More and more businesses are choosing to outsource their back office to free up time to focus more on their core activities and improve operational efficiency. While there are clear benefits to this approach, it also masks a number of challenges, particularly those relating to data security. If you’re considering outsourcing some of your business processes, you need to think carefully about cyber security. To reduce the risks, here are 4 key points for you to consider and apply.
The importance of cyber security when outsourcing your back office
Cyber security is crucial when outsourcing the back office, where tasks such as data processing, accounting, remote secretarial services and human resources management are delegated to maximise efficiency, control costs and refocus on the core business.
However, outsourcing exposes your business to increased risks, particularly in terms of IT security, as the back office often handles sensitive information such as personal and financial data and business strategies. This information, shared with an external service provider, must be protected against unauthorised access.
Cybersecurity is of paramount importance because of current regulations, in particular the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The person responsible for the information, whether your company or the external service provider, is required to guarantee the security of the data collected, in accordance with the legal obligation imposed by the GDPR. Each party involved in outsourcing must therefore commit to complying with these regulations, thereby ensuring the security of the information system and the confidentiality of digital data.
4 key solutions for optimising cybersecurity when outsourcing the back office
Here are the main aspects to consider in order to improve cybersecurity when outsourcing the back office.
1. Categorise digital data
The aim of categorising digital data is to better identify, organise and secure critical information. Here are a few tips for effectively categorising your digital data:
- Identify the types of sensitive data that your back office is used to handling. This could be financial data, personal information or trade secrets;
- Take account of applicable regulations, such as the GDPR, to identify which data is considered sensitive;
- Categorise data according to its importance, level of confidentiality and criticality for the company;
- Use classification labels to distinguish data according to its sensitivity. You can, for example, apply the labels “confidential”, “internal” and “public”.
2. Develop and implement an access policy
Once sensitive data has been identified, it is also useful to design access policies to identify the data to which your external service provider has access. Apply an effective access control system to ensure that only authorised people have access to your critical information.
3. Choosing the right outsourcing provider
Outsourcing takes place in several stages. Once you have identified the back-office functions to be outsourced and determined the data to be shared with the service provider, the next step is to choose a professional service provider.
With this in mind, pay particular attention to factors such as experience, technical expertise in back-office outsourcing and the technologies used. Security is crucial to establishing a solid partnership, so give preference to a service provider who is committed to applying robust measures to preserve the confidentiality of your data.
To secure the storage and transfer of sensitive files across networks, make sure that an encryption system is in place. Encryption algorithms must be powerful and encryption keys must be managed appropriately.
4. Implement effective protection measures
The outsourcing company you have selected must ensure the security of your applications and your project. As specialists, they can recommend effective protection measures to secure your data. For example, they could recommend network segmentation, limiting employee access to networks while offering freer access to shared servers.
In addition, clear and strict protocols are essential for updating and managing software, systems and cybersecurity practices. This helps to reduce new vulnerabilities that hackers could easily exploit.
What are the consequences of poor cybersecurity management in the context of outsourcing?
Poor security management as part of back-office outsourcing can lead to a number of problems.
The most common consequences include:
- Data leakage: Inadequate security management as part of outsourcing can lead to leaks of sensitive data. The consequences can be disastrous for the company, including loss of customer trust, significant financial impact and legal disputes;
- Breach of compliance: poorly managed security as part of outsourcing can lead to breaches of compliance, exposing the company to legal penalties;
- Loss of control: inadequate security can lead to a loss of control over outsourced operations, as the company may no longer have any insight into how the service provider manages its data and systems;
- Service interruption: Security breaches can lead to service interruptions. This can have a direct impact on the customer’s business, causing disruption, downtime and financial loss;
- Damage to your image: security incidents linked to outsourcing are not without consequences for your company’s reputation. Customers can lose trust in the company’s ability to protect their data, which can lead to a reduction in customers and investment opportunities;
- Additional costs: Resolving security incidents can cause additional costs that could reduce your company’s profitability.
To avoid these risks, make sure you choose the right back-office outsourcing company.
Procontact, your trusted partner for back-office outsourcing
Choose ProContact for your back-office operations, such as HR outsourcing, remote secretarial services, accounting and tax management. By partnering with us, you will secure the longevity of your investment. We are committed to ensuring the security of data exchanged during outsourcing, guaranteeing the continuity of our services and preserving your brand image.