The Role of Privacy and Protection in Offshoring

In today’s fast-paced technological world, offshore talent acquisition has become a popular choice for businesses aiming for cost-effective solutions. Being able to tap into a global talent pool, offshoring is also proving to have no stop in sight.

However, along with its numerous benefits, this approach brings security concerns that businesses must address and manage (source: Meeko Teams). As businesses entrust critical tasks to offshore partners, they face potential risks such as data breaches, intellectual property theft, and communication challenges. Businesses must navigate these risks effectively to ensure smooth operations and protect their assets.


What is Offshoring in Recruitment?


Offshoring involves relocating activities or the entirety of a business process to a foreign country from where the recipient company is based. It’s a commonly used strategy where businesses hire team members from various countries to handle specific tasks. While the types of roles suitable for offshoring are diverse, typical positions may encompass IT support, customer service, web design, and more.


What Are The Core Functions of Offshoring?


Offshoring strategies empower your business to address specific tasks with a dedicated team of professionals from overseas. Entrusting business operations to offshore partners offers numerous advantages, including access to specialised skills, increased potential for innovation, and, most notably, cost-effectiveness.


Is Your Data ‘Less Safe’ With Offshoring?


Outsourcing deals often involve sending a lot of a client’s private info overseas. More and more companies in developing countries are teaming up with banks, hospitals, and insurers to manage their office work. These companies deal with sensitive information like finances, medical records, payroll, social security numbers, and purchase history. 


Common Security Concerns With Offshoring


Security concerns should be heavily considered before beginning your offshoring journey, as sensitive information is being shared across borders. Here are some of the most common security concerns in offshoring, including data breaches, and software vulnerabilities. 

Data Breaches and Unauthorised Data Access

Transferring sensitive data across borders or entrusting it to external teams increases the risk of unauthorised access. For example, if a healthcare organisation outsources the development of a patient management system to a team lacking robust security measures, it faces data breach risks.

Intellectual Property Misappropriation

Collaborating with offshore partners exposes businesses to the threat of intellectual property theft. Without adequate safeguards and legal protection, companies may find their proprietary software ideas or code replicated or utilised without authorisation. For instance, a tech startup outsourcing the development of a pioneering app could encounter the risk of its unique algorithms being stolen.

Malicious Code and Software Vulnerabilities

Offshore development involves sharing code and relying on external teams to develop secure software, which also increases the risk of introducing malicious code or vulnerabilities. 


Best Practices for Offshore Security

Ensuring that your company’s sensitive information is protected is crucial. Optimal data security practices within offshoring involve enforcing robust access control measures, consistently updating and patching software and systems, setting clear data protection policies, and educating employees on the best practices for data security.

Check Reputation and Track Record

Conduct thorough research and assessment of the offshore software development vendor’s reputation and track record. Review client feedback and testimonials to gauge their reliability and past performance. 

Clear Definitions of Responsibilities

Establish clear and comprehensive contractual agreements defining each party’s responsibilities regarding security measures and risk management. This ensures all stakeholders comprehend their roles and obligations. 

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)

Enforce robust non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to safeguard intellectual property and proprietary data. This is crucial when sharing sensitive business insights or innovative ideas.

Intellectual Property Protection

Incorporate clauses in the contract outlining ownership and protection of intellectual property rights. This shields the business from potential theft or unauthorised use of valuable software assets. For instance, a gaming company outsourcing game development should secure ownership of the game’s code and design.

Implementation of Encryption and Secure Protocols

Require the adoption of encryption and secure communication protocols for handling sensitive data or transmitting information. For example, a government agency outsourcing a secure messaging system should demand end-to-end encryption to ensure data privacy.

Setting Up Secure Communication Channels

Implement secure communication channels, such as encrypted emails or virtual private networks (VPNs), to safeguard sensitive information during interactions with the offshore team. For instance, a financial institution outsourcing IT support should utilise encrypted channels for communication to protect customer data.

Regular Meetings and Updates

Arrange consistent meetings and status updates to maintain ongoing communication and collaboration between the onshore and offshore teams. This ensures timely resolution of security concerns.