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Data Security: Our Obligation—How VE Keep your Sensitive Information Safe

Myspace—from Rise to Rest in Peace

Year 2003. Chris De Wolfe and Tom Anderson co-founded Myspace, the American social networking site that became the biggest networking site in the world, even surpassing Google with its number of visitors each day. Up until 2008, Myspace was living its most glorious days, where people logged in each day to connect with their friends, post photos, and play music. Acting as a platform to discover new artists online, Myspace became the stepping stone to success for various artists like Avicii, Adele, Sean Kingston, Owl City and Lily Allen among numerous others.

Year 2019. Myspace returns to headlines, but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. In March, Myspace announced that the site has lost close to 50 million songs from 14 million artists, and numerous other photos and videos—all of which were uploaded on the site by users prior to 2015. The site went on to disclose that retrieving millions of online data is a next to impossible task and it is in-fact an irreversible data loss.

Lessons learnt from Myspace?

The Myspace era got users comfortable with the concept of Cloud. The vast majority of users were unaware that the cloud has the capacity to delete data in its entirety, should a technical glitch occur at any given point of time. Myspace taught a valuable lesson to one and all this 2019—if appropriate backups aren’t in place, the internet can someday, lose all your data!

Solution?

Cloud computing is that one technology that got the ball rolling for outsourcing and offshore projects. As Myspace is witness too, although it brings forth numerous benefits, involves certain risks. When you base a company entirely on internet based technology, you are making it an easy prey for hackers. Which is why you need to trust a company that has strong software interfaces and secure encrypted servers.

At Virtual employee, we understand that digital data is your most valuable asset. Thus, before you sign a contract with us, you can carefully study and examine all our security capabilities. Adhering to stringent IT protocols, security and legal provisions, we are an ISO 27001:2013 certified company that deals with ISMS (Information Security Management System).

Now, dealing with the second part of the problem—backups. Despite Myspace’s error, it isn’t the concept of backup that is unnerving, but, where the backup is going to be stored. When you work with your virtual employee, his/her system is directly connected with yours, thus ensuring that your servers and you, are the sole owner of your intellectual property. We also disable access to CD-ROM drives, USB ports, printers, floppy, etc. to ensure that no duplication of data takes place. While appropriate software monitor your employee’s action on external emails and the outside world, our NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) instills severe penalties on your virtual employee for any form of client data breach.

Data Breach—Mayhem of the 21st Century

While Myspace ended up losing all its user data, biggies like Yahoo experienced data breach in 2014 that compromised the private information of over 500 million users and cost the company millions of dollars. Be it Yahoo, Facebook, or Twitter, each of these companies have at some point of time, experienced some of the biggest data breaches of the 21st century. Compromising the sensitive information of billions of users, these companies have also incurred immense loses in the process.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/290525/cyber-crime-biggest-online-data-breaches-worldwide/

  1. Yahoo: 2013-14, Impact: 3 billion user accounts
  2. Marriott International: 2014-18, Impact: 500 million customers
  3. eBay: 2014, Impact: 145 million users
  4. Equifax: 2017, Impact: 143 million customers (209,000 consumer credit card details exposed)
  5. Target Stores:2013, Impact: credit/debit card details of 110 million people
  6. Uber: 2016; Impact: 57 million users, and the list goes on and on and on…

Cyber-crimes have become the biggest threat to any online businesses. Although several companies blame their internal servers or system errors for a particular breach, statistics reveal that over 50% of security breaches in 2018 occurred due to a malicious outsider.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/221285/types-of-attackers-responsible-for-data-breaches/

So, when it comes to information that is processed abroad, how much do you really trust your offshore partner? The biggest mistake most companies make is to not thoroughly check the authenticity of an offshore agency. And the remaining half, rarely check their contracts before signing them. Before you get started on things, ensure that your offshore partner performs an adequate criminal background checks on your hired virtual employee. This will ensure that the resource employed by you has no prior negligent behavior whatsoever. For the remaining steps, here’s a quick checklist:

Nailing Overseas Security

When it comes to data security, it all comes down to the manner in which communication is set within your offshore company. As stated earlier, your resources’ system is directly connected to the servers in your office, thus eliminating any form of data breach from your virtual employee’s end. Additionally, we also set up online collaboration tools which will enable you to view your employee’s screen at any given time, and assign virtual desktops to your resource for additional safety.

Since Virtual Employee is a ISO 27001:2013 certified company, we are by default linked to the Information Security Management System (ISMS) which has a set of mandatory guidelines that ought to be followed with regards to client’s sensitive data. While the goal of ISMS is to minimize risk and ensure business continuity by pro-actively limiting the impact of a security breach, VE’s goal is to ensure that your valuable data and information is safeguarded at any cost.

Visit our Facility

Data security is more than just words you hear. This is why we urge client’s to visit our offices in India, so they can conduct appropriate security audits, review our IT security procedures, read contracts and non-disclosure agreements, and finally make an informed decision based on what they experience. We are located in Noida, at the Special Economic Zone (NSEZ), which is governed and run by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. To put your worry at rest regarding offshoring your business, here’s a quick fact: In order for any organization to function in the Special Economic Zone, they have to qualify and fulfill certain prerequisites set by up the Government of India. Space is granted only after each of these prerequisites are fulfilled. Thus, it is only the legitimate companies that can in-fact operate from NSEZ.

Certifications and Authenticity

Virtual Employee is a CMMi – Level 3, ISO 9001:2008 and 270001:2013 certified company, and has been in operation since the year 2007. And in these 12 years of successful business, not once have we experienced a single data breach from within the organization.

Firewalls, Anti-Spyware, and Additional Security Measures

The importance of firewall and anti-spyware is stressed upon time and again when it comes to the internet. Apart from implementing stringent firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware software, we also ensure that all our systems are completely isolated from one another on the network. Thus, any form of access would require prior admin authorization and this is directly under the control of our IT department. Domain authentication using LDAP is also under the control of our IT staff. Additionally, prior written permission from Project Leads is also required if an employee needs to use external drives.

Finally, to put all your worries to rest once and for all, here’s a quick look at the clients who vouch for Virtual Employee:

Here’s a visualization of how our data security measures will safeguard the valuable data of your business

Huge thanks to Akram Khan of Human Resources for providing technical inputs.

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