Working with vendors is often a necessity in this day and age. With fast-paced projects and the growing need for a flexible and responsive workforce, vendors provide a great service that meets many company needs. But working closely with outsiders does expose corporate networks to greater risk than keeping all work internal. Here are a few key points you should take into account to protect your network from external vendors and visitors.
Hacking: An Internal and External Threat
Cyber-security risks are a concern for many companies, in part because they can stem from large-scale external hacks and even internal leaks. Both can do serious damage to a company’s security and reputation, whether from loss of customer data, loss of hardware or critical files, or even the leaking of data that can be used to a competitor’s advantage. The fact is every incident of network compromise can do lasting harm to your company, that is why it is so important to be cautious when working with vendors or partners on your network.
How to Protect Your Company
External protection and anti-virus software is a must. Informing existing employees of best practices for internet usage is also important. Both will help protect you from the common mistakes and big hacks and scams of the cyber world. But when dealing with “friendly fire” from vendors and visitors, you should take a slightly different approach.
Plan for Safe Access
Consider incorporating extra security into the login process and identity confirmation of your vendors. It’s also worthwhile to think about giving them limited access to the network, thereby limiting your risk to only the files and systems they need access to. If they are using their own devices to access your network, require them to meet certain cyber safety specifications in order to work on your network. Plan to work with them to help meet these needs, but at the same time, don’t disregard the risk of external access simply because they are working with or for you.
Know the Warning Signs
Vigilance is your best ally when it comes to fighting cyber-crime. Know what the common warning signs of a breach are, and make sure you can trace those signs back to their sources. Just as signs of an internal data breach include unusual behavior or obvious discontent among your employees, be watchful for such hints from vendors and visitors. These indicators can be early warning signs of an impending data leak or other security breach sourced from your own vendors. Once a leak or hack becomes apparent, act quickly to mitigate and reduce future risk.
Partner With a Leading IT Recruiter
By hiring vendors from the most reputable IT staffing firms, you are doing your part to ensure the trustworthiness and knowledge of your IT vendors. Partnering with ESGI and our team of IT recruiters will connect you with the industry-leading talent you can count on to keep your data and your systems secure.