Outsourcing is one of today’s best practices for cost optimisation. Opting for IT outsourcing to a service provider, comes along with an element of exposing our data security aspect as well.This puts the most valuable and sensitive data assets of organisations and its clients at risk.
Data security is a combination of major factors like technology, processes and people. The inter dependencies increases the possibility of threat from any of the above quoted, be it a technology which is not up-to-date in protecting against all known attacks, processes which may have loop holes in controlling/monitoring data or people who do not have understanding/experience and are non- compliant to the security policies.
To minimise the losses and ensure a secure outsourcing, below are 8 best practices organisations should look for with their service provider:
ISO 27001 and Industry Certifications:
ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is an information security standard published on 25th September 2013. It is an industry benchmark for evaluating a service provider’s security. To be an ISO 27001 certified data center, the provider should be following best practices and measures in managing data which includes monitoring and protecting of data.
Infrastructure Compliance and Uptime:
A threshold for infrastructure promoted by think tank Uptime Institute, is Tier three-plus certification which ensures facilities are 99.982 % available to its users.
User Access to Applications and Information Systems:
Strict, documented access control policies driven by business needs and client requirements , industry standard mechanisms for password storage and two-factor authentication are the features to be looked up for.
Data centers should ensure data security while at rest and during transit by using 256 bit AES SSL encryption to ensure protection of data going through the network. There must be proper encryption of documents and authentication rules to access them.
Chain of Custody and Audits:
In case of an incident, we would need to know what exactly happened. Chain of custody for the data and user actions for applications like the user logins, coding edits etc., along with auditable log of each processed file either deleted from , loaded into or exported from the review tool would keep a record of what happened and when.
To simplify, redundancy is back up, which refers to network, power, hardware and geographic location. Multiple layers of redundancy can provide quick failover capabilities in emergency and ensure the data is safe with a maximum uptime.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity:
The most robust DCs have updated and tested incident response plans and disaster recovery protocols that validate availability of redundancy along with producing data replication to an isolated secondary data center location (geographically).Organizations should take this into critical consideration at the time of choice.
Staff Screening and Training:
Finally, staff screening and coaching is the basic for DC security implementation. DCs must use rigorous applicant screening processes, together with background checks wherever allowed underneath relevant law, make sure staff has relevant certifications, and undergo rigorous data security coaching. Organisations should get an in-depth understanding of the expertise and capabilities of the service provider’s man power, before outsourcing.