You’re concerned about security. So are we.
We really must be. It seems like almost every day you hear of some large enterprise being hacked and an enormous breach of privacy occurring. It's often shocking, the apparent lax security of organisations large and small.
Whether you're running an awards program, grant program or similar, chances are you are collecting personal information from your participants, or commercially sensitive information. It's vitally important to protect this with the best available technologies and practices. Award Force does that. If you're evaluating other potential providers please be certain they take security and privacy very seriously too— unfortunately it's not a given.
We are confident that we have one of the most secure online
application + evaluation solutions worldwide. If not the most secure.
In keeping with best-practice security, all data at rest (in our databases) is stored encrypted. All data in transit (including login credentials and credit card details for paid entry awards) is protected using TLS 1.2 (https) by default, with 256 byte encryption key and SHA-256 signed certificates.
Individual users can choose to increase protection of their account against unauthorised access by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA can also be required for specific roles with elevated access levels. The primary authentication method after password is a Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP). Backup recovery methods include recovery codes and SMS.
We manage our own server instances on Amazon’s AWS infrastructure. Award Force accounts are never in a hosted environment shared with other unknown companies or websites. Our multi-server architecture is secured in a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).
Award Force databases are mirrored in real time across separate geographic locations for resilience. Databases are backed up daily and retained for 30 days. Uploaded media is stored in Amazon S3, meaning it is redundantly stored across multiple geographic locations and multiple devices in each location, for ultimate redundancy.
Role and permission based access control
Award Force has an extensible system for defining user roles and associated system use permissions so that your users can only access functionality they’re permitted to, whether they be entrants, judges, coordinators or managers.
Credit card data
Award Force integrates with 3rd party payment gateways for credit card payment handling on paid entries. With a mind to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), customer credit card details are not stored in Award Force databases, only passed directly to the payment gateway.
The Award Force private cloud
All our application stack physical infrastructure and data storage is within Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres. AWS data centre and network architecture are built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organisations.
AWS data centres are housed in nondescript facilities. Physical access is strictly controlled both at the perimeter and at building ingress points by professional security staff utilising video surveillance, intrusion detection systems, and other electronic means.