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Data security when outsourcing: How to protect your data

Why is data security a key outsourcing issue? 57% of companies worldwide rely on outsourcing for some part of their core business, and the security of sensitive data is a non-negotiable issue. There's no room.

The typical time to detect a data breach is a staggering 118 days, and 41% of organizations cite hybrid IT environments as their biggest cybersecurity challenge, making it a powerful tool when planning outsourcing. The need for a data protection strategy is greater than ever.

What are the risks of outsourcing data?  

The fundamental risks of data security are data breaches, loss of data reliability, and unauthorized access. Research suggests that by 2025, 60% of organizations will use cybersecurity risk as a key criterion in  business relationships with third parties4.

Additionally, compliance with industry regulations such as  GDPR and HIPAA is a key concern when outsourcing. It is critical that third parties comply with these regulations  to avoid penalties and protect your company's reputation.





The power relationship between organizations and their third-party  providers creates certain vulnerabilities.

Lack of control: Outsourcing inevitably results in a loss of control over data management and security, which can lead to potential inconsistencies in  data protection.

Dependence on the provider's security practices: The adage that you are only as strong as your weakest link is especially true here. This can be  as simple as password controls, with 62% of users sharing their passwords via email or text. If your provider lacks comprehensive security measures, your data is at risk.

Data Transfer Risks: The data transfer process  between the outsourcing company and the service provider has its own risks. Once data is transferred, there is a risk of  interception and unauthorized access, increasing the likelihood of a security breach.

Insider Threats: Differences in hiring standards and internal controls between the company and third parties can increase the risk of insider threats. Such threats can originate from service provider employees who intentionally or unintentionally compromise data security.


How can you ensure the security of your data when outsourcing? 

When it comes to data security, it's not just  what tests the offshore provider has done, but  what companies can do to ensure data security on their end. It's also important. Here are five best practices organizations should implement to minimize the risk of offshore data and build  robust protection against it.

Data access and permissions

Preventing unauthorized access: We take strict measures to prevent unauthorized access, disclosure, or transfer outside of our organization of the data we disclose to  third-party providers. This includes ensuring that all data exchanges are secure and monitored.

Restrict access: Grant permissions based strictly on the offshore employee's job requirements. This minimizes the risk of unnecessary or malicious access to your data.

Secondary authentication: Force multi-factor authentication (MFA) or token-based authentication for all users accessing your system. Only 29% of companies use multi-factor authentication2. Adding this step provides an extra layer of security and greatly reduces the risk of unauthorized access. You can never be too careful.

Monitoring and recognition

Activity monitoring: Use tools that allow you to monitor user activity within your system in real time. This helps detect suspicious behavior in a timely manner.

Security training: Regularly conduct information security training for offshore employees. This will ensure that you are aware of your responsibilities and best practices for data security.  Secure devices: Where possible, provide offshore workers with devices with pre-approved security controls. This allows you to effectively manage patching, antivirus, encryption, and other security-related aspects.

Management of equipment and work environment 

Private Workspaces: Encourage the creation of private and secure workspaces for offshore employees to minimize unauthorized access during working hours.

Limit the use of personal devices: Limit the use of personal devices for work purposes to reduce the risk of data breaches.

Prohibit recording of sensitive information: Prohibit offshore employees from using mobile devices, cameras, and even paper and pens to record sensitive information at their workplace. 4. Data protection and compliance

 

Risk Assessment: Thoroughly assess potential risks and vulnerabilities, particularly those related to personal and health information, and implement appropriate risk management measures.

Compliance policies: Create and enforce privacy, compliance, and security incident management policies. This includes establishing emergency response procedures and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations such as HIPAA and PCI DSS.

Five. Compliance with standards and frameworks

Compliance with HIPAA and PCI DSS: Where appropriate, ensure that your organization and its offshore partners are compliant with standards such as HIPAA for medical information and PCI DSS for payment card security. This includes implementing physical and technical safeguards,  data retention policies, and encryption of data transmission.

Outsourcing provider data security policies and procedures

With 95% of data breaches caused by human error6, data security policies and procedures must be robust. While each provider has a different approach to  data security, here is a general guide to what robust data security practices  should look like when outsourcing, based on Quampetence's comprehensive measures . Feel free to use this to  ask  potential or existing outsourcing providers the right questions about their data security policies.  Information technology related policies

Customizable workstation and server environments: Quampetence is a fully customizable workstation, including options to work with thin client desktops and disable USB ports and optical drives to meet client-specific security needs. provide an environment. Server and network environments are similarly adaptable, offering options for VLANs, physically separated network partitions, and MPLS links to ensure each client's data is processed within a securely configured infrastructure. will do so.

Unified Threat Management: Unified Threat Management devices provide comprehensive data and content filtering that can be fully customized to meet your specific security needs.

Endpoint security: Desktop security is centrally managed with Symantec End Point Protection, which provides robust protection against malware, ransomware, and other malicious attacks.

Network stability: The IT infrastructure is equipped with redundancy and automatic failover capabilities to ensure uninterrupted service. This fully redundant network infrastructure ensures customer data is accessible and secure even in the event of a system failure, providing peace of mind for customers who require continuous operations.

Organizational management

Robust Information Security Policy: Our information security policy prohibits illegal activities that violate our company policies, unauthorized commercial use of our systems, and activities for personal gain.

Comprehensive code of conduct: Employment contracts include confidentiality clauses to prevent data leaks. These guidelines extend to prohibitions on connecting to insecure Wi-Fi networks, unauthorized data sharing, and the use of personal ICT devices, with security exceptions. Breaching confidentiality and data protection laws is considered a serious offense and is punishable under our disciplinary policy.

Technical control

Advanced system security measures: Quamptence equips all Windows-based systems with approved antivirus software and enforces disk encryption for all personal data at rest and in transit. Multi-factor authentication is a standard requirement for system access and ensures an additional layer of security.

Network and device security protocols: Technical controls include regular patch updates and the use of tools to search for unauthorized applications. IT administrator access agreements further strengthen your security posture by restricting local administrator privileges to authorized personnel.

Physical control

On-site security measures: Surveillance cameras and workplace protection devices are installed to monitor and ensure safety in the physical workplace. Dedicated work areas with additional security protocols require employees to leave personal items at designated counters to minimize the risk of data leakage. Access control and fire protection: Access to office spaces is controlled by network-controlled proximity card devices, allowing for centralized access management. The office is equipped with sprinklers and a central fire alarm panel, ensuring a comprehensive approach to physical security.

Human resources policy

Comprehensive Pre-Employment Screening: Background checks include identity, employment and educational background checks, as well as credit checks  and criminal investigations.

Contracts and Compliance Measures: Employment contracts are reinforced with confidentiality and copyright clauses. Human Resources can help coordinate NDAs, non-compete agreements, and other provisions to ensure compliance with local labor laws. Quamptence's Code of Conduct details breaches of confidentiality and security scenarios and provides a rigorous offboarding process for suspension of access and return of assets.

How can I verify an outsourcing provider's data security controls?  To effectively assess a provider's data security measures, you should ask the following questions:


1. What certifications do you have?

2. Can you describe your data security policies and procedures? 

3. How do you ensure compliance with international data protection regulations? 

4. What technical security measures do you have in place?

 5. How do you control and monitor access to sensitive data? 

6. How often do you conduct security audits and penetration tests?

7. Can you tell us more about your incident response plan? 

8. How do we ensure the security of data in transit between our systems and yours? 

9. What training do we provide to our employees regarding data security? Do you offer

10. What  policies and technologies do you have in place for data backup and disaster recovery? 

Can data protection be outsourced? Overwhelmingly, 81% of executives have We use third-party providers for some or all of our services8. This trend is being driven by a pragmatic response to the cybersecurity skills shortage, with 70% of cybersecurity professionals recognizing the impact on their organizations9. 50% of enterprises have taken steps to outsource their cyber security operations center 2, highlighting their reliance on external third parties for critical security functions.

Here are some  types of data security roles and teams that can be effectively outsourced:

Cyber ​​security analyst.

Penetration tester or ethical hacker.

security architect.

Incident response specialist.  Security software developer.

Information security manager.

Cloud security engineer.

Network security engineer.

By outsourcing your cybersecurity role to the same provider that you outsource your other roles to, your outsourced team can benefit from professional, on-site data security assistant. This setup allows cybersecurity experts to work closely with outsourced teams for seamless integration and real-time protection. Such strategic alignment improves communication, reduces response times, strengthens your overall security posture, and provides a streamlined and effective approach to protecting your organization's critical data assets.

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