Offshore Data Entry Security: Ensuring Confidentiality Across Borders

offshore data entry
In 2017, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus experienced a massive data breach while using offshore data entry and software development teams. Equifax later determined that simple human error had opened up the firm to a cyberattack, leading to the disclosure of sensitive information for about 147 million people. While your business may not be as high profile as Equifax or dealing with millions of social security numbers, your sensitive data is still just that – sensitive. It’s critical to your business processes and the confidence of your customers. So when you hear stories like the one above, it may make you think twice about sending your data processing offshore. Afterall, if Equifax can’t guarantee security, how will your smaller firm be protected?
Go ahead and take a breath, because you’ve got more going in your favor than you think. And there are many ways to promote security that are squarely in your hands. It can also be easier to accomplish than you’ve been led to believe. It all comes down to a few basic decisions that set the stage for security, quality, and your overall success.

The Twofold Security Threat Every Business Faces

A offshore data entry operatorRegardless of whether you’re using offshore data entry or in-house personnel, every organization has two basic ways that data breaches can occur: from the inside and from the outside. Internal security risks include employees engaging in criminal behavior, sending or physically taking data offsite to sell or to use themselves. It can also simply be personnel that do not properly follow security protocols, opening up the firm’s data to outside hackers. This was the case for Equifax.

The other threat is the obvious one – cybercriminals breaking into your databases to steal industry secrets, proprietary formulas, customer credit card numbers, and other data valuable on the black market. For your company to adequately protect your data, you need to consider and follow a strategy that accounts for both types of threats.

While it’s important for business owners, entrepreneurs, and department managers to understand the risks and solutions, most of the time these decision-makers are not security experts. They are probably also not well-versed in hiring internationally. To manage your risk and make life a whole lot simpler, these responsibilities can also be outsourced. At Clyck Back Office Solutions, quality and security are values we live by. Our offshore data entry professionals are trained not just in the skills you need, but also the security measures that keep that data safe. We also work closely with top cybersecurity experts to make every transaction as secure as possible. Our clients also enjoy the fact that they don’t have to find, hire, or manage international staff themselves. Clyck’s got all those HR issues handled, too.

With that in mind, let’s look a little closer at the two threat sources and what businesses can do to protect themselves.

Defending Against External Threats

In the relentless battle to safeguard your data, defending against external threats looms large on the horizon. Cybercriminals, with their ever-evolving tactics, constantly prowl the digital realm, seeking vulnerabilities to exploit. Whether you’re engaging in offshore data entry or relying on in-house personnel, protecting your organization from external threats requires a multi-faceted approach.

When you think of cybersecurity measures, these are generally the tactics you come up with. Like antivirus software and secure passwords, these are the safety basics when it comes to offshore data entry and business operations in general.

Advanced Encryption Protocols

Implement advanced encryption protocols to secure data both in transit and at rest. This ensures that even if cybercriminals breach your defenses, the stolen data remains indecipherable. If they’re going to get to it, we can at least make it useless to them.

Firewall Fortification

Strengthen your firewall to create a robust barrier against unauthorized access. Regularly update firewall rules and configurations to adapt to emerging threats. This one basic step can save your company a lot of headaches.

Regular Security Audits

Conduct frequent security audits and vulnerability assessments to identify and rectify weak points in your digital infrastructure. This proactive approach can preemptively thwart external threats. We’ll discuss this a bit more below and how to make this easier and more effective.

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)

Implement IDS to monitor network traffic for suspicious activities or anomalies. IDS can provide real-time alerts, enabling swift responses to potential breaches. It can also give you a heads up when your system is being challenged so you can keep a watchful eye and implement more stringent controls.

Your employees are your first line of defense against cybercriminals…or they can be a hacker’s best friend. It all depends on how well they are trained and how well they stick to existing security protocols.

Security Protocols and Best Practices

Ensure that all employees, whether offshore or in-house, are well-versed in security protocols and best practices. Training programs should encompass data protection, safe email practices, and recognizing phishing attempts. When you use a reliable third party like Clyck Back Office solutions for your offshore data entry services, this is part of the pre-training your specialists receive.

Access Control and Privilege Limitation

Enforce strict access control measures to restrict data access based on job roles. Limit privileges to only what is necessary for an employee to perform their duties. At Clyck, you can restrict access to only certain offshore team members, or you can designate a stateside Clyck employee for certain types of access.

There’s two main decisions for managers when it comes to being prepared for cyberattacks: deciding what to do to prevent them, and deciding what to do if something goes sideways. Hackers are always developing new techniques to do their dark deeds, so staying vigilant is every organization’s responsibility.

Develop Robust Cybersecurity Policies

Formulate comprehensive cybersecurity policies that outline acceptable use, data handling, and incident reporting procedures. These policies serve as a roadmap for employees to follow. They should be thorough but clear and easy to understand.

Incident Response Plans

So what happens if you do have a data breach? If you don’t have an incident response plan already in place, the aftermath could be a disaster. Swift action based on well-thought-out policy can mean the difference between a PR nightmare and a hiccup in the road.

Regular Drills and Testing

Conduct simulated security breach drills and testing to evaluate the effectiveness of your incident response plans. Use these exercises to identify areas for improvement. Performing these trials once or twice a year may be enough, but more often will provide greater risk management.

For most organizations, hiring a reliable third party to conduct the risk assessments, testing, and develop policies and protocols is going to be the best idea. Oftentimes organizations only hire a security firm after a breach has damaged their business, but since you’re proactive instead of reactive, you’re going to be the exception to that rule.

Regular Audits

When it comes to your home base, whether that’s a single building or many employees working remotely, you’ll want to keep tabs on security on a regular basis. Periodically audit your organization’s security measures to verify compliance and identify any areas that need improvement. Look for for a firm with a strong track record that also offers a wide variety of security services. We’re big fans of TrollEye Security.

Vendor Due Diligence

If you’re working with offshore data entry partners, conduct thorough due diligence on their cybersecurity practices. Ensure they meet the same stringent security standards you uphold. When it comes to outsourcing with Clyck, feel free to ask us any questions about our security protocols. We’re confident that we are taking the right steps to protect your data (and ours) as we provide you with the fast and accurate data entry you’re looking for.

Maintain your security, your accuracy, and your budget with Clyck’s affordable offshore data processing services.

Protecting Against Internal Threats

While external threats often grab the headlines, the quiet menace of internal threats looms just as large. These threats emanate from within your organization and can be just as damaging as external cyberattacks. To build a robust defense, companies must be vigilant in safeguarding against two primary types of internal threats: employee misconduct and non-compliance with security protocols.

It may be hard to accept that your own employees could be a security risk. But sadly, employees engaging in criminal behavior, whether driven by financial motives or malicious intent, is common. These insiders can pose a significant danger by misusing their access to sensitive data. You also need to be aware of employees who do not follow security protocols, as they can inadvertently open up your organization’s data to external hackers, creating a security breach similar to what happened with Equifax. Screening, training, and smart policies are essential for controlling for the unpredictability of human behavior.

The Need for Employee Background Checks

One of the essential tools in protecting against internal threats is thorough employee background checks. These checks should encompass criminal history, credit checks, employment history verification, and reference checks. Background checks can help identify individuals with a history of unethical, erratic, or criminal behavior, providing a critical layer of protection. This step may be challenging if you plan to hire abroad on your own for your offshore data entry team.

Clyck’s Pre-Screened and Background-Checked Professionals

When partnering with Clyck Back Office Solutions for your data entry team, we’ve already done the legwork for you. Our data entry professionals undergo rigorous pre-screening and background checks, ensuring that you receive trustworthy personnel for your data processing tasks. With Clyck, you can confidently access a pool of reliable and vetted specialists, mitigating the risks associated with internal threats.

Alongside background checks, comprehensive security training and awareness programs are pivotal in reducing the risk of internal threats. Educate employees about security policies, data protection, and the consequences of misconduct. Encourage them to become active participants in safeguarding company assets.

Access Control and Privilege Management

To mitigate the risks of insider threats, enforce strict access control measures. Limit access privileges to only what is necessary for an employee to perform their job effectively. By implementing role-based access control, you ensure that employees can access only the data and systems relevant to their roles.

Whistleblower Programs

Establishing whistleblower programs can empower employees to report suspicious behavior or security violations anonymously. These programs create a safe avenue for employees to voice their concerns, potentially preventing internal threats from escalating.

Regular security audits and monitoring are the perhaps boring but also indispensable tools for identifying and mitigating internal threats. While the assessments should include the obvious digital access points, don’t forget to test the strength of your physical access to sensitive areas and data repositories. When you routinely evaluate your security measures, you can detect anomalies and unauthorized activities quickly and shut them down.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Tools

It’s hard to stop something you don’t know about. Tools like content analysis, endpoint protection, data encryption, and monitoring data transfers can help prevent unauthorized data transfers or leaks – or at least get them shut down faster if it happens. Commonly known as DLP solutions, these tools can alert you right away to suspicious activities. They can also give you a hand in creating policies you can enforce that prevent unauthorized data access or transmission.

Incident Response Plans for Internal Threats

In addition to your emergency responses for external threats, develop incident response plans that specifically address internal security incidents. These plans should outline steps to investigate, mitigate, and remediate incidents involving employee misconduct or non-compliance. While you hope to never use them, if you ever do, you’ll be glad you had them thoughtfully planned out in advance.

Employee Offboarding Procedures

Effective employee offboarding procedures are critical to maintaining security. When employees leave the organization, revoke their access promptly, collect company-owned devices, and ensure that they no longer have access to sensitive data. Be especially cautious about access when it comes to employees who are fired or laid off, as that is when malicious data breaches can frequently happen.

Protecting against internal threats isn’t simple, but it is doable. It requires a multi-pronged approach that combines employee background checks, comprehensive security training, access control, monitoring, incident response planning, and data loss prevention. But when you have measures in place, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with internal threats and help create a secure work environment. When partnering with Clyck for your offshore data entry, you can leverage our pre-screened and background-checked professionals, enhancing your confidence in the security of your data processing operations without creating fresh, new HR headaches for yourself or your staff.

The Most Critical Security Factor

Regardless of if you’re using offshore data entry that you arrange and manage yourself, if you use a third party to broker and manage your overseas outsourcing team, or if you’re using an in-house department for data processing services, there is one single factor that can make or break you. That factor is the quality of the partners you choose: your software vendors, your cybersecurity experts, and your outsourcing allies.

Clyck Back Office Solutions takes cybersecurity seriously. From our own security protocols and partners to how we select, vet, and train new international employees, we always have your confidentiality and total satisfaction at heart. We use our data entry team ourselves, and that makes us confident enough to share their skills with other small business owners. If you’re ready to expand your business with security, quality, and your budget in mind, let’s talk