Information security and IP protections are more important than ever, considering the resounding impacts of the latest security breaches and the numerous points of vulnerability. In 2018 alone, Facebook, Uber, Google+, T-Mobile, and FIFA all experienced security breaches with each breach affecting, at a minimum, millions of users and costing millions of dollars. In fact, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S is $7.9 million USD and takes 201 days to discover.
In light of these breaches and the fact that over 56% of companies don't have information security protection strategies in place, it's more necessary than ever to ensure IP and information security protections, especially when outsourcing development.
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When entering into software development outsourcing engagements, organizations want to be absolutely certain they are working with a partner that has robust and comprehensive security protocols in place. First to ensure security and safeguard the company's intellectual property, but also because client security concerns are sometimes amplified in nearshore outsourcing engagements when the vendor is located in a different country.
These concerns emphasize the need to find a nearshore software development partner that is experienced in security practices and IP protections. When evaluating vendors on security practices, consider following the tips to make sure you don't compromise on security.
1. Identify your own security vulnerabilities
Enter the conversation prepared. When you understand the vulnerabilities in your system and the potential risks you'll be facing if an event were to occur, you can have a more informed conversation with your nearshore partner. Based on your specific needs, you and your partner can build robust security practices.
2. Make sure your vendor meets any special industry regulations
Outsourcing vendors have usually worked with clients from a variety of different industries, but they might not be well versed in the regulations required to collect, store, and analyze data in particular cases. For example, HIPAA regulates patient health data in the US and the GDPR, which recently went into effect in the European Union, protects user data in general. Both of these outline specific requirements for companies working with user data, and carry heavy penalties for noncompliance.
3. Ask for security certifications
ISO 27001 is one of the most robust information security certifications companies can get, and for good reason. The certification requirements are rigorous and require organizations to think about the conditions as a continually improving part of their information security protections. And, in order to remain certified, companies must be recertified every 3 years.
4. Carefully review security and IP protection practices
Depending on your project, you might require different security practices for different teams or applications. For example, your vendor partner should be able to tell you the basics of the physical security measures in the office. Are there biometric scanners at each entrance? Do employees have IDs and do they sign NDA agreements? Additionally, your vendor should also be able to give you detailed information about information security practices and IP protections beyond physical security.
5. Ensure your application/project is protected at every stage
Related to the previous point, this tip is meant to ensure the chosen vendor is protecting your application or product at every stage of the process, e.g., secure coding and data protection practices and comprehensive, company-wide security practices implemented at the company and project levels.
If you have questions about security protections when working with a nearshore software development partner, get in touch with us today.