How to Keep Data Secure When Outsourcing

How to Keep Data Secure When OutsourcingAn estimated 300,000 jobs are outsourced annually from the US alone. Businesses of all sizes have been leveraging this option for decades in an attempt to cut costs and gain access to a global pool of talent. But while tapping into external sources can be beneficial in many ways, it can also open the door to cybersecurity risks. The good news is, with the right approach and proper preparation, your organization can enjoy the advantages of outsourcing while also keeping your network and data safe. Here’s how.

Start In-House – Before you even think about passing on some of the workload to an external provider, make sure you have a solid cybersecurity incident response strategy in place. The most effective plan will cover every end of the spectrum – from detection to automated response to remediation and recovery. If you don’t yet have this type of protection in place, the time to do so is now.

Choose Wisely – The next step in ensuring adequate security of your network and data requires that you are very careful when selecting the vendors to whom you will be outsourcing. Make sure that they too have strong security policies and procedures in place and that they have a good track record of keeping their clients’ data safe. Do your homework or risk a potential breach.

Apply the PoLP Rule – The Principle of Least Privilege (also sometimes referred to as the principle of least authority) is an IT security rule that limits the access of users based on their job duties. It basically states that only those who have a direct “need to know” will have access to certain systems, computers, files, networks, etc. This is important, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity with outsourcing. Make sure you are only granted the necessary amount of access and keep a close watch at all times.

Audit Regularly – Build in ongoing network monitoring and regular audits into your normal routine to ensure that any potential issues that occur are identified and addressed as quickly as possible. This will also help you determine whether the vendor you’ve chosen is still in line with the cybersecurity policies and procedures that they originally put in place. If not, it may be time to reassess your approach and make some changes.

Optimal Use of Technology – This is important on both ends of the spectrum. Internally, you’ll want to employ the use of the latest in cybersecurity IR technology to provide an added level of data and network protection. Likewise, you’ll want to verify that the outsourcing vendor you’re using is also leveraging advanced technology to ensure adequate security.

Outsourcing can be a great option, particularly for smaller to mid-sized organizations, as it can help achieve a greater degree of competitiveness without the hefty expense of keeping staff in-house. But if you plan on opening your virtual doors to an external party, you’d better make sure you’re taking the appropriate measures to avoid potential data breaches.

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