Safeguarding your business and financial data is necessary, no matter what industry you're under. Information security must be included in every business process to avoid accidental data breaches and leaks. This is especially crucial when you need to outsource work to third-party companies.
Many prospective and promising outsourcing vendors, however, lack the expertise, processes and tools to keep data private and secure. If your business, for instance, plans to outsource 2D animation work to an experienced digital art company without knowing how to safeguard your data, you could be exposing your organization to data privacy risks.
The good news is that you can take measures to keep your data secure.
Here are six ways to help you properly protect your information whenever you outsource any type of task:
1. Practice Vulnerability Management by Restricting Vendor Access
The outsourcing company probably won't need to access every computer in your organization network (unless your third-party firm is servicing them). You should keep a close eye on the specific tasks you're outsourcing to your chosen vendor. Make sure that the third-party firm only has access to specific databases and programs that they need to complete the assigned job.
A good example is to apply the Policy of Least Privilege (POLP). If your vendor, for instance, suffers an information security issue like a data breach, you can rest easy because they're locked out of the critical systems.
This policy lays out what your business expects the third-party outsourcing company to do concerning data privacy and security. Policies typically include the following information:
You should tackle this policy at the start when you and the third-party firm are hashing out the details. This will prevent misunderstandings and complications down the road. Don't forget to take into account the privacy laws employed by your outsourcing company, especially if the location of the vendor is overseas.
3. Evaluate Your Outsourcing Vendor's Information Security Measures
Take the time to periodically double-check your outsourcing provider's data safeguarding measures. Even after you've established a fruitful and long relationship with your chosen vendor, you should check in with them occasionally to find out if their data security standards are up to date. Have your company's network administrator assess the user profiles of your outsourcing firm for possible problems like:
4. Educate the Outsourcing Provider on the Proper Handling of Data
As a precautionary measure, lay down all the required processes concerning data management to the third-party company. If necessary, conduct training on the ins and outs of handling. This way, you make sure that everything runs smoothly and keep sensitive data from leaking.
5. Bolster Your Data Security Measures
Consider implementing database monitoring gateways and application layer firewalls to strengthen the data security of your organization. These measures safeguard the data from external, unauthorized access and track who's accessing the data.
6. Include Data Transfer Policies in Your Contract
Have the outsourcing provider sign a contract discussing the specifics of transmitting data. You could, for instance, require the third-party firm to:
Create a strategy before you outsource any task to a third-party vendor. You'll be in a better position to pre-emptively counter possible cybersecurity threats and attacks when you have the appropriate data security and privacy measures in place.
by Iconic Chica mag Contributors
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