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By Ben Puzzuoli, Technical Sales Director at KineticD
June 01, 2012

KineticD Online Data Backup Expert Tips: A Closer Look at SSAE 16

In our last post, we established a few main reasons why Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16, or “SSAE 16″, is an improvement on its predecessor, SAS 70. One of the main differences between the two auditing protocols is that while SAS 70 seeks to describe the “controls” on the system being analyzed, SSAE 16 goes one step further in seeking to analyze the system itself. In addition to this, SSAE 16 audits are only performed after the management that is requesting the audit turns in a list of their “assertions” about the system, so that the attesting agents who will perform the audit can compare and contrast these assertions to the results that they discover during the SSAE 16 process.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 SSAE 16 audits are procedures that are designed for service organizations to officially establish standardized levels of efficiency, accuracy and quality in their infrastructures. And, as discussed before, SSAE 16 seeks to align businesses to worldwide standards more so than SAS 70 does. Besides thoroughly analyzing the system being audited, SSAE 16 informs businesses how to improve their existing infrastructures as well. And, in addition to this, SSAE 16 requires that organizations must already have an internal auditor in place, both so that the assertions can be accurately made before the audit, and the standards established can also be either improved or maintained between audits.

Indeed, SSAE 16 focuses heavily on the role of the above mentioned internal auditor, effectively “auditing the auditor”, so that standards do not drop in quality at any time. After all, one may receive excellent results from their yearly SSAE 16, but if standards degrade between audits the official results discovered by any perennial assessment could easily be rendered meaningless! A high quality SSAE 16 audit should leave the service organization in a better position to understand and maintain the quality of its own logistics than it was in before the initialization of the audit. And, SSAE 16 attestation should also provide additional, highly beneficial resources to the company it is analyzing, including smarter policies and more efficient procedures that will help them more easily adhere to the standards in the future.

Of course, we here at KineticD undergo yearly SSAE 16 audits to make sure that all of our data centers always fully in line with this all-important, worldwide system quality protocol. At the heart of this emphasis on operational excellence is the fact that we regard the security of our customers’ data as our number one priority. That’s why we always leverage the most state of the art, uncrackable 448 bit Blowfish encryption algorithms to all of our clients’ data, both while in transit over the internet and while being stored on our secure servers as well. In addition to this, we ensure the physical security of our customers’ information by housing it in Tier 3 data centers that are protected around the clock by heavily gated perimeter access, an extensive system of security cameras, electronic key access systems, and a team of trained security professionals. To learn more how we’ve managed to never lose or compromise even the tiniest bit of client information over the ten years we’ve been in business, please visit our website today!

About the author: Ben Puzzuoli is Technical Sales Director at KineticD, a Toronto based online data backup service provider.

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