Developing a security assurance plan: purpose and strategy

The Security Assurance Plan (SAP) is crucial in demonstrating to prospects that data management and access are secure, in line with established standards.

The SAP outlines the technical and organizational security measures implemented by a service provider to safeguard outsourced services. Typically presented during the pre-sales phase, it helps inform the customer's decision-making process.

The absence of a SAP, or a poorly constructed one, signals potential security lapses to IT and procurement departments. Thus, it's vital to consider the content of this document well in advance.

Having a ready SAP not only builds confidence at the crucial pre-sales stage but also offers a competitive edge. Prompt presentation of the SAP, or even proactively sharing it, can significantly influence negotiations.

However, drafting this document requires a delicate balance. It should provide enough information to reassure the customer without compromising your infrastructure's security by revealing too much.

Crafting a Security Assurance Plan: balancing disclosure and confidentiality

The challenge in creating a SAP lies in finding a balance between reassuring information and maintaining confidentiality to avoid security risks.

Start by gathering existing information on the security measures in place. These typically include technical measures (like AES-256 encryption) and organizational measures (such as authorization policies). For online services, consider data flow security measures like HTTPS.

Once you've assessed the current security measures, decide which to include in the SAP and which to keep confidential. The level of detail in the SAP should be carefully considered, as there's no one-size-fits-all list of security measures to include. This decision varies based on the service provider's scope and the strategic nature of the digital services offered.

Achieving the right balance requires an in-depth understanding of the services provided and experience in negotiating outsourcing contracts.

A well-crafted SAP provides a strategic advantage, positioning the service provider favorably against competitors.

From the customer’s perspective, the SAP can be annexed to the contract, allowing for termination at the service provider’s expense if the promised measures are not implemented.

The SAP should always be shared within a confidential framework, particularly in the pre-sales phase, to protect sensitive information.

Our IT Contracts, Data, and Compliance Department offers expert guidance in creating tailored security assurance plans. We ensure strategic information remains confidential while helping you expand your business.

For further assistance, please feel free to contact us.