Offshore development can be a great way to cut the costs of your project and build strong relations with software companies across the globe. With so many options to pick, choosing the right offshore development center is critical to the success of your software product. One of your biggest considerations when picking an offshore development center should be security.
It is important that you ensure the security of your project to protect your company’s and your customer’s data. We’ve compiled a checklist of security considerations you should make sure are complete for the safest offshore development experience.
By ensuring you have these considerations covered you can potentially save your company from any future problems.
1) Enterprise-grade firewalls and network monitoring
One way to find out if an offshore development center takes technical security seriously is to ask a few questions regarding measures they have put in place to protect their customers and themselves. Using an offshore development center means that all data will be communicated over the internet, thus the network security should be at the forefront of your mind. Enterprise-grade firewalls can prevent attacks from occurring to the data being transferred by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic on the network.
A quality firewall will stop suspicious traffic from accessing the network, server, or computer. Network monitoring tools can also be employed to further protect networks. These can help identify weak and vulnerable areas of the network where attackers may target, allowing these areas to be fixed. Does the offshore development center employ these features or other similar ones?
2) How seriously does the development center take physical security?
The technical security measures the center puts in place during development of the software (such as those mentioned above) are not the only security requirements you need to ask about when it comes to choosing an offshore development center. The physical security of the data itself is critical to the overall security of the project.
There have been large breaches in which the data was stolen through physical means, such as by a well-meaning employee misplacing a laptop and it is getting into the wrong hands. Often physical security of the data can often be forgotten when considering the overall security of an offshore development center, potentially leading to undesirable situations.
Some questions to consider when assessing how seriously the physical security of an offshore development center is taken include: Do employees have security and data protection training? Are passwords and encryption technology used by all employees? Is the building where the developers work secure? Questions such as these can enable you to determine if the development center is the best choice for your company, possibly preventing future troubles from occurring.
3)) How secure is the final software product?
Not only is the security of the entire development process important to consider, but you should also consider the final software products security. Once completed, the software should have security features in place to protect its users. Make sure this is something you discuss with the developer team before beginning the project. If problems do ever occur, you should be able to contact the offshore developers for help.
4) Control over who can access data
When using offshore development services, you want to make sure you are aware of who can access the data you are sharing. This can be difficult to ensure as you are not able to physically be present in an office and watch what goes on. Consequently, this will mean you will mainly have to rely on how much you trust the development center. This trust can be earned by judging the answers to the questions mentioned earlier in this post, if most of these security features are in place it is likely that you can trust the offshore software development center to not purposely share your data without your knowledge.
It is also a good idea to do some background research and look for reviews of the development center. You can contact companies that posted the reviews to ask any questions you may have regarding their security experience with the offshore developers. It is possible companies that have worked with the offshore developers may have even visited the offices before and could have insight for you, helping you make the best decision for your company.
Also, read: The guide to offshore software development rates
5) Intellectual property theft
Last, but certainly not least, is the security of your intellectual property (IP). Make sure you consider how clearly you are communicating what you want from the offshore development services provider so that no misunderstandings regarding what your IP is can occur. Create explicit contracts, such as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Providing a legally binding agreement to ensure the safety of your IP can save you from many possible future problems. This need for clear communication regarding usage of ideas also goes both ways, so ensure that you understand what the offshore developer centers expectations are regarding the final software product as well.