For an SMB, outsourcing technical support allows for improved cost-containment, flexibility, and customer satisfaction. Choosing the correct company to partner with, however, may sometimes prove tricky.

You have to find a company that provides the correct blend of technical support services, efficiency, and security. Choosing a partner that doesn’t take cybersecurity as seriously as you do could be a fatal error for businesses.

Ransomware attacks alone increased from 187.9 million in 2019 to 304 million in 2020. In 2020, Americans were among the hardest hit by internet crime. As the chart below shows, cyber-attacks cost individuals and businesses $4.2 billion in 2020.
 
Source: Statista

The stakes have never been higher. Companies must pay more attention to data privacy now than ever before. Not doing so puts them at serious risk of reputational damage and expensive penalties and civil suits. It’s for this reason that they must vet any potential outsourcing partner before signing up.

In this article, we’ll look at the security factors to consider when outsourcing your technical support.

Expertise

Companies must look for support firms specializing in IT support. Employees of such businesses have better technical acuity and are also more likely to recognize potentially malicious messages.

Data Security

Some firms are concerned that allowing third-party access to their systems increases the risk of a breach. This is not necessarily true. A professional support company uses more robust security protocols than average because of the nature of its business. An outstanding one provides clients with additional data security as necessary. They may, for example, enable multi-factor authentication.

Physical Security and Data Protocols

Do the candidate companies take physical security seriously? Do they control access to their offices and have strict protocols regarding the use or sharing of data? What checks do they perform before hiring someone?

Can employees use their personal devices on the network? Are they allowed to work from home? If they are, how secure are these devices, and who else might have access to them? Finally, ask what might happen if the equipment is stolen.

Security Awareness Training

Ask the company about their security awareness training protocols. Do they train their consultants to recognize potential threats? How frequently do they discuss the latest cyber threats?
Secure Communications

Do the candidate companies utilize the latest technology to ensure secure communications? Do they update their equipment regularly? Older computer systems and routers may not be as secure as the newest technology.

While you wouldn’t expect a company to upgrade their equipment annually, it’s reasonable to expect them to use technology that the manufacturers still support. 

How Will You Limit the Information that You Share?

Your system network administrator should be able to allow limited access to the systems necessary for support. They will need to carefully monitor the permissions granted to the third-party provider to limit the damage in the event of a breach.

This could entail limiting access to more sensitive information and higher-level functionality. Sysadmins would also have to regularly review system access, removing users that are no longer active.

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