One can overcome the growing cyber security skills gap in a cost-efficient manner by outsourcing his or her enterprise’s cyber security and IT compliance services. As the potential cyber security provider will gain access to your entire network and sensitive data, this is a serious decision to make. That’s why entrusting one’s enterprise to a provider who is legitimate and is the right fit for his or her data environment and organization is of utmost importance. To ensure that you will have no problems outsourcing the cyber security and IT compliance aspects of the enterprise, here are some best practices to follow:
Utilize Written Contracts
The first step involves getting everything in writing. The provider has to sign a written contract that specifies exactly what is expected of them. More importantly, one must ensure that the IT solutions provider is willing to guarantee any promises they make.
Understand Provider’s Audit and Compliance Processes
Today, some IT auditors are still relying on traditional software, such as Excel or other basic spreadsheet programs to perform IT compliance reporting tasks and audits. The problem is that these basic spreadsheet programs were not designed to handle or process large data sets that are common in today’s complex data environments. If one hires a provider that is fumbling around with spreadsheets, the enterprise may end up wasting time, wasting money, and experiencing headaches.
Only consider providers that utilize modern RegTech software to perform compliance audits and reporting. These technologies are built to contain big data and rapid report creation capabilities to automate data reporting and management. Instead of storing and organizing different spreadsheets and ledgers, the technology is comprised of a centralized repository of all IT compliance requirements and has the ability to automate information flows for testing, assessments, and audits. This will save the business owner time, stress, and money, providing all parties with a bigger and clearer picture of the data environment, as well as its vulnerabilities and risks.
Check Provider’s Ability to Handle Your Compliance Requirements
The chosen provider should be able to provide audit and assessment services that address the following requirements:
- NERC CIP
- SSAE 16
- PCI DSS QSA
- EU-US privacy shield compliance
The goal is to ensure that the provider not only offers the core compliance services that your enterprise needs but also has experience in performing those specific audits. Always remember to ask about your specific compliance requirements while you are reviewing a potential provider’s references.
Ask for References
At first glance, a cyber security and IT compliance solutions provider may seem professional and perfectly legitimate. These first impressions, however, should not stop you from performing due diligence; asking for references. When you get a list of references, make sure that you call them. In many cases, reputable cyber security firms are willing to provide verifiable references.
Look Out for Red Flags
Sometimes business owners just need to trust their intuition. If something seems off about a company, it’s probably true. It is a good idea to be wary of providers that cannot provide their potential clients with up-to-date contact information; doesn’t use an enterprise email address (uses Yahoo! Mail or Gmail instead); or has a website that appears amateurish and has poorly written content. There’s a possibility that one is dealing with a fly-by-night operation.
By following these best practices, one can enjoy the full benefits of outsourcing, as well as establish fruitful and lasting relationships with trusted cyber security teams.