Choosing a Secured Hosted Exchange Provider

By CIOReview | Tuesday, September 20, 2016
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Today, firms are inclining towards hosted exchange services for the numerous benefits one can gain—furthering the business of Hosted Exchange vendors worldwide. The real value of hosted exchange is realized by the organizations as they face problems affecting their business. And then the hunt to find the most appropriate vendor begins, but opting for hosted services from vendors without analyzing or having knowledge about marketing and sales could invite trouble.

Picking up a right provider according to the business needs is a significant part of the business process long before the problem arises. There are plenty of host exchange service providers in market; one thing that matters is the overall quality of service. In addition to quality there are numerous other factors to consider and be aware of, while choosing a reliable hosted exchange vendor. Whilst deploying the host exchange services, enterprise must be aware of certain security aspects offered by the vendors, here are few suggestions on what questions to be asked and the topics to be discussed with the provider.

What are the safety measures to protect the business data during disruptions, system failure or environmental disaster?

These days most of the enterprises shift their exchange server to the cloud during the security evaluation, but it is noticed that cloud security is often neglected. Enterprises should take into account that security is not just about setting robust password, apparently it’s everything from network host to actual physical security of firm’s datacenter. Therefore, enterprise should ensure the chosen vendor has an exhaustive cloud disaster recovery plan.

Reliability

Reliability is the foremost thing that an enterprise must look in a vendor, but how to assess the consistency of a hosted exchange provider? Enterprises need to identify the redundancy and how well equipped they are with the resources to support during the disaster. Reliability not only depends on back up the vendors offer but also on availability of resources at any given time. Asking questions like “what sort of recovery plan and backup do you offer? And additional resources that they can offer?” would be helpful for the organization.

How do you handle security related issues?

Having a detailed disaster recovery plan is not enough, enterprises should ask for the specifications on how the problems are resolved. For instance, detecting malicious activities, how they address breach issues and many more.

How do you tackle Email Archiving?

Enterprises must choose vendor who has the potential to offer archiving solutions that include features like security, consistency and technical ability. There is particular email archiving solution, which offer specific competence to help organizations meet their requirement, compliance is one of the examples.

What sort of security assessment is carried out to check the performance of external and internal network host?

To ensure maintenance of the network, enterprise must ask how often vulnerability scanning and internal audit is performed. This type of assessment will help in identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities and other issues of the network that invite trouble for the organization. 

What other additional security services do you offer?

Enterprise should expect additional managed services that maintain a log of security glitches in the exchange messaging environment. Apart from this, firms must ensure that vendors keep a track of exchange account usage, how stakeholders communicate with cloud services, and should retrieve policy on data backups and patching.

Compliance

Any organization, maintaining its managed service will automatically make exchanging information system ‘compliant’ with appropriate security rules and regulations; enterprise must be aware that security compliance doesn’t come along with cloud services.

Stability

Stability is another aspect to discuss, which should be on top of the list. Enterprise must be aware of the experience and expertise that a vendor holds in that particular field. More the experience and popularity, the chances are good that enterprise receives a better service. Discussing about the stability and asking questions about their experience, offerings and checking their customer feedback might help in choosing a right hosted exchange provider.

Future with the vendor

Most of the firms do not give much thought into future of the vendor and how their services adapt to latest technologies. Initially enterprise needs would be elementary but in the long run the requirements change and vendor must be flexible enough to accept the changes. So probing the vendors about the scalability of the service, support they get during upgrading, and will vendors be part of the company in the decision making process, these questions will definitely help the organization to grow successfully.

Inference

Once the enterprise has evaluated all the above factors carefully, they should be in a great position to make a firm decision about the suitable host for the organization. If the enterprise thinks they have found the right host provider, it’s better to ask about these aspects and questions because it helps host in understanding the requirements of the organization and deliver excellent service.