No business is immune to cyberattacks. In fact, smaller businesses are increasingly becoming targets for hackers due to their lack of heavy-duty cybersecurity measures. For companies using staff augmentation, making sure that their data is secure involves several extra steps and unfortunately, some businesses unnecessarily fall victim to cybersecurity challenges and pitfalls when working with a staffing agency.
How staff augmentation affects cybersecurity
Staff augmentation is a popular staffing solution for businesses looking to staff up quickly. With staff augmentation, an organization can hire specific staff members with the skills and experience required to complete certain tasks. It is also cost-effective because there is no need to commit to hiring full-time staff. However, it does open the company up to potential cybersecurity risks.
When staff augmentation is used, staff will be accessing sensitive data on behalf of the company, such as customer information or confidential documents. This means that businesses must take extra precautions to ensure their data is secure and protected from any unauthorized access or insider threats. If these measures are not taken, it increases the risk of data breaches, which can have serious consequences for the business.
Major data security challenges and pitfalls
One of the major challenges with staff augmentation is that there is often limited oversight over staff members. Depending on their responsibilities, staff members may be given access to sensitive data or privileged information. This means business owners must ensure that staff members are properly trained on cybersecurity protocols and data privacy measures. The risk is not that a member of the contingent workforce will steal data, but without proper instruction they may be prone to human error and cause a data breach.
It therefore also crucial to compare internal security protocols with those of the staff augmentation provider to ensure there are no gaps endangering sensitive data. Some technology partners, like DEVTALENTS, are dedicated to ensuring the highest level of security to clients and would be happy to adjust their processes accordingly, but must be alerted to the need to do so. For example, they may have to change the way they use storage devices, never access sensitive data from mobile devices, or use email security solutions designed to prevent social engineering attacks. Other data security solutions may include top password hygiene, data encryption, data masking, or machine learning for incident detection.
Another challenge is ensuring staff members are compliant with security policies and regulatory requirements. For example, DEVTALENTS is currently pending ISO 9000 certification to ensure regulatory compliance as required by our clients, which includes matters of security. You should have staff agreements in place that clearly set out expectations and legal obligations to protect the sensitive data of the organization. Additionally, staff should be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that prohibits them from sharing confidential information outside of the workplace.
Finally, staff augmentation can also lead to data breaches if staff members are given access to privileged accounts with unrestricted privileges. If staff members have full control over these accounts and do not follow proper security protocols, it can compromise the safety of your data. At DEVTALENTS, we believe in sharing access to sensitive information on a need to know basis. Restricting access to data is a simple but important security measure for protecting data.
Data security solutions and tips
Maintaining cybersecurity when using staff augmentation requires vigilant oversight. Here are some tips for protecting your data:
- Establish clear staff agreements and NDAs for staff members that include cybersecurity protocols, data privacy measures, and regulatory requirements.
- Research staff augmentation agencies to ensure they have proper security measures in place to protect customer data.
- Require staff members to use multi-factor authentication for any accounts that involve access to sensitive data.
- Ensure staff members are adequately trained on data security protocols and company policies.
- Monitor staff activities to ensure staff members are following cybersecurity procedures.
- Regularly update your cybersecurity measures and keep staff up-to-date on new policies.
- Define your organization's critical infrastructure to make sure it receives top protection against cyber attacks or access by unauthorized parties.
- Make sure that your team understands why data security is important and how data protection works, from common security threats through usage of personal devices to weak passwords.
- Have measures in place to prevent digital attacks and data theft through malicious software.
- Set up user devices to ensure no one will gain unauthorized access to your critical infrastructure.
Solving cybersecurity challenges through staff augmentation
Without easy access to top technology talent, companies may not be able to fill the security skill gap in their teams. However, staff augmentation can help. By partnering with staff augmentation providers like DEVTALENTS, companies can access specialized security staff on a need-to-know basis in order to fill the skill gap and keep their data secure.
Additionally, staff augmentation agencies are responsible for vetting staff members, which helps reduce the risk of negligent staff behavior or unauthorized data access. By implementing the right security protocols and taking advantage of staff augmentation services, companies can ensure their data remains secure while accessing top talent to fill the skill gap.
Protecting sensitive data while using team extension
Using staff augmentation can help businesses staff up quickly, but it does open the door to potential cybersecurity risks. Businesses must take extra precautions to ensure their data is secure and protected from any unauthorized access. By implementing proper staff agreements, NDAs, and security protocols, you can protect your data and maintain a high level of cybersecurity when using staff augmentation.