04-08-2015

Enterprise Security: Are Your Partners Secure?

Making partnership decisions is contingent on creating symbiotic relationships. Most businesses choose their partners in order to increase sales, achieve common goals, and expand marketing reach. One thing that can go unnoticed when choosing a partner, however, is the organization’s dedication to secure business practices. With security risks as high as they are today, you cannot assume that another company has the same determination to adhere to best security practices as yours does.

Partnering with unsecure businesses—whether they are aware of their vulnerabilities or not—will make your enterprise more vulnerable to compromise. A motivated attacker will find any way to reach your business and your back door may be leaking information by way of your partners.

How Do You Know if Your Partners Are Secure?

There are many steps that lead up to finalizing a partnership deal. In the early stages of your research, you should look for best security practice implementation and if you see room for improvement, have those conversations.

Observe

Observe your potential partner organization from afar. Check out their website and online portals. Does the organization use SSL Certificates to encrypt browsing data? An HTTPS connection is critical for login pages, such as an online portal, where sensitive information is being submitted.

Digital certificates can also boost customer confidence. 87% of Internet users said they immediately trust their private information on a website secured by an Extended Validation certificate.

If possible, observe the organization in their own office. Take note of security implementations they have in place for their data storage, work computers, and other devices. Do employees lock personal computers when they step away from their desks? This simple task is a basic security practice that every company should encourage.

Talk to Experts

In some situations, you may have access and the opportunity to talk to some of the organization’s employees. If possible, talk to on-site IT admins and discuss their strategy for keeping information secure. System admins should be knowledgeable about what security practices the company has in place.

Discuss strategies for data security, storage, and encryption if large amounts of personal information are being transmitted or stored at rest. Encryption is the front-line defense for defending data at rest. Secure, off-site storage is a must in many industries, such as banking, payment processing, and healthcare. Establishing best security practices as part of your partnership is a beneficial for you and your partner because it leaves no room for misinterpretation.

Mandate Security Best Practices

Building a secure business partnership should be dependent on security best practices. If security is a top priority for your company, it should be for your partner as well. Set a security standard from the beginning that encourages both corporations to adhere to security best practices. Some of these best practices may include:

  • Data encryption at rest as well as during transmission
  • Using SSL Certificates to secure websites, login portals, and emails
  • Using complex, randomly generated passwords for all corporate accounts
  • Educate users about potential security issues
  • Keep operating systems up-to-date

Forming strategic business partnerships is essential for success in many industries today, but companies dedicated to tight security may be exposed to compromise if the deal is formed without discussing security measures. Protect your company from back-door vulnerabilities by observing, discussing, and mandating best security practices.

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