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January 2019 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

How to Keep Your Offshore Outsourcing Operations Secure

by: Sidney Liquigan

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Outsourced operations are as vulnerable as local operations to data theft. Even though companies require their outsourcing partners to implement the same level of security as they have in their in-house operations, ensuring network and physical security in outsourced operations can be more challenging because they are not in your direct control. Furthermore, different countries may have different privacy legislation and protections.

There are several steps that companies can take to secure and protect their offshore outsourced operations from data breach and other security threats.

Certifications and Compliance

During the vendor selection process, thoroughly reviewing each potential outsourcing partner's credentials should be part of your checklist. Consider partnering with a BPO firm that's certified for and compliant with international standards.

BPO companies must have information security controls that are designed to comply with the following regulations and audits:

  • ISO 9001:2015 – Quality Management Standards
  • ISO 27001:2013 – Information Security Management Standards
  • General Data Protection Regulation of 2016 (EU)

Certain industries also have their own standards, including:

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (US)

In addition to compliance with the Philippine Data Protection Act of 2012, MicroSourcing also upholds the requirements of the abovementioned regulations.

End-to-End Employee Screening

To ensure that your data is safe with the outsourced team who handles them, your outsourcing partner should have the necessary screening, requirements, policies, and contracts in place.

  1. New hires should undergo background checks and submit pre-employment requirements, such as government and neighborhood council clearances.
  2. Require employment contracts to include confidentiality and intellectual property clauses. You can also require additional stipulations, such as NDAs and non-competes, as long as they are in compliance with local labor laws.
  3. Collaborate with your outsourcing partner in identifying all the possible scenarios that could be considered as breaches of confidentiality and security. Create a code of conduct that explains all these scenarios and how they will be dealt with.
  4. During the off-boarding process, exiting employees undergo clearance processes where they should return all employer and client assets. All accounts must be deleted and access must be revoked.

Physical Security

Make sure that the office floor of your outsourced operations has its own security guards and strict security protocols in addition to the office building's main security. Delivery and extraction of assets must always be tracked. You can also require your BPO partner to allocate a special work floor for your outsourced operations, where additional security measures are in place. This could include prohibiting any personal belongings (mobile devices and other electronics) from being brought into the work floor. You could also request your outsourced work floor to have its own security control, where authorized employees are required to have access cards.

Network Infrastructure and Controls

Partner with an outsourcing provider that allows you to customize your outsourced team's workstation environment and server and networking environment. To guarantee that your outsourced operations' network is secure, there are a number of procedures and controls that must be in place to deter any kind of threat that could impact and disrupt operations. To make sure that the data stays within the network or server, you could have the workstations' USB ports and optical drives disabled. Many BPO firms also prevent employees from accessing websites and apps not needed for work and prohibit unauthorized installation of computer software or program.

Implement unified threat management (UTM) devices with adjustable data and content filtering. This single system has various security features, including anti-virus, malware, or malicious files detection, web filtering, and anti-spam. In addition, desktop security and all controls must be managed by a central management server.

Your outsourced operations must be prepared for power fluctuations and failure in connectivity. Ensure a fully redundant network infrastructure with automatic fail-over. This enables faster recovery time.

Customized Data Security Measures

Outsourcing providers that operate on the traditional outsourcing model may have limited capability to customize their processes to match yours. A recommended outsourcing partner would be a company that offers the managed operations model, where the client can maintain the majority up to the full control of their outsourced operations, including network and physical security procedures.

MicroSourcing is a managed operations provider that works closely with clients to ensure a safe data flow between your in-house operations and your outsourced team in the Philippines. The managed operations model enables you to implement your own security protocols on your offshore operation. MicroSourcing is highly experienced in data security and capable of customizing each client's data security environment based on the nature of their business and the respective required regulations.


4 Best Practices for Human Resources Outsourcing

by: Sidney Liquigan

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Not only can HR outsourcing help in significantly improving processes and reducing operational costs, but it also opens a world of opportunities for businesses to access various resources and get specialized professional help while they focus on core tasks.

To experience the full advantage of HR outsourcing, there are best practices you should adopt.

Detailed Process Documentation

While outsourcing firms have their own processes to help you achieve efficiency, these firms can also adapt to you own processes. Your HR processes must be well documented to help your outsourcing partner integrate their services into your company seamlessly. HR procedures, such as recruitment, performance management, and payroll are critical tasks that need to have process documentation.

Partner with HR Outsourcing Specialists

When making your decision on which outsourcing firm to go with, choose based on which firm is the best fit for your needs. It's not just who has the most attractive pricing, but who can fulfill your requirements efficiently from end to end and help you drive business growth. This means whether you are outsourcing a single or a few tasks or outsourcing your entire HR function, choose the right outsourcing partner that have diverse skills and resources to expertly handle HR activities with diverse complexities.

HR Software

Leverage the use of HR software for end-to-end data management, as well as for easier tracking of all the procedures. Using HR software is ideal for outsourcing as it is done online and easily accessible to authorized parties. There are different HR software solutions on the market, so you need to make sure that your outsourcing provider can support your chosen platform.

Performance Metrics

Establish clear metrics that will help you measure the performance of your HR outsourcing process. From the get-go, you must have clear objectives, priorities, and expectations and make periodic reviews of the results.


Depending on the scale of the work you are outsourcing, the selection process for choosing the right outsourcing partner can take up to 6 to 12 months. A significant part of the process is the RFP or request for proposal. This is where you can evaluate potential partners and select the right one for your business.

Preparing the RFP

At this point, you have requested for information from your prospects and have short-listed the qualified candidates based on information provided. In preparing the RFP, make sure that it includes clear and specific details of what you seek as well as requirements that would allow prospective vendors to state what they can do and how they do it.

In your RFP, define your business requirements in detail. Indicate the project's goal, required deliverables, and performance requirements. This will help your prospective vendor provide you with the most suitable resources and processes at accurate pricing.

Focusing on Customer Experience

Aside from the background checks and the online reviews and testimonials you've gathered about your prospective outsourcing partner, your RFP should include a request to get in touch with their past and existing clients. This way, you could hear from them their first-hand experiences with the outsourcing vendor.

Scalability

Another thing that should be in your RFP is to confirm the scalability of your potential outsourcing partner to meet your current and future requirements. The right vendor should be able to provide you with personalized flexible solutions and resources.

Expectations and Key Terms

The RFP process serves as the right opportunity to lay down the scope of work and other expectations you have for the outsourcing vendor. For example, your RFP should indicate whether or not you will be expecting your vendor to communicate with customers, as well as the countries or languages they would be required to support. Furthermore, include key business terms and conditions, NDA, and other specifications, such as KPIs and service-level agreements in the RFP.

Test Project

At your discretion, you can conduct test projects with your shortlisted prospective outsourcing partners to see if the partnership would be a good fit. The tests would allow you to see if the vendor delivers according to the proposal they sent. At this stage, you could also see how efficient and effective their processes are and review the quality of their output.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the RFP process lets you get to know your prospective outsourcing partners better. Hence, it is a crucial part of the vendor selection process. After all, business process outsourcing is a long-term relationship and you wouldn't want to get into a relationship with the wrong partner. Make sure that all the essentials, as mentioned above, are indicated clearly in your RFP.