Security Importance in the Relationship with
Your Outsourced IT Vendor
Information security should be considered just as important as every other aspect of the vendor selection process, even more so if there is a lot of sensitive information that will be involved.
When companies and organizations search for a suitable outsourced IT vendor to complete projects or operations, they often focus on the direct business benefits that each vendor’s product offers. This can sometimes mean that the security provided by the vendor gets overlooked, or at least becomes a secondary concern compared to ensuring that the outsourced IT vendor has the requisite skills and expertise for the main tasks.
Building a relationship based on trust between the customer and vendor helps each party develop a better understanding of the most important issues. The customer will be allowing the vendor access to their IT systems and personal information so the customer must ensure the vendor complies with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as any relevant industry standards.
Vendor Privacy and Security Negotiations
Privacy and data security terms should be negotiated at the same time as addressing all the other contract provisions. When it is left to the end, once everything else has been sorted, then the customer may feel pressure to compromise on privacy and security issues in order to finalize the deal.
One way to address data privacy issues effectively is to formalize the vendor selection process by creating a request for proposal. This encourages the vendors to propose a much more comprehensive and detailed offer of services that includes their commitment to data privacy and security.
Operational Due Diligence
Every company or organization looking at outsourcing should conduct due diligence on their own operations first. They should fully understand any and all potential implications of security breaches. To do this, you must determine exactly what type of services your organization needs the outsourced firm to perform and how much access to sensitive data they will require to perform those duties.
You can lower the security risk by simply minimizing the vendor’s exposure to highly sensitive data or systems, though this can of course place restrictions on exactly what the vendor is capable of achieving.
Once the internal risks have been assessed, examine the vendor’s policies and procedures as well as their own internal controls and training protocols. Make sure they are capable of adapting to the ever-changing data security landscape and that they comply with all of the relevant privacy-related laws and regulations.
Vendor Security Assessment Questions
Asking the right questions of any potential vendors should give you plenty of insight into their commitment to security. You should ask what protections they offer and about the vendor’s current information security procedures. Plus, you should check if the vendor intends to subcontract any of the services they provide, and if so find out who the subcontractor is and their security procedures.
Other questions to ask include how often the vendor performs risk assessments, and whether they use automated tools. If they do use automated tools, then you will need to know which ones they are and how they will be used.
Also, consider the worst-case scenario of a serious data breach. Ask the vendor what their incident response plan is and whether or not they have experience of dealing with data breaches in the past.
If you have any questions about security or you would like to know more about what we have in place, please contact our team on +1 800 9747219 ext. 202 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, complete the form on our contact page here and a member of our team will help.