We all hear a lot about data security these days — from state, federal, and international data privacy and protection laws to consumer demands for privacy. As your association grows and collects personal information about your members, you simply can’t afford not to protect your member data. At the same time, as you collect more data and use more technology systems, performance becomes more important than ever.

But, how do you ensure that your data is secure and that your association management software (AMS) system continues to grow with you? Here are seven things to look for in an AMS system to protect your member data, reduce risk and ensure system performance you can count on:

#1 Transparency

What to look for

Your AMS system should provide you with insight, information and documentation into its system performance and security to promote your trust and confidence in its service.

What to know

Nimble AMS is built on the Salesforce platform, and Salesforce has created the site trust.salesforce.com to provide live status details on its service availability, performance, security, privacy and compliance. The site includes updates on any recent phishing, malware, or intrusion attempts, so you can easily learn the state of your data at any time.

#2 Best practices for data security

What to look for

To prevent unauthorized access, your AMS system should support data security best practices, including two-factor authentication, login IP ranges, adjustable session timeout thresholds, custom domains, and the latest authentication and encryption protocol Transport Layer Security (TLS) for browser encryption.

What to know

The Salesforce platform supports all of these best practices and more. They also offer educational content and security advisories to help ensure you are up-to-date on the latest in security best practices. Nimble AMS routinely goes through Salesforce’s rigorous App Security Review to ensure it meets Salesforce’s high standards for data security.

#3 Comprehensive user permissions

What to look for

Your system should allow only your organization to access its data, and allow your administrator to restrict access so that your employees can view and edit only the data they should be able to access in the system, depending on their role with your organization.

What to know

The Salesforce platform uses unique identifiers assigned with each new session, so your data is available only to those who are authorized to access it. By virtue of the Salesforce platform, Nimble AMS allows your administrator to set up at the organization, department and individual levels and configure what they can see and do. Permissions can be set for application, tab, page, object, field and more.

The Salesforce platform supports all of these best practices and more. They also offer educational content and security advisories to help ensure you are up-to-date on the latest in security best practices.

#4 Data recovery

What to look for

To safeguard your data, your AMS system should protect your data from simple data storage errors, catastrophic failures and everything in between. Also, your AMS system should not hold your data hostage.

What to know

With Nimble AMS, your data is protected because Salesforce backs up client data on a rotating schedule of incremental and full backups that lets them restore service more efficiently should the need arise. Their disaster recovery mechanisms use real-time replication to disk at each data center, and near real-time data replication between the production data center and the disaster recovery center. And, you can export your organization’s data when you need it, without restriction.

#5 Compliance

What to look for

The most secure AMS systems maintain compliance certifications and attestations to validate their security.

What to know

Nimble AMS sustains security certifications via Salesforce, which maintains comprehensive international certifications, including ISO/IEC, SOC, PCI DSS and HIPAA. Their compliance certifications and attestations are listed at: trust.salesforce.com/en/compliance/

#6 Stability and reliability

What to look for

As your association grows and collects more data, your AMS system should be able to handle spikes in traffic to your online community and member portal, remaining available when you and your members need it.

What to know

Nimble AMS customers can rely on Salesforce’s long-term track record of 99.9+ percent uptime. Salesforce has thousands of computers with redundant data centers all over the world, advanced protection for its facilities, and a complete data recovery plan. Plus, with the Salesforce platform, you get access to sandboxes so you can test configurations and integrations without compromising your production environments.

The most secure AMS systems maintain compliance certifications and attestations to validate their security.

#7 Seamless upgrade and continuous delivery

What to look for

Your AMS system should provide you with a continuous stream of upgrades and innovation so you’re always using the latest in technology advances, without hassle and without extra costs.

What to know

Nimble AMS provides you with six free upgrades per year (three via the Salesforce platform, and three via Nimble AMS) to ensure you’re always using the latest and greatest technology. And, because Nimble AMS and the Salesforce platform are true cloud-based systems, you receive these upgrades quickly and painlessly.

Access the full guide about these critical data security and performance aspects of an AMS system.