How to Manage Cyber Security in an Outsourced IT Project

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Some simple yet important protocols to follow for minimizing risk when outsourcing.

One of the main concerns for companies that are considering outsourcing their IT projects is the issue of cyber security. Specifically, they often wonder how they can ensure that their important digital assets are kept safe and confidential when working with third parties.

The concern is not unfounded: the Covid-19 crisis has seen the already-significant prevalence of cyber attacks rise to unprecedented levels, with victims now not only limited to large corporations, but frequently small and medium-sized businesses too.

So, it is understandable that cyber security is an issue that all business owners and mangers should be aware of. But does the threat mean you shouldn’t entrust anyone outside of your company with your IT projects?

The answer is: not necessarily. Below, we’ll cover some of the basic steps and points to consider when choosing an IT outsource partner. This will ensure that you not only have peace of mind when it comes to your cyber security, but increase your company’s cyber security in the process too.

1. Know your data

If you have already made the decision to outsource some or all of your IT work to an IT service provider or developer, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding and inventory of all of your digital assets and data.

A professional, trusted IT service provider will be able to assist you in this task. Once you have organized and segregated your data and digital assets into clearly-defined categories, your IT service provider will be able to help you in assigning these categories varying degrees of importance and security risk.

Then, when delegating IT tasks to your IT outsourcing partner, they will be able to give you transparent and justified reasons for what data they need in order to effectively carry out their tasks.

2. Choose your partners wisely

It goes without saying that you should research the IT outsource partners you choose to work with. Don’t only rely on their own website; search for independent reviews, and approach their previous clients for feedback independently.

Beyond being sure that you are working with a legitimate company, it’s also important to ask your potential IT outsourcing partner about the cyber security protocols they follow. Ask about how they secure their servers, what software they work with, and if they have ever suffered serious security breaches in the past.  

3. Implement fail-safes

If the IT outsourcing partner you are in discussions with is serious about cyber security, they will be able to make clear suggestions for various ways to implement safeguards to boost the security of your project and/or digital assets.

These can include practices such as network segmentation, where their own developers only have access to shared servers that do not grant total access to your own data.

They should also be able to demonstrate clear and strict protocols for patch management, ensuring that their own cyber security software, systems and practices are constantly updated and managed to prevent hackers from exploiting new vulnerabilities.

4. Remain Vigilant

It’s important to always remember that cyber security is not a goal to be reached – it is a continuous process that requires active pursuit and attention. Your IT outsourcing partner or in-house team should be able to give you regular reports on the security measures and protocols they are following, and updates on the status of attacks or vulnerabilities.

Do you have an IT project you want to outsource, but are concerned about cyber security? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to explain the advanced cyber security protocols and measures we both follow and can provide to our customers.

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