Data Security When Managing Offshore Teams

The growth of data in leaps and bounds is provoking every business to catch hold of data. These data offer valuable insights for businesses and thus extracting information from data becomes vital. However, it is a daunting task for businesses to monitor the growing data and get the maximum out of it. Also, for a fact we know that, more and more businesses are crippled under the thought that their important data will be misused. This brings us to the major threat of current businesses - Data breaches or Data leaking or famously known as data security threats. Yes, one of the common factors that disrupt business normal operation is security attacks. 

Data leaks and security threats are the most dangerous points where businesses lose trust of their users. The information leakage occurs accidentally. But to restore your business, it is important to take preventive measures and get rid of these security concerns. So, if we understand this, there are various business scenarios where we will see hampering of data and you don't know what to do to save it. Especially when you have geographic boundaries when there are offshore teams the communication becomes more challenging. 

Through this blog, we would give you a reality check on how data breaches are already spreading like a weed. What are the things we must take care of during such events, what are the pre-conditions and how to tackle data security concerns with offshore teams? So, without any ado let's see the reality first.

A Reality Check on Data Breaches

1. A report published by IBM in 2021 shows that the highest average cost in the past 17 years is paid for securing data. Data breach costs rose from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million, the highest average total cost in the 17-year history of this report.

2. Also, In the year 2021, over half of Americans were concerned about data breaches in natural disasters and personal safety. According to studies in today's world, a single data breach on a firm might affect millions of people - Source.

3. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notified drivers of a data breach on February 18, 2021, after a ransomware assault on billing provider Automatic Funds Transfer Services - Source.

4. After a software flaw revealed account information, an unidentified number of customers of the audio streaming service Spotify had their passwords changed on December 10, 2020 - IdentityForce.

From these facts, it is quite clear that data breaching potential security threats are spreading like fire among users. So to give your businesses a real check, it is important for businesses to make a strategic plan for securing their mission-critical data. In this process, we just wanted to highlight how knowingly or unknowingly businesses tend to acquire personal information of other businesses or their users. 

These stats will make companies aware of the fact that how dangerous it is for businesses to ignore the consequences of data leakage. This begs us to question what if businesses are working with offshore teams, how should they ensure the security of critical business information. But before that, we must know what are the ways data security can be hampered and what can a business do to protect it.

Why What and How of Data Security

Data security refers to the safeguards put in place by a firm to prevent unwanted access to its databases, websites, and systems. Essentially, this procedure provides a safeguard against data loss or corruption. Data is an asset to businesses and they must take all measures to protect the data of their clients and users. So, here we are talking about working with offshore teams and then managing the security aspects. This sounds really challenging for businesses but if they know what all factors can challenge their data then this can be taken care of. 

Factors Impacting the Security of Data

1. Security Vulnerabilities with Loopholes

The information security experts have been accumulating data on hacking exploits and have been successful on hacking data from businesses of dozens of nations. Your entire unlocked data set is up for the taking. If employees have physical access, it's even worse. Someone could break into your office and steal your information. With your offshore development team, go over the vulnerability in detail. Prepare to respond if an attempt is made. Perform a fast check of your systems to look for unlocked data and assign permissions.

Many of these security flaws, however, go unpatched for long periods of time.If you don't patch these ancient security flaws, hackers will have unrestricted access to your company's most sensitive data.

2. Human-made Errors 

Human error is not some obscure or forgotten security flaw, in fact it is one of the most common causes of data breaches. Humans won't do it intentionally but unintentionally they create weak passwords; send sensitive information to the incorrect recipients; sharing password/account information, and falling for phishing schemes are all examples of security risks. A maximum of these human errors can be avoided if personnel are aware of fundamental data security procedures.

3. Security Malware

Malware isn't simply a concern for employees' personal computers; it's also a growing threat aimed directly at your company's infrastructure. While the majority of these "malware incidents" are insignificant, the sheer volume of them can be alarming. Furthermore, there is a great deal of variety among malware samples.

4. Data Theft from Transferring Device

Theft of a gadget with your company's sensitive information is the last on our list, but it is not the least dangerous. Laptops, desktops, cellphones, tablets, hard drives, thumb drives, CDs & DVDs, and even servers fall under this category. The severity of a data breach caused by a stolen device is primarily determined on the type of data stored on the devices

Data Security Challenges with Offshore Teams

Due to opportunism or misunderstanding, your data security may be jeopardized. It can be untrustworthy employees that may work for you but sell your data to a third party. This usually means fear of offshore companies. They think since the partnered company is offshore they could also release a knockoff product. Theft of intellectual property is a legal issue. This is not it, there can also be some financial apps whose financial data is breached or it could be payment information that is leaked. All of this can create an unpredictable situation and businesses can lose the thorn. 

As a result, select a dependable partner and confirm that their merchants are credible. To avoid any issues, use explicit language in the contracts. If necessary, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

4 Effective Ways to Manage Data Security with Offshore Teams

It is really a complex challenge when working with offshore teams, the lack of face-to-face contact remains a major challenge. Another important concern is the client cannot go and visit them again and again to check the work, it takes a lot of costs. And if the third-party company is misusing the data then this is where investigation comes into play.

The first step to this is 

Apply Due Diligence

Stop being hesitant and start doing your homework. You must identify the finest offshore outsourcing site for your company and investigate the benefits and drawbacks of each region.

Drill down to create a logical project scope and compare estimates to come up with a realistic project budget.

Sign an NDA before initializing the Project

To protect your intellectual properties, you must ensure that there are some legal actions if the data gets leaked.  Signing an NDA will protect you from any data or information breach and you don’t have to worry about the implementation of the project too. Everything will get smooth with this

Make Safety a top priority

Protecting the IP and the project from any security breach is one of the most important components of managing offshore teams. When working with remote teams, you should take security precautions such as signing a stringent non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that is notarized by an attorney. Analyze and examine the networking monitoring options. Access to systems and project data that is only granted to those who are authorized. There is no off-site access to sensitive client information. You must make sure that the standard data protection policies are signed and sealed.

Make it a Two-way street

Instead of making a one-time deal, form partnerships: ensure to the dedicated offshore team that, unlike project-based outsourcing, this one works as an extension of your in-house team. You can also pass on your methods and culture to the offshore crew as you use them for your work, and this forms a partnership. Working with a team on long-term projects helps to establish a level of trust and understanding that may be used for future initiatives.

Final Words

There are unconditional advantages of Offshore software development and most of the companies want to take benefit of it. But in this process, trust becomes a major screener for doing business. If third-party companies do not pass the reliability screening test there is no way of partnership. Data security becomes the utmost priority of businesses and with so many cases of data breaches happening around, it becomes important to sign an NDA. NDA and other aspects of data protection like network monitoring, no unauthorized action will be allowed for third-party companies in the wake of managing security and having a trustable business relationship.