5 Cybersecurity Practices to Enforce When Working with International Outsourcing Partners

Cybersecurity Practices

The time when setting up an international business seemed impossible has long passed. Instead, going global is becoming more frequent, with most large firms having some foreign presence.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are now looking to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as a potential answer. With the benefits they bring to businesses, the BPO industry has seen a boom in popularity. Due to this, many anticipate the global BPO market to reach over $340 billion by 2025. 

The Risks Of International Outsourcing

BPO brings many advantages to the table that any business can leverage. However, there is one concern that comes to mind when thinking about outsourcing, which is security.

Security risks are a part of doing business internationally. When a company conducts business in multiple countries, it is vulnerable to the various data security risks connected with each one, on top of the cybersecurity threats of its country of origin.

This situation becomes more complex with the differences in managing data security between outsourcing partners. Moreover, businesses must have system security measures that abide by local laws and regulations. Otherwise, they may face penalties that can significantly affect their company.

5 Cybersecurity Practices When Working with International Outsourcing Partners

As the world becomes more globally connected, businesses must know how to navigate these cybersecurity threats and protect their data. Here are the top cybersecurity measures you can enforce when working with international outsourcing partners.

1. Check your systems

This practice may sound obvious, but remember that you will share information with an outsourcing provider. So, ensure you have a good firewall and internet security before you begin.

If your company conducts business in many countries, you must develop its situational awareness. In other words, ensure that your business can detect problems and potential threats. You must be sure that your company addresses the concerns specific to each nation in which it operates.

This step doesn’t just make you feel comfortable with your security precautions. It may also inform you what inquiries to ask of any possible outsourcing firm.

2. Set security measures

Investing and putting time into this step will benefit your business in the long run. There are numerous security measures you can choose to enforce, such as creating a solid Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This document outlines your roles and expectations around data security, information sharing, and creative rights.  

The NDA will also state the responsibilities of the outsourced firms on data security. For example, they must have reliable internet security and a firewall. Furthermore, the NDA must include clearly defined repercussions if your international outsourcing partner doesn’t follow it. Terms in this document must be agreed upon and signed by both parties. 

Additionally, you can install reliable data encryption programs for information exchange and archiving. You can also consider using an identity and access manager (IAM) to ensure that you give proper access according to an employee’s role. These measures allow for better data management. 

3. Manage the risk

Information security risk is inevitable when conducting business with international companies. However, what is critical is that you manage this risk. And you can do so by employing an information security risk management (ISRM) strategy that is suitable to the location of the company’s operations.

For example, Estonia may have a different set of information security concerns than other countries. On the other hand, business disruption is the biggest risk in various nations, including Brazil, Switzerland, and Italy.

Businesses can use ISRM to assist them in risk management based on their risk tolerance. An ideal ISRM strategy consists of identifying assets, vulnerabilities, threats, and controls as well as the processes of assessment, treatment, and communication. With this, you can provide a solid business continuity plan and appropriate security measures that help reduce risks.

4. Employ risk mitigation controls

Risk mitigation controls are actions a company takes to reduce the threats that come with conducting business (or any other activity). Organizations typically have five to ten risk mitigation controls in their arsenal. The top risk mitigation measures companies use are as follows:

  • Recovery exercise
  • Recovery strategy
  • Recovery team
  • Recovery plan
  • Business impact analysis
  • Third-party supplier risk
  • Training and awareness

When it comes to risk mitigation measures, the more you can set up, the better off you will be. Each of the risk mitigation controls listed above has its place. Additionally, the nature of doing business internationally may make third-party supplier risk more significant. As such, establishing a combination of these controls is crucial.

5. Observe and examine

The failure to continuously monitor and audit security processes may be the leading cause of security failure. With that, you must regularly check if your company is following your security measures. Likewise, checking on your outsourcing partner is a must to ensure that they are upholding the set security terms of the contract. 

If not, you must hold the outsourcing firm accountable.

Before you commit

Taking risks is a necessary component of doing business in an international setting. However, you can minimize, address, and even prevent them with the proper measures. 

Adopting a thorough risk management controls system allows your organization to weather the storm that a global business brings. Moreover, a data security risk management plan can ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

Above all, ensure you know what you’re getting into before committing, especially when it involves your data.

What benefits can outsourcing bring to your company?

By outsourcing less crucial duties, you’ll free up time and space to concentrate on your strengths and those of your internal team.

This advantage guarantees that your staff remains productive without focusing on too many time-consuming activities or onboarding more employees. You can further leverage these benefits by following the best practices for outsourcing.

What types of services are available for outsourcing?

Some examples of tasks you can outsource to third parties include customer support, web chat, payroll, bookkeeping, lead generation, web design, and marketing.

It’s a good practice to set up one or two days per week for required check-ins. Doing so allows you to address issues at the designated check-in times, and it’s an effective method for employees to express any worries or challenges they may be having at work.

Set up online meetings with your team to discuss plans, problems, and current events. Ask your team for suggestions on streamlining the workflow as you listen to them.

Will outsourcing cause me to lose control over the quality of my business services?

No. You have every right to ensure that the team providing your services possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out the assigned tasks following your organization’s requirements.


Cybersecurity Practices

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Hi! AJ is the founder and editor of GPF, He is passionate about marketing, trends and business things. Guest Post Feed is an online news, trends and information website that provides meaningful knowledge about business, finance, marketing, lifestyle, and much more.

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