There’s no doubt that utilities provide an invaluable service to their customers. One of the strongest pillars of this relationship is trust. For utilities, trust has hinged on the ability to deliver clean water, electricity, and/or gas safely and efficiently. But as the utility industry has started to embrace digital technologies, a new form of trust has taken shape. Trust that the utility will protect their personal data. By nature of our current digital revolution, utilities work with software vendors. This trust extends to them, as well. To serve their customers effectively, utilities and software vendors need to take data security seriously, balancing the evolution of digital operational advancements with safeguarding sensitive data. We’ve put together a guide that details how utilities will know if they can trust their new software vendor with sensitive data.

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What data security measures does the vendor have in place?

The first question to ask any potential vendor should be what security measures are embedded within their solution. Some features to look for include SAML 2.0 integration, SOC 2, SOC 3, and ISO 27001 certification, multi-factor authentication, and custom access permissions. These are the types of tools that can restrict data access to the people in your organization that truly need it.

Is the vendor willing to share the contact information of other customers?

Vendors with a sterling reputation should be happy to connect prospective customers with existing customers, so don’t hesitate to ask. Assuming it’s a satisfied customer, the expectation is that you’ll hear good things. But this is your chance to ask the customer questions and hear how the vendor solved that utility’s problems. Since data security is such a crucial initiative, come prepared with questions related to how successful the vendor has been in keeping data safe for that existing customer as well.

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Has the vendor had any data breaches in the last year? Two years? Five years?

During vendor exploration and selection, it’s a good idea to be upfront about your interest in data security. The best way to get to the heart of the topic is by outright asking if the vendor has had any data breaches. Hopefully, they haven’t, but data breaches do happen, so don’t panic if the answer is yes. What’s most important? How the vendor handled it and the corrections made to mitigate future risk.

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Does the vendor have a plan for the future?

Speaking of future risk, the next thing you must learn from any potential partner is how they plan for the future. Fraudsters are constantly developing new schemes and attacks, so it’s critical that the vendor remain abreast of the latest and greatest tactics in data security. Make a point to probe your potential vendor about their forward-looking plans to provide you the peace of mind you need to move forward.

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What happens if there is a data breach?

Like we mentioned earlier, it’s not possible to completely prevent data breaches. In fact, some of the largest brands in the world have been victimized. So, it makes sense to talk to any potential vendors about what they would do if data was breached. There are many different variables that could impact that answer. A vendor should at least have some foundational plans in place to share.

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The EnSight+ software solution offers comprehensive data security

Utilities around the country rely on the customizable field service software by EnSight+ to improve and enhance their operations. Data security is very important to us, and our team goes to great lengths to ensure we’re keeping our utility partners’ customer data safe and secure. If you’re interested in learning more about our software and how we protect customer data, book a demo today.

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