Data Security Checklist for Hiring Outsourcing Partners

Hiring Outsourcing Partners Overview

Outsourcing enables organizations to offload their back-office functionalities to dedicated third parties so as to concentrate on their core business operations. However, since the outsource provider has accessibility to your data and applications, data security is something that cannot be overlooked while availing the services of third parties.

Cyber attackers and malicious elements take advantage of any loopholes in order to gain access to your functionalities. This can compromise your data as well as take a heavy toll on your trustworthiness as far as the customers are concerned.

The most consideration to be kept in mind while selecting an outsourcing provider is whether they comply with the latest information security policies. Consider certifications like ISO 27001 and ISMS as the benchmark and discerning criteria while choosing an outsource provider. Outsourcing to providers who are certified with ISO 27001 and ISMS ensures that they have in-house measures that guarantee the best security and compliance thus ensuring that your data is in safe hands.


Let’s explore some of the points you should consider while availing of the services of outsourcing providers.

Top 5 Data Security Checklist For Selecting an Outsourced Service Provider

1)Identify the Security Needs Associated With Your Operations and Map it to the Service Levels of an Outsource Provider

Prior to outsourcing, you should identify your business needs and objectives. Any IT outsourcing service provider guarantees you a minimal level of security without incurring any additional overhead. Most of the service providers offer security mechanisms based on encryption, encipherment, firewalls, etc. The ultimate thing that matters is what you need to add on top of it. Sometimes you may end up availing out of the world security and compliance mechanisms that your operations may not even demand, thus ultimately paying up for the wrong service.

2) Outsource Provider Should Have a Skilled Team of Security Experts

The outsourcing service partner should have dedicated, skilled and certified experts. Small and mid-sized companies may find it difficult to maintain an in-house team of cyber security experts as their competencies may demand top-notch perks, adding to that the dearth of expertise and talents. Hiring the services of third parties enables enterprises to offload such overheads. You should ensure that the outsource provider has a dedicated in-house team of cyber security experts who can address your requirements. Also, ensure that the service provider has a flexible range of pricing plans to address your variable workload requirements.

3) The Outsourced Service Provider Should be Compliant With the Latest Security Regulations

Many business enterprises that handle critical and sensitive data and applications are averse to availing the services of third parties. A third-party vendor will have access to your business data. Any compromise on your data from the part of the service provider can put your future operations in looming uncertainty and a critical question on your trustworthiness. Hence you should double-check that the service provider is an ISO 27001 and ISMS certified company, and follow the latest set of security regulations based on GDPR. Having compliance certification means they do value the data privacy and information security of the clients.

4) Outsource Partner Should Have Established Channels of Communication

While availing of the services of an outsource provider you should ensure that they have established and a well officiated system of communication. Using an unofficial mode of communication can lead to communication gaps as well as a lack of accountability which impedes the information handoff from one stage to the succeeding stages. It can also compromise the actual intention with which the communication was made. An established and official mode of communication can enable the client to better raise their issues and get them addressed by the concerned authority. Also established channels of communications enable better routing of the messages thus ensuring a hierarchy of communication flow depending on the nature of the message.

5) Identify the Key Performance Indicators of the Outsource Provider

Before using the services of third parties you should ensure that they have good and reasonable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the key metrics that determine the quality of their operations. An NPS of above 60 ensures that the outsource partner is reliable and offers at least a minimum level of reasonable operational efficiency and excellence. The NPS of an outsource provider is determined on the basis of the satisfaction level of the existing clients who have availed of the services of the outsource provider. The Higher the NPS the better is the client’s experience with the service provider. A good NPS also means good KPI metrics. Some of the KPI metrics are as follows

5.1) Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

It is a measure of the meantime that exists between the system or product failures when determining the reliability of the operations.

5.2) Mean Time to Detect (MTTD)

It is the time duration during which security threats and vulnerabilities go unnoticed. It is a measure of the time required for the service provider to become aware of the presence of a threat.

5.3) Mean Time to Contain (MTTC)

It is the measure of the time required to contain and offset the effects of a detected threat.

5.4) Mean Time to Acknowledge (MTTA)

It is the time required to address the threat after having acknowledged its presence.

5.5) Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR)

It is the time required for an organization to recover from a system or product failure.

5.6) Days to Patch

It is a measure of how long it takes for an organization to implement security patches. Cyber attackers often exploit loopholes that are created by unpatched applications which enables them to gain access to your data and applications.

Conclusion

Creating a checklist before selecting an outsource provider can enable you to map your underlying requirements with the service levels that are offered by the service provider. While choosing a service provider it is very important to analyze their track record with respect to the KPIs that we have seen. A reliable outsourced service provider can offer enhanced compliance and security for your applications and data thus ensuring that your services are free from the clutches of malicious elements.

Activelobby is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISMS certified company that focuses on services centered around public and private cloud platforms and associated products. We have a dedicated approach to information security management that describes and demonstrates our commitment to the information security of our clients. We help you to assess, identify and address the potential vulnerabilities and threats that surround your applications and data and thus safeguard your day-to-day functionalities and operations. Our services offer the best compliance with POPIA and GDPR based regulations.

Our cloud computing services offer the best compliance and security measures based on secure end to end encryption of services, information backups, Multi-factor authentication (MFA), deterrent and corrective controls, in-line and out of band network monitoring, security firewalls, etc that guarantees the best visibility and insights into your operations that enables to you to diagnose potential threats and get them nipped in the bud. We ensure the secure management and administration of your servers based on SSH and SSL authentications, VPN networks, using security compliant protocols like HTTPS and SFTP.

Our application development deploys the DevSecOps standards that ensure end-to-end security of our software development life cycle right from the outset of the code deployment stage to the very delivery phase of the application.

With Activelobby security will no longer be a constraint and concern for you.

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