- Authentication: User data on our database is logically segregated by account-based access rules. User accounts have unique usernames and passwords that must be entered each time a user logs on. SurveyTown issues a session cookie only to record encrypted authentication information for the duration of a specific session. The session cookie does not include the password of the user.
- Passwords: User application passwords have minimum complexity requirements. Passwords are individually salted and hashed.
- Data Portability: SurveyTown enables you to export your data from our system in a variety of formats so that you can back it up, or use it with other applications.
- Data Residency: All SurveyTown user data is stored on servers located in the United States.
All SurveyTown information systems and infrastructure are hosted in world-class data centers. These data centers include all the necessary physical security controls you would expect in a data center these days (e.g., 24×7 monitoring, cameras, visitor logs, entry requirements).
- Connectivity: Fully redundant IP network connections with multiple independent connections to a range of Tier 1 Internet access providers.
- Power: Servers have redundant internal and external power supplies. Data centers have backup power supplies, and are able to draw power from the multiple substations on the grid, several diesel generators, and backup batteries.
- Uptime: Continuous uptime monitoring, with immediate escalation to SurveyTown staff for any downtime.
- Backup Frequency: Backups occur daily.
- Testing: System functionality and design changes are verified in an isolated test “sandbox” environment and subject to functional and security testing prior to deployment to active production systems.
- Firewalls: Firewalls restrict access.
- Access Control: Secure VPN, 2FA (two-factor authentication), and role-based access is enforced for systems management by authorized engineering staff.
- Logging and Auditing: Central logging systems capture and archive all internal systems access including any failed authentication attempts.
- Encryption in Transit: By default, our surveys have Transport Layer Security (TLS) enabled to encrypt respondent traffic. All other communications with the surveytown.com website are sent over TLS connections, which protects communications by using both server authentication and data encryption. This ensures that user data in transit is safe, secure, and available only to intended recipients.
Organizational & Administrative Security
- Information Security Policies: We maintain internal information security policies, including incident response plans, and regularly review and update them.
- Employee Screening: We perform background screening on all employees, to the extent possible within local laws.
- Training: We provide security and technology use training for employees.
- Service Providers: We screen our service providers and bind them under contract to appropriate confidentiality and security obligations if they deal with any user data.
- Access: Access controls to sensitive data in our databases, systems, and environments are set on a need-to-know / least privilege necessary basis.
- Audit Logging: We maintain and monitor audit logs on our services and systems.
Software Development Practices
- Coding Practices: Our engineers use best practices and industry-standard secure coding guidelines.
- Deployment: We deploy code dozens of times during the week, giving us the ability to react quickly in the event a bug or vulnerability is discovered within our code.
Handling of Security Breaches
Despite best efforts, no method of transmission over the Internet and no method of electronic storage is perfectly secure. We cannot guarantee absolute security. However, if SurveyTown learns of a security breach, we will notify affected users so that they can take appropriate protective steps. Our breach notification procedures are consistent with our obligations under various state and federal laws and regulation, as well as any industry rules or standards that we adhere to. Notification procedures include providing email notices or posting a notice on our website if a breach occurs.
Keeping your data secure also depends on you ensuring that you maintain the security of your account by using sufficiently complicated passwords and storing them safely. You should also ensure that you have sufficient security on your own systems, to keep any survey data you download to your own computer away from prying eyes. We offer TLS to secure the transmission of survey responses, but it is your responsibility to ensure that your surveys are configured to use that feature where appropriate.
Due to the number of customers who use our service, specific security questions or custom security forms can only be addressed for customers purchasing a certain volume of user accounts within a SurveyTown subscription.