7 Tips to Secure All Your Data and Network Endpoints
If you're looking to use a third-party data management/security firm, check out this helpful list of tips and keep your data safe in the process.
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The operational infrastructure of companies across the globe has evolved over the years. Businesses are keen on outsourcing their services to specialists to achieve more profitability and cut down costs, who have proven their mettle in performing these tasks. A number of BPO vendors are in play, offering affordable services, thus enabling businesses to focus on their core competencies.
However, organizations often hesitate to outsource their services to these professionals owing to security concerns. This guide aims to help enterprises and businesses choose the right vendor while assuring absolute security.
1. Choose the right outsourcing partner
This is the most confusing part you face when you decide to proceed with outsourcing your services related requirements. A number of vendors will be waiting to offer you affordable services. However, you should be able to distinguish between the quality of services they provide.
Apart from security, have a look at the output of the leading outsourcing companies. A sample or demonstration work can be enough for you to assess their grade of service. You can also examine their website, go through the testimonials and decide whether the company can meet your criteria.
The price factor also plays a decisive role here, but make sure not to compromise on quality for peanut prices.
2. Take more control over your data through cloud-based security policies
The most common concern that worries companies when outsourcing is the integrity of their data, especially when it comes to device and network policies. After all, your BPO partner’s policies may not be similar to yours.
One way to mitigate risks here is to have control over the way your data is managed. Even with cloud-based applications and productivity solutions, this can be done likewise through a distributed platform. By engaging a firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS), for instance, your organization can have direct control over the data that you own, whether this is managed within your network, through your team’s, or even a third-party contractor.
Cato Networks, which offers an FWaaS platform for businesses that have deployed over the cloud, shares some advice with regard to ensuring data integrity and security. Given that organizations today have global locations, with dozens of locations and roaming users with both company-issued and BYOD devices, the challenge of securing data can be addressed by fully moving inspection and management to the cloud.
3. Check out their policies for intellectual property and privacy
A number of companies, especially from the digital marketing and IT domain, outsource services that are related to intellectual property. You should enter into a formal undertaking such that your intellectual assets are not misused by their employees.
4. Enforce policies for dealing with sensitive data
Irrespective of the nature of your organization, you need to focus on the security of sensitive data. Given regulatory controls over data, for instance, you need to ensure that your contractor has the necessary mechanisms to distinguish between sensitive and non-sensitive data.
Employees of the outsourcing company should only have access to data necessary to their work – other information should be secured or redacted. In case if you find that the company is not handling your data sensibly, provide them with your specification or switch over to another company providing adequate security measures.
The International Association of Privacy Professionals, for instance, offers a draft data protection policy, which you can adopt into your organization.
5. Least-privileges for data access
Although you find the company to have an impressive track record, try not to take risks. You should follow the strategy of least privilege, in which your BPO partner has minimum chances of exploiting your data; this is one of the most vital secure outsourcing tips. Integrate a monitoring mechanism to make sure that the employees at the offshore companies are not misusing your data. It is recommended not to provide all your data to them at the same time. After a contract is over, check out whether they have deleted your data from their end.
6. Conduct regular audits
Regular audits should be conducted to ensure the security of applications and databases used by the outsourcing companies. It will strengthen your security policy when you outsource your services. Through these audits, you can detect security loopholes and get them rectified. Check out flaws in their network devices, online and offline databases, and applications.
The SANS Institute offers a comprehensive security audit checklist, which your organization can adopt.
7. Check out the prevention technologies used by the company
Most of the vendors incorporate certain prevention technologies in their system. It is used to control the flow of data. You should check out these technologies in order to ensure the security of your data. Before you sign a contract, ask the prospective partner about the prevention technologies that they use. Apart from this, make sure that the employees of the offshore company really abide by the privacy policies. They might copy sensitive information from your database in other offline storage devices and drives, or steal information from your emails. Being careful from the initial stage will protect you from unnecessary hassles in the long run.
It is true that security issues pose a genuine threat to companies. However, when you have the right strategy in dealing with these problems, it becomes easy for you to choose the right partner for outsourcing your services. There is no need to be paranoid if you have control over your security policy, and if you are able to enforce and utilize such tools in protecting your data and network.
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