Security & Privacy
At Ekata, respecting the individual rights of our data subjects is always top of mind. We provide identity verification and fraud prevention services worldwide to protect consumers and their identities – including in the EU where we offer GDPR compliant options to individuals. Our security and privacy team has been working for years to secure personal data and ensure individual rights, and will continue to do so.
Ekata has been a trusted name in identity verification and fraud prevention for years, and we take that trust seriously. Long before security and privacy buzzwords entered the mainstream, we based our first information security program on ISO 27001:2005. Today, we still take a risk-based approach to information security, which is to say a practical one: we protect systems and data according to their sensitivity and exposure to threats. Our security and risk assessments are provided by third-party PCI Qualified Security Assessor companies to ensure an unbiased approach. And because we’re a Data as a Service provider, we also formally document our compliance with the AICPA Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 principles of security, confidentiality, availability, and privacy.
What are your risk management practices?
Ekata employs a risk-based information security program: we protect systems and data according to their sensitivity and exposure to threats. Our baseline risk assessments occur annually across both corporate and service environments, and are conducted by a third-party PCI Qualified Security Assessor. They include policy and procedure reviews, control design and functionality review, technical configuration analysis, network and web application penetration testing, and interviews with team members. All risks are documented with their associated vulnerabilities, controls, and recommendations for risk reduction.
These risk assessments feed into an enterprise-wide risk register which is maintained continuously. As new risks are identified, they’re formally documented and addressed. This whole process is overseen by our Information Security Officer and executive leadership.
How are access controls determined and maintained?
Ekata employs role-based access controls based on need-to-know and least privilege. Each team member is assigned a primary role at hire, or transfer, which determines their access to systems and applications. Each role is formally defined, as its access. In order to gain access outside an individual’s role, an access request ticket must be submitted, approved, and provisioned.
Access control reviews are performed quarterly as part of internal audits conducted by our Information Security Officer.
How do you respond to incidents?
Ekata has established a formal Incident Management Program that covers security, privacy, and availability incidents. For each type of incident, there are reporting, response, and retrospective requirements and supporting materials. Customer notifications are a formally documented aspect of each incident type.
Do your web applications have periodic third-party
Yes, Ekata employs a Qualified Security Assessor company to perform penetration tests annually against our web applications and external networks. The latest report is available to prospective and existing customers upon request.
Do you have a Security Incident and Event Management system?
Yes, Ekata employs an AlienVault SIEM across both service and corporate environments.
Do you have 24/7 monitoring for your environment?
In addition to our dedicated security staff, Ekata employs a Managed Security Service Provider for 24/7 monitoring of our service and corporate environments.
How is remote access to your service and corporate environment handled?
Ekata employs a Multi-Factor VPN with per-client certificates for remote network access to both corporate and service environments. An IAM policy enforces MFA for our AWS console, and alerting is configured should it be disabled.
What encryption standards are used for communication with your services?
All Ekata, and most other Ekata properties, use HTTP Strict Transport Security, which forces all connections to use HTTPS. We currently only support TLS 1.2.
What do you do to mitigate DDoS attacks?
Ekata service environment is hosted in AWS across multiple availability zones and employs AWS Shield Advanced.
Is secure software development and OWASP Top 10 training required for your developers?
Yes. At hire, and annually thereafter, every software developer takes secure software development training, plus additional training relevant to their area of development. Web developers take OWASP Top 10 for instance, while backend database developers take courses on securing AWS database offerings.
What physical security controls are implemented for your service and corporate environments?
Ekata employs AWS for its service infrastructure at the physical layer, and we review AWS SOC 2 Type 2 reports twice annually as part of our risk management program. Ekata corporate offices all use proximity badges with access logging, 24/7 video surveillance, and formal visitor management procedures.
At Ekata, a Mastercard company, nothing is more important than the success of our customers and the protection of our customers’ data. To support that mission, Ekata and Mastercard have established a comprehensive privacy and data protection program. We dedicate significant global resources to ensure compliance with applicable data protection laws and we have embedded privacy and data protection into the design of our products and services. We know you may have questions about Ekata’s approach to privacy and the Data Processing Agreement (“DPA”) that Ekata offers to its customers. To help you develop a better understanding of the Ekata DPA, we have created this FAQ to answer some of the most common questions we are asked. All defined terms used in this FAQ are as set out in the DPA.
For additional information about Mastercard International Incorporated and its affiliates’ (collectively, “Mastercard”) commitment to Privacy and Privacy Notice, please see here.
Does Ekata have an internal privacy program?
Does Ekata make a DPA available to its Customers?
Yes, Ekata offers a DPA to its Customers here. However, not all Customer agreements will utilize this DPA; use cases will vary. The DPA is an agreement that sets out the legal framework under which Ekata Processes Customer Data and Personal Data. The DPA is an addendum or exhibit to the Principal Agreement, i.e., a Master Services Agreement (‘MSA’), etc., between Ekata and its Customer.
Why can't my organization use its own DPA?
The Ekata DPA is specific to Ekata’s multi-tenant services and covers our processes in relation to these. For example, the DPA covers our processes around privacy-related notifications, audits, certifications, security measures, and sub-processing activities, all of which are aligned to the way in which Ekata’s services and its multi-tenant infrastructure work. The Ekata DPA is also drafted to seamlessly interoperate with the MSA and other relevant Ekata and Mastercard agreements.
What is the scope of the DPA?
The covers Customers globally and sets out relevant legal obligations and commitments related to the processing of Customer Data and Personal Data. For ease of reference, it uses certain terminology from specific privacy and data protection laws, e.g., “Controller” and “Processor” from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) which are recognized globally.The DPA also includes a specific addendum to address the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”). There may be other addenda added to the DPA, as privacy regulations continue to evolve globally.
Does the DPA apply to my organization if we don't have offices in Europe?
Yes, the majority of the DPA applies to Customers regardless of their connection to the European Economic Area (“EEA”), Switzerland and the United Kingdom (“UK”) (together, “Europe”). Most of the commitments in the DPA stem from general privacy requirements in all data protection laws globally and are not specific to European laws.
What are Ekata and the Customer's respective roles under the DPA?
Ekata acts as the Controller with respect to Persona lData submitted by Customers to Ekata’s services. The Customer either acts as a Controller or a Processor of such Personal Data. This is set out in Section 2(“Roles of the Parties”) of the DPA.
Why does Ekata need to be a Controller under the DPA?
Ekata must control the purposes of means of the processing of Customer Data to support the ongoing improvement of Mastercard’s ta products and enable full capability to return more consistent, reliable results for our customers.
Data Subject Requests
How does Ekata handle requests from Data Subjects?
Ekata responds to Data Subject requests to exercise rights granted to Data Subjects under EU Data Protection law and CCPA, as applicable.
Does Ekata use Sub-processors?
An effective and efficient performance of Ekata’s services requires the use of Sub-processors. These Sub-processors can include Affiliates of Mastercard, Ekata, and/or other third parties such as vendors or service providers. Ekata’s use of Sub-processors may require the transfer of Customer Data to Sub-processors for purposes like hosting Customer Data, providing customer support, and ensuring the services are functioning properly.
Technical and Organizational Measures
What security measures are in place to protect Customer Data?
Ekata maintains appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect Customer Data. Please also see Ekata’s dedicated Security page detailing our compliance certifications and approach to security, or Annex 1 to the DPA.
Security Breach Notifications
How would Ekata notify its Customers in the event of a Personal Data Breach?
Ekata maintains security incident management policies and procedures, which are described in the applicable Security FAQ (available here). In Section 9.1 of the DPA (available here) Ekata commits to notify Customers without undue delay after becoming aware of a Personal Data Breach.
If your organization is impacted by a security breach, your organization’s Security Contact(s) will be notified. Steps on how to create and maintain your Security Contact List are available here.
European Data Transfers
What is a transfer mechanism under EU Data Protection Law?
Under EU Data Protection Law, Personal Data cannot be transferred outside of Europe unless (i) the importing country has been deemed adequate by the relevant governmental body; or (ii) the data exporter has appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that the Personal Data transferred is subject to an adequate level of data protection. The “appropriate safeguards” include transfer mechanisms such as standard data protection clauses (i.e., the Standard Contractual Clauses) and binding corporate rules.
Which transfer mechanisms does Ekata offer in its DPA?
Depending on the specific Services the Principal Agreement, Ekata may transfer data based on one of two independent transfer mechanisms:
- Binding Corporate Rules (“BCRs”) – company-specific, group-wide data protection policies approved by data protection authorities to facilitate transfers of personal data outside of Europe within the Mastercard group; and
- Standard Contractual Clauses published in 2021 (the “SCCs”) – legal contracts entered into between contracting parties who are transferring personal data outside of jurisdiction to countries that have not been deemed adequate.
Does the DPA include the SCCs?
Yes, Ekata has updated its DPA to incorporate the June 2021 SCCs.
What if I have additional questions not answered in this FAQ?
If you have additional questions, please contact your Account Manager.