Businesses always have hesitations against outsourcing business processes because of the sensitivity of some of their data. But companies also lose a lot of opportunities when they don’t outsource some components of their business. Outsourcing is such an impactful process in any industry right now. It saves a lot of time and reduces the need for more workers. It also saves money and makes your current workforce more productive.
You can outsource practically anything in your business—human resources, payrolls, recruitment, marketing, advertising, and legal needs. In some law firms, they even outsource legal document retrieval even though this job is composed of sensitive data and information. How can they be confident enough to outsource legal research and the recovery of legal documents? Isn’t that a privacy issue for clients?
Put a Good Security Policy in Place
Ensure that your organization has a good security policy in place. This includes data classification, which involves classifying data between sensitive and standard data. Make sure that the company won’t have access to your business’ sensitive information. The policy should be clear on what documents can be shared with the third-party provider. The company’s stakeholders and employees should be aware of these policies, so they don’t accidentally share sensitive information with the business outsourcing company.
Choose the Right Vendor
The most crucial step to outsourcing your business processes is to pick the right vendor. Always choose a vendor that has a good reputation in the industry. You can ask some industry friends for recommendations. When determining whether to hire a vendor or not, check their security policy. Ensure that the vendor also follows a strict policy about information-sharing in their company. The vendor must have guidelines in place on how to protect the data shared by their clients.
Make sure that the vendor also understands the security policy you have in place. Will they follow your guidelines? How are they going to handle your data and information? Make this very clear with the vendor to avoid misunderstanding later. Put it down in writing and get it notarized by a lawyer. This is for your protection, as well as the protection of the vendor.
Database monitoring gateways and firewalls will help protect the data you have on your computers. These will stop privilege abuses as some employees are prone to doing. When selecting a vendor, pick the one with these devices and programs installed in their systems. This will ensure that whatever information you share with them is protected and secured.
Check Training and Education
The vendor should educate its staff and crew about how to handle sensitive information. Is the staff trained in intellectual property? Do they know how to use systems to protect the data you will share with them? Who is going to have access to your data? Certainly, the vendor’s whole crew should not be able to access your company information.
Execute Confidentiality Agreements
Draft the appropriate legal documents to protect your data. The most common type of confidentiality agreement is the non-disclosure agreement (NDA). It is a legal contract that binds the confidential relationship between the client and the service provider. The three types of NDA are unilateral agreement, bilateral agreement, and multilateral agreement. Choose which of these NDAs apply to your company.
When executing confidentiality agreements, make sure to work with a lawyer. Only a lawyer knows the scope and limitation of these types of contracts. The unilateral or one-way agreement is the most common type of NDA. It is when you (the client) share sensitive company information to the service provider. In a bilateral agreement, both companies share information. A multilateral agreement is when there are three or more parties involved.
Auditing the Access to Sensitive Information
Conduct regular assessments and audits of the sensitive information you have on file. Who is accessing the data? Audits can identify issues and vulnerabilities in the system. Doing this regularly will help determine who might be leaking the documents to a third-party company or the service provider. Regular audits will eliminate the possibility of sharing with the vendor more than what you should.
There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing business processes. If anything, it helps businesses become more efficient and effective. It is also a lot cheaper than hiring people to do a task that you can outsource to a vendor. However, it is also vital to ensure the protection of sensitive data. It is one of the most critical components of running and managing a business. Data leaks can quickly bring a company down.