by authorized staff.
AWS maintains and continues to enhance their SOC reports, certifications, including SOC, PCI, ISO and many more. Additional details are maintained on the AWS Compliance section of their website.

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Environmental security

AWS’ data centers have automatic fire detection and suppression equipment. They have fully redundant electrical power systems that are maintainable without impact to operations 24x7 and have UPS and back-up generators in case of electrical failure for critical and essential loads.

Climate and temperature are precisely controlled by personnel and systems to ensure optimal performance of servers and other hardware.
All systems and equipment are monitored and receive preventative maintenance to maintain continued operability of equipment.


Business continuity management

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AWS’ infrastructure has a high level of availability and provides customers the features to deploy a resilient IT architecture. AWS has designed its systems to tolerate system or hardware failures with minimal customer impact. Data center Business Continuity Management at AWS is under the direction of the Amazon Infrastructure Group.

Core applications are deployed in an N+1 configuration, so that in the event of a data center failure, there is sufficient capacity to enable traffic to be load balanced to the remaining sites.
Host Compliance deploys into multiple Availability Zones to ensure that Host Compliance can continue to function in the loss of an Amazon data center.


Secure transmission and sessions

Connection to the Host Compliance products and services environment is through secure socket layer/transport layer security (SSL/TLS), using strong encryption and authentication (TLS 1.2 with SHA256 certificate), to ensure that your users have a secure connection from their browsers to our services. Sessions are terminated after 30 minutes of inactivity, or implicitly by a user sign out event.


Access controls

User IDs and passwords are both set by the user. One-time passwords are never used. Password strength and a limitation on login attempts are configurable. Passwords are encrypted. Within the application, both group and role based access rights can be assigned, allowing full control over what a user can see and use. Our applications also maintains an detailed event log, capturing items such as authentication, failed login attempts, asset creation, deletion, and modification.

Servers do not use passwords and require 2048 bit RSA keys to provide direct access to the box. All keys are unique to individual administrators or service accounts and are not shared. Network level firewalls prevent unauthorized traffic from reaching servers in the data center.

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All data is backed up using daily and weekly images. Master/slave replication additionally ensures that database backups are hot-swappable. Backups and replications are not transported off site, but are stored in different Amazon data centers from the Host Compliance application to ensure that they can be recovered in case of loss of the primary data center.


Code testing and assessments

Host Compliance tests all code for security vulnerabilities before release, and regularly scans our network and systems for vulnerabilities. Third-party vulnerability testing has also been performed by Aspect Security.

  • Application vulnerability threat assessments
  • Network vulnerability threat assessments
  • Selected penetration testing and code review
  • Security control framework review and testing
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Payment Security and PCI Compliance

All payments received by Host Compliance are processed through a 3rd party payment processor named Stripe and Host Compliance NEVER touches or stores any sensitive payment information. Stripe currently processes payments for more than 100,000 other companies and organizations including Amazon, Target and Unicef. Stripe currently employs 900 people and is headquartered in San Francisco. The company has received around $450 million in funding to date and its investors include Sequoia Capital, Visa, American Express, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk.

Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry. All card numbers captured by Stripe are encrypted on disk with AES-256. Decryption keys are stored on separate machines. None of Stripe’s internal servers and daemons can obtain plaintext card numbers; instead, they can just request that cards be sent to a service provider on a static whitelist. Stripe’s infrastructure for storing, decrypting, and transmitting card numbers runs in separate hosting infrastructure, and doesn’t share any credentials with Stripe’s primary services (API, website, etc.).


Security monitoring

To identify and manage threats, Host Compliance’s, Amazon Web Services' and Stripes’ teams constantly monitors traffic and notifications from various sources and alerts from internal systems. To name a few examples, Stripe uses a system called Radar to scan every payment using the most relevant signals to help detect and block fraud while AWS provides us with tools and features that enable us to see exactly what’s happening in your AWS environment. These tools and features gives us the visibility we need to spot issues before they impact the business and allow us to constantly improve security posture, and reduce the risk profile, of our environment.

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