information security for IT outsourcing

IT outsourcing is an ongoing worldwide trend that had a steady growth during the 2008-2009 economic crisis. And it is one of the smart business solutions in the situation of the global economic recession. Certainly, an expanding number of IT outsourcing software development providers is also a factor in the market growth. Most enterprises, usually, start to deal with several IT outsource companies simultaneously. It is an example of the multi-outsourcing model. However, a very small percentage of these companies are not satisfied with IT outsourcing providers collaboration.  It happens, mainly, due to the non-realistic expectations of client-side management and owners. Or, because of the missed deadlines of outsourcing introduction. In adition, it may happen because of a lack of project management from the client side. And one of the most important provider’s choice criteria are its services cost.

However, the risk management is also of the following factors:

  • Reputation
  • Market experience
  • Specific expertise

The fundamental principle of moving processes to IT outsourcing is to maintain their stability. So, the main disadvantage of IT outsourcing is the weakening of information security. It can be partially or fully solved by client data encryption and access management. Reliability risks of main business processes come from the contradictory requirements of process, lower costs and their higher stability. Luckily, a documentary agreement, is a solution to these points. As it includes the software quality assurance, for example.

The main advantages of IT outsourcing are:

  • Higher level of services
  • Reduction of IT infrastructure expenses
  • Collaborative management of operational risks process
  • Engage external investments for defined tasks
  • Focus on key business process

Each of these points is achievable. Obviously, it can happen only in case, when a client understands the main criterion. It is highly necessary to envolve an outsourcer to the management of every project life cycle stage. The process of outsourcing is inextricably linked to the main business process. In order to have it all working properly, it is essential to have all the interfaces between company processes and outsourced ones created, regulated and controlled.

Moreover, the critical material losses can be caused by the wrong organization of information protection in the situation of IT outsourcing. As a result, it is crucial for a client to be aware of extra costs of information security as a part of process outsourcing. One of the key requirements is a tooled system to manage information security risks in order to minimize its consequences or its complete prevention and also a formed technological infrastructure to prevent critical technological failure. Construction of effective system for information security management along with IT process outsourcing is not a one-time project. It is a complex process that is aimed at minimizing internal and external threats according to available time and resources.

A generalized process of information security management for IT can be set as the following sequence:

  1. Description of company IT processes

    This is an initial stage when you need to describe the processes. It is necessary for the further classification as the most critical ones for the company business. And also, for conducting a tender for IT-outsource providers. In order to do so, the descriptions need to include entry and exit points, process owners and information streams. Most common are ARIS and IDEF methodologies.

  2. Classification of company processes according to their degree of criticality for the business in general

    The basics of processes description and classification are ITIL and CoBIT standards. In order to understand which IT process can be safely outsourced, it is essential to analyze what information goes through them. In addition, it is neccessary to understand their importance to the business. From this point of view, the business information can be clasified as:

    • Trade secret
    • Restricted
    • Public
  3. Definition of company IT process outsourcing model

    This phase takes place when there is a need to select between evolutionary and revolutionary outsourcing models. You will need an internal IT outsourcing department if your IT tasks are closely connected with the rest of the company departments. But if IT processes requirements are formalized or can become so, it is usually reasonable to engage the external IT outsource provider.

  4. Selecting a process to outsource

    This is a selection of foreground IT processes to outsource with mostly public and some restricted data involved.

  5. Definition of requirements to IT outsource provider

    You can define the system steadiness towards unauthorized access by its weakest component. This is why it is important to take in account the entire process of system development. And also, to provide a required level of IT security on each stage. Technical requirements of information security are:

    • Protection of data transmission channels
    • Data encryption mechanism
    • Authorization order
    • Information storage order
    • Mechanism for information access level management

    To make the right choice of a supplier, the company needs to pay attention to:

    • Years of active expertise
    • Own capacities
    • Technical support level
    • Secure data center
    • ISO 9000:2000 certification
    • Service cost
    • Reputation
  6. Selection of IT outsource provider

    The finalists of an open or closed tender are IT outsource providers that have met all critical requirements and maximum number of the rest of specification

  7. Regulation of two-way agreement for information security

    The cornerstone questions are:

    • Service level agreement
    • Non-disclosure agreement
    • Regulations of access to capacities and channels, rented by client
    • Regulations of unauthorized access attempts informing
    • Control order of client performance of obligation by order
  8. Risk management during the information security outsourcing processes

    A risk management process consists of the following subprocesses:

    • Risk collection and identification
    • Risk evaluation
    • Planning of risk management events
    • Execution of risk management events
    • Evaluation process of information security performance


Providing of information security in a context of moving to process outsourcing is a complicated task. However, a system approach and ongoing improvement of business process analysis and description procedures. Along with risks evaluation, they allow achieving a significant decrease in IT-costs and improvement of IT-services. By the way, there is a great article about 3 main tips for the effective mobile app development outsourcing.

The Adoriasoft has over 8 years of successful expertise on the market. Do you need any help with outsourcing your project? If your answer is ‘Yes’, contact our team. In addition to the consultation, we will provide you with a free estimation of your project.