Are Offshore Engineers a Security Risk?

Hiring offshore security engineers is more common than ever post-pandemic. While it’s cost effective, hiring an engineer from outside the country comes with a number of security risks. The following are five reasons why you should closely consider the implications of offshoring your data security:

1. Non-Disclosure Agreements Are Impossible to Enforce

Many IT organizations or departments have certain business knowledge or expertise that resides only in the employees who develop their applications. In some cases, such knowledge may be proprietary and provide a competitive advantage. When you work with offshore security engineers, you'll likely have to share proprietary technical information with them. Getting them to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) doesn't necessarily protect you from a data breach because such an agreement may not be legally binding outside the U.S.

2. Cross-Border Data-Sharing May Impinge on Privacy Regulations

Another challenge that comes with offshoring your IT security is that you and your vendor must comply with privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you or your offshore security engineer aren't sensitive to these requirements, you may pay a heavy fine or get into legal trouble.

3. Data Usage Practices Vary Widely

Companies in different countries may have different data usage practices and data privacy standards. Therefore, you shouldn't be surprised if your offshore partner uses and manages your company's data in a way that isn't in line with your information security standards. While it's possible to find a company with impressive practices, you'll inevitably expose your business to a higher risk of data breaches and intellectual property impingement when you offshore your IT security. Even if you clearly explain your data management methods and requirements to your vendor, you won't know for sure if they'll follow your practices.

4. Hard to Monitor End Points

If you manage your data security in-house, you can easily keep track of your IT team's activities, get to the root of a security problem, and find out who is accountable for a mistake by checking your on-premise end-point devices. It's more difficult to monitor end points that are located in another country. End point devices are usually the weakest link in an organization's security system, making them more vulnerable to cyber threats.

5. Offshore Companies Are Becoming an Increasingly Bigger “Soft” Target for Hackers

If you fail to properly vet your potential offshore vendors, you may end up putting your company's data security into the hands of inexperienced security engineers. Also, you may not be able to take legal action if a breach occurs because of the differences in international laws. The lack of quality control and legal recourse makes offshore companies a tempting target for hackers.

Conclusion

Due to the aforementioned risks, you should be cautious about outsourcing your company's data security to a foreign company. However, you can use these tools to improve data governance and data loss prevention whenever you work with an offshore IT security company, thereby, reducing costs without compromising security.

Polymer protects against data loss (DLP) on modern collaboration tools like Slack, Dropbox, Zoom, Github and more with alerting & real-time redaction of sensitive and regulated information such as PII, PHI, HIPAA,  financial, security or customer-defined data.

Yasir Ali | yali@polymerhq.io | www.polymerhq.io | https://blog.polymerhq.io/