Our Zero Data Hero Customer Spotlight series highlights the stories of VGS customers who have joined our Zero Data mission to protect the world’s information.
Streamline using VGS to differentiate itself and remove risk from its business
Today’s Zero Data Hero is Chris Spears, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of Streamline VRS.
Q - Tell us about Streamline?
Chris - Streamline is the leading provider of vacation rental software. Our customers are based in North America and range from smaller property management companies, with 25 to 100 units, to much larger ones with 1000’s of units. Our platform helps our customers manage important functions like reservations, accounting, housekeeping, and integrates with booking channels like Expedia, HomeAway and Airbnb to name just a few. We believe that we are the most secure, reliable and innovative software in our industry. Security for us is a focus and we view it as a major differentiator. We handle billions of dollars per year of our customers’ financial transactions so having inadequate security is not an option.
Q - How did Streamline approach the challenge of PCI compliance?
Chris - PCI is the most important compliance requirement in our industry. Our customers ask about it all the time. From the beginning we wanted to do right by our customers and also, as I mentioned, differentiate ourselves in terms of security. Finally, we wanted to remove a bet-the-company type risk from the table due to a security breach. All these requirements pointed to us needing to work with the experts in compliance and security. That’s how we found Very Good Security in 2016.
Q - What does Zero Data mean to you?
Chris - Zero Data to us is all about removing risk. Data privacy, regulations, sensitive data all carry with them risk. We want to remove risk from our company, our applications, and most importantly our customers. We’ve started the Zero Data approach in a very disciplined manner. It began with credit card data, then financial data and ultimately we will remove all PII from our systems. Also, as our company begins to expand internationally I’m sure our Zero Data footing will help with regulations such as GDPR.
Q - How has VGS helped Streamline?
Chris - You’ve helped us in a number of ways. Primarily you’ve really taken on the burden and risk of our sensitive credit card data. This helps us to focus more on our core business. Also, I’d say that you’ve been a great development partner. We’ve worked together developing new APIs, as well as, encrypting the data from our new point of sale chip credit card readers which are still in development.
Q - How do you see the relationship evolving over time?
Chris - The security demands of our industry will only increase. Consumers will continue to push for more privacy and we’ll see more regulation. With these trends we’ll end up leveraging more and more of VGS’ service. We’ll also continue our journey of using VGS for all PCI data, all financial data and then ultimately all PII data.
Q - How do you quantify the benefit of VGS?
Chris - For a company like ours you are looking at a minimum of six figures per year to achieve and maintain PCI compliance.
With VGS we can reduce this cost by 80%, and we also have the immeasurable benefit of removing that bet-the-company type risk that I mentioned earlier if a breach occurred.
Q - Any advice for other startups who are beginning their PCI journey?
Chris - Yes, get professional help. It will pay for itself. Unless you have deep expertise don’t even think of doing this yourself. With a service like VGS you can quickly minimize your scope and your risk exposure. You’ve got other more important things to worry about when building a company.
Q - Who is your favorite superhero and why?
Chris - I particularly like Ms. Marvel also known as Carol Danvers. I like her because her powers are at a galaxial scale – I think she is the most powerful of all and tends to go about her business without a lot of drama, just like Streamline!
Q - How can people sign up with Streamline?
Chris - To learn more you can visit us at www.streamlinevrs.com.
About Streamline Vacation Rental Software
Streamline Vacation Rental Software is smart, modern, powerful, and truly one of a kind. With more than a decade of innovation and proven excellence, Streamline’s cutting edge solution enables companies to streamline operations and maximize their profits. Streamline has quickly become an industry leader, raising the bar in the realm of property management technology. More than just a software, Streamline is a long term business solution formulated by property managers to solve their evolving needs.