Cyber Security: Facing the Most Important Challenge in the BPO Industry

Outsourcing business operations has become one of the fastest growth strategies for many businesses in today’s global economy. Given the size and capacity of the BPO market, which is expected to reach $343.2 billion by 2025, it is no surprise that its popularity is growing at breakneck speed. With outsourcing industries growing bigger than ever before, a lot of organizations have effectively reduced costs, improved their operational efficiency, and managed their core activities in a timely manner. From content and cataloging to revenue enhancement, there isn’t any non-core activity that does not have a competitive outsourcing provider available in the market that yields great benefits for companies that incorporate it into their business operations.

Hiring BPO service providers is nothing new for global consumers, but the threat of data breaches has always been an important factor to consider when embarking on the outsourcing journey. Overtime with the introduction and heightened use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation, the need for strict data security for most business processes has alternately heightened due to ineffective third-party controls and IT security threats. Data security policies has now become a topic of greatest import when a firm is choosing an outsourcing provider.

The evolution of technologies has resulted in even greater complexities of data security. According to the State of Cybersecurity Survey, (ISACA), 30% of the security experts deal with phishing attacks every day. Despite this percentage improvements have been made over time for BPO security threats such as phishing, malware, hacking and other malicious techniques. As many businesses are paving their way into cloud businesses, especially during the COVID 19 pandemic and beyond, there is even more concern about protection against governance, risk management, threat management, authentication, and data privacy in BPO and professional security services.

So, how should outsourcing companies proceed with all this evidence of the increasing threat in cybersecurity? The solution is to invest in having better knowledge and access to Cybersecurity.  In this wise cyber security teams are now being perceived anew by companies and being recognized as an important asset for taking strategic decisions.

In the section below, we will highlight the significance of cybersecurity and how ongoing investment into this asset will help outsourcing businesses stay abreast of current and contemporary data security issues to step-up cyber security measures.


Watch our video below or read the article underneath to understand more!

 

 What is Cybersecurity, and Why is it important?

According to the Cyber Security & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), “Cyber security is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.”

Whereas physical security protects buildings and the people who live in them from numerous physical hazards, cybersecurity protects digital technologies and their users from digital threats by securing networks, devices, and data against damage, loss, and or unwanted access.  

Outsourcing companies are caught in disputes over communication issues, unforeseen and hidden costs, financial data issues, and IT security threats as cyberattacks are on the rise in today’s IT heavy business landscape. Considering this there is a need to focus more on cybersecurity protocols. Currently in the in the industry cybersecurity insurance is currently one of the most discussed topics because clients are interested in learning how outsourcing providers can assure their data and sensitive information security and safety.

There are many paths outsourcing companies are taking to secure cybersecurity for clients. We have listed below five key methods of securing cybersecurity however, the work that outsourcing companies do for privacy and security goes beyond this list.

 

5 Key Methods BPO Companies Handle Data Security

(https://www.relyservices.com/blog/how-bpo-companies-handle-data-security)

(https://maxicus.com/cyber-security-in-bpo-industry/)

  1. Implementation of Data Encryption – Amongst the most significant and commonly encountered challenges culminating in data loss events is a breakdown of transmission lines and business networks. Given that business transaction outsourcing providers are based in various time zones across several continents, consistent, reliable, and continuous contact networks are a must. Data management in the cloud is now a common concept, with many unified platforms available for businesses and operations of any and all sizes as well as domains. BPO firms must protect information portals, maximize storage, encrypt data at all stages, and raise alerts when suspicious and unwanted behaviour occurs. Firewall software, anti-virus, anti-spam, and other security products can help prevent data loss and damage to a company’s image.
  2. Provide Ongoing Cybersecurity Training – Expand the technology horizons of employees. Outsourcing companies must invest in the continual education of their employees as technology further evolves. It is important to give employees proper training on devices to use, VPN, Firefox, as well as shared network information. Botnets are another data threat to security and may harness information, such as name, address, age, financial information, gender, online activity, etc. This makes personal information vulnerable for anyone. With increased information on technology, it is imperative that employees are trained more than hackers.
  3. Secure Software & Systems – A BPO company’s data security is only as good as the software and systems that they use. When it comes to data-related processes, using the best systems to store data with multiple layers of protection makes a significant impact on how BPO companies handle data security. In addition because BPO companies usually have transatlantic communication with several clients and organizations, to safeguard that no sensitive information is shared or compromised, BPO companies must constantly monitor bandwidth to ensure that nothing confidential is ever compromised.
  4. Strict Data Security Compliance ProtocolsCustomer information is important in any BPO framework. Hence, outsourcing firms must adhere to strict data control protocols, have a clear track record, advise users about the quality standards to implement to ensure data protection, and maintain their data safe and secured. An outsource provider must ensure consumers that their data is safe with them. Customers value attentive BPO programs that inform them about data protection without prompting. Appropriate data protection standards can monitor any unusual network traffic and domains that can jeopardize the security of files. These include firewalls, remote monitoring and prevention, anti-virus, and anti-spam operations, cloud-based virtual centralized security monitoring that protects the BPO business. DDoS monitoring and mitigating services can search the enterprise’s traffic and enable only safe connections to move through. Enterprises can tailor security protocols as they see fit while also enjoying low implementation costs.
  5. Strict Control Over Employees – BPO firms enforce stringent labor rules to ensure that no workers disclose any corporate details to the outside world. Several businesses do not allow workers to bring in computers, hard drives, or other IT-related devices that can be utilized to gather information about a customer’s data. After serving its mission, client-related data is shredded. Furthermore, when employed for a BPO service company, all workers are expected to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which prohibits them from sharing any sensitive customer details unless they wish to be charged with illegal misconduct in court

Bottom Line

Due to the world’s rapid technological advancements, it is imperative for BPO service providers to consider Cybersecurity a top concern in their organizations. By identifying and addressing cybersecurity risks, outsourcing providers can help protect client’s data, information and tap into strategic opportunities across all channels, resulting in greater service and client relationship success.

 

How can CPA Firms help?

Cybersecurity has become a necessary practice for businesses across industries, the accounting industry is no different. As the rate of cyberattacks grows, hackers know vulnerable systems that contain important financial information can become easy targets. Accounting cybersecurity practices ensure that your firm protects sensitive data, not only for the compliance of your firm but for the safety of your clients who’ve entrusted you with their financial, personal, and professional information.

At HWA Alliance of CPA Firms, our accounting cybersecurity standards guarantee safeguards for outsourcing services to protect sensitive financial data entrusted to us by our clients. Whether advising customers or working in a finance and accounting team or a larger strategic or operational capacity, accountants are part of the answer to high-quality cyber security. In providing you with you with the best possible accounting services HWA Alliance ensures your company’s security from accounting cyberattacks and ahead of financial threats. Our professionals provide high-quality accounting solutions emphasizing security and financial risk prevention and mitigation.