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Security Concerns with Outsourcing IT Services

Security Concerns with Outsourcing IT Services

Outsourcing has become very common in recent years, especially in the field of Information Technology. So that companies can focus more on their core business, it makes sense to outsource many of their IT services and work to external organizations. In addition to this, quite often outsourcing can provide a cheaper means of labor if sent off shore, which enables the company to reduce costs and remain competitive. There are however security concerns with outsourcing IT services, some of which include maintaining privacy of sensitive data, quality of service and awareness of local laws and regulations. Vacca’s Computer and Information Security Handbook reminds us that in outsourcing situations, “even non-employees have rights to view/create/delete some of the most sensitive data assets within an organizations.”

In order to effectively secure outsourced activities, it is essential to have in place proper procedures. Securing transfer of data is equally as important as the procedures on how the external organization will store this data and secure it within their facility. Karabulut et al. (2007) discusses the effectiveness of a developing a data protection agreement between the company and its contractor to ensure that they maintain the high level of security expected to protect data and only make it available to authorized parties. Other countries do not have as effective privacy laws and regulations and therefore the use of such an agreement becomes even more important. Alexander at CIO News wrote an article for Search CIO discussing some of the issues with outsourcing. He provided advice on reducing or eliminate the need to send highly sensitive data where possible, for example replacing social security numbers with some other form of unique identifier.

As companies hire or contract out to other organizations both within the United States and abroad, effective security measures must continue to be put in place. Where possible, background checks should take place and processes should be implemented to effectively monitor activities of data access and transactions closely. In the cases where the cost of security may outweigh the benefits of outsourcing, the organization should re-evaluate it’s long-term outsourcing strategy and determine if certain services or work should simply remain within the company.

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8 Comments

  1. Paige Green

    Wow I never realized that outsourcing could possibly come with many problems. Thanks for the post.

    Reply
  2. Landon Graves

    Thanks for the advice. I am still up in the air about outsourcing.

    Reply
  3. Kelly Smith

    Would you suggest outsourcing? Or is it more of a hassle?

    Reply
  4. Doug Kline

    Any secure, trustworthy outsourcing companies you know of?

    Reply
  5. Lucas Parker

    Wow, I never really thought much about security concerns like that. Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Kayla Morris

    Outsourcing has it’s setbacks, but is still great!

    Reply
  7. Audrey of Infinit Outsourcing

    Security is essential and there are many ways of making sure that your business is protected when outsourcing. One good tip is to evaluate a provider by examining their international accreditations.

    Reply
  8. tf61

    Everything has its own drawbacks, outsourcing is no different. But I have to agree with Kayla that its great!

    Reply

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