Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Security is a major issue in outsourcing

When it comes to outsourcing, security is a must, not an option.

Outsourcing involve to significant extent transmitting corporate data sometimes to and from halfway across the globe. Technology and the Internet makes it possible, for example, for a US company processing credit card transactions to send information across to India.

It only makes sense for a client to demand from a service provider that the they make sure no sensitive information is in danger of being "leaked" to outside parties.

META Group includes data security and protection as among the top 10 risks to offshore outsourcing.

A Gartner analyst, meanwhile, stressed the importance of security, and understanding the risks involved, during the early stages of negotiations for an outsourcing deal especially those which involved offshore work.

On the part of the client, this means a more pro-active role from its technical staff.

Gartner recommends that a company's security staff should be included in the operations management functions, working with the service provider's delivery management staff.

Not only should they be concerned with security alone, they should also be involved in strategic planning when standards, architecture and integration decisions are made.

Gartner recommends that large enterprises audit prospective enterprise service providers to ensure the policy and control of outsourced functions or systems meet the enterprise's security standards.

Companies unable to do so are advised to hire a third-party company to do an independent audit.

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