Users of cloud CRM software and other cloud-based apps are understandably concerned about protecting their customer data. While visiting a cloud provider's data center is one way to assess its security practices, that's not a realistic or affordable option for many companies.
Microsoft hopes its new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center, a website that provides detailed information about its privacy, security and compliance practices for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service, will be the next best thing to a data center visit.
In a blog post about the move, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Senior Product Manager Stephanie Dart cites a recent Gartner report on cloud computing that predicts more than half of Global 1000 companies will store sensitive data about their customers in the public cloud by the end of 2016.
In the report, Gartner analyst Gene Phifer encourages companies to use emerging cloud standards, certifications, cloud services brokers, questionnaires and interviews to perform due diligence on potential cloud service providers. "Transparency in a cloud vendor is key and security should be as big of a concern with online deployments as with on-premises deployments," Phifer writes in the report.
In addition to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center, Microsoft recently became the first CRM service provider to register with the Cloud Security Alliance's Security, Trust & Assurance Registry Program.
Microsoft has also registered Office 365 and its Windows Azure cloud development platform in CSA's STAR program and offers Trust Centers for both of those products.