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Precautions before Hiring your next IT Security Company: Legal Advice

 > Business Laws  > Precautions before Hiring your next IT Security Company: Legal Advice

Precautions before Hiring your next IT Security Company: Legal Advice

Cyber-attacks have been proliferating in the past few months, and now firms and companies have begun batting an eye on this issue and started taking it seriously. Cyber-attacks are not new, but with development in IT security technology comes the development in breaching the said security too. Along with the rapid expansion in today’s world, the level of skills possessed by the cybercriminals and threats posed by them towards the big IT companies and business owners, has also burgeoned, such as hacking attacks, spamming, data theft, black hat practices etc. A string of various cyber-attacks has ultimately put forward the vulnerabilities of such business owners, and this brings us to the question, “What are the steps that the companies should take in order to avoid these attacks?”. And this is where an IT consultant turn out to be useful to the companies.

IT Security Company is the Need of the Hour!
A Company cannot do all of its work per se, and that is why there is a concept of decentralization, so that the work is distributed and efficiency is increased. In short, the subject matter expert should deal with the subject. An IT Consultant’s job is to analyse the threat, build a defence, and help implementing it. From firewall system and threat management, to the apt command on programming languages, ethical hacking and coding practices, all comes under its umbrella.

Cyber-attacks can cause a loss of irrecoverable time and money worth millions, which definitely any company would not prefer paying. So, when an IT consultant is in handy, it can save the company from such blitz with their immaculate knowledge of databases, firewalls, hardware, encryptions and not only prevent it happening for the first time but also, from happening in the near future.

Precautions necessary while hiring an IT Security Company
Now, most of the IT Security Companies hire Security Consultants in order to have a regular check as well as to avoid the risks and threats. But this is imperative to absolutely ensure that the Security Consultant which a company is hiring, is qualified enough and have the required expertise, because there is a whole lot of IT security consultants out there, many of which speak their own baffling tech language and throwing jargons at the company, which the company because of the lack of knowledge, does not understand. Or he can be a witty cybercriminal who is about to enter as a consultant in a company just to disseminate the confidential information to outsiders as some of them are former hackers, who come in this profession after realizing and being well versed with the fact that how vulnerable the companies are, to such form of threats. So there comes the quintessential question of how to know whether the company is selecting the one who is truly qualified?

Top Q&As before the Appointment of IT Security Company

  1. Is the Experience enough?
    Let us talk about the boastful “CV”. Having a fully packed and extremely impressive CV does not mean the consultant is going be a star maker. In this field, where the risk is so high, having practical knowledge and ground experience is a must. Also, a good consultant must know that how to simplify things and explain it in layman terms, otherwise the computerised language will be nothing more than just a show-off. So, to get the most, at the time of hiring, instead of giving hypothetical situations to deal with, ask them about the issues they have dealt in past and how did they resolve it.
  2. How bigger is the security risk entailed for the company?
    The most important thing to do is, understanding the core issue and the ambit of the subject. Company cannot randomly select consultants and ask them to provide a master-key to solve all the issues, because, let’s face it, it does not work like that. The solution to this problem is case per case analysis- larger the risk, bigger the key, and then finally, implementation of a well thought off plan.The company should also be aware of when, where and how to spend its resources on security, and should be ready to improvise at any given point of time. The point being, security solutions provided by the consultant should be in accordance to the needs of the company, and not the other way round.
  3. Actual doer of the job?
    Checking the red flags is necessary before hiring consultants, especially the ones who are in the big leagues. As the most common issue in hand while hiring is, after the “good talk” is done, the pay is decided and the trust is established, many a times the consulting firms, especially the bigger ones, send the lesser experienced or freshers when the actual problem arises. And due to the lack of experience they often tend to complicate the situation, which the company will not be in position to afford, as this might become a habit. So, to avoid this beforehand, a background check on the part of the hiring IT company would suffice and will be fruitful.
  4. Is the IT Consulting firm’s previous score card satisfactory?
    You start the race, you win, good. You start the race, you fall, then you get back on your feet, and still win, this is even better. Being perfect is not possible, but being smart and honest is. If a consultant’s solution involves a halt on the entire company or business, it is time to say goodbye. Being secure in the cyber world is one of the many slices of a cake but not the entire cake. So, basically, you failed or not it doesn’t matter, but were you able to bring back your previous clients back on foot or not, is the most important fact to consider beforehand.
  5. Is/Are there any Communication gap among each other?
    Bridging the communication gap between each other is required as excessive secrecy by the consulting agency can be risky. Most of them, don’t involve the companies in question while solving their issues, which results in losing the upper hand in the situation, and at the end of the day, the outcome will not be satisfactory, as the company has no idea about the areas of improvement or whether it actually improved at all or not, or whether the issue resolved was a permanent bye-bye or just a temporary one. Being aware at every stage, and proper communication among the consultants and the hiring IT company is something to keep in mind. The IT Company shall make the Consultant sign an undertaking while hiring process, that the consultant must regularly update the Company about the problems and the course of action planned by the consultant to solve those issues, in order to avoid the communication gap.
  6. Existing employees training- is the Consultant really willing to do it?
    This is rather something most of the consultants do not prefer doing. As educating the employees is not in good favour of their business. Because once the employees get self-sufficient, they might not need the IT consultants at every stage. This brings the threat to their survival. But on the other hand, for companies, educated and aware employees is a straight A. Because the goal of the company is to be self-sufficient and not entirely dependent on the Consulting Agency, or else they will be nothing but a Puppet in the hands of the IT consultants. Also, training is positively significant these days for the employees, in order to avoid all sorts of insider threats that could occur at any time and put the employee as well as the company in turn, in a risky situation, just with a click on a random e-mail that could be a phishing e-mail that the employee without any training, will not know it by himself.
  7. How can the company be of assistance?
    The company not only plays the role of smiling at the results and congratulating the solution providers, but the company needs to be open with resources and needs to provide the necessary support required to the IT consultants, physical monetary or otherwise, as at the end, it is the company that saves millions. The relationship involved here is more of a “give and take” and less of a “only take and go home” kind. Also obtaining all the information from the consultant during the hiring process, regarding what level of assistance, what amounts, they need to require from the company, that sincerely will help the hiring Company to decide whether to proceed with the consultancy or not.

What are the key responsibilities of an IT Security Consultant?
• The IT Consultant must check and properly examine the assets, resources and devices of the Company for determining the probable security threats.
• The Consultant must timely recognize the possible security risks and then appropriately decide the best course of action for its resolution.
• The key tasks involve scheming, executing as well as sustaining the security protocols, strategies, proposals and systems in order to deal with all kinds of possible security threats.
• The Consultant should synchronise well with the specialised security team and instruct everything to them, ranging from the ground rules to assigning specific tasks.
• The Consultant must schedule regular meetings with clients to discuss the security actions that should be immediately taken, deliver them all the relevant information, and elucidate the course of action planned by the consultancy.
• They must regularly run risk assessment and security tests in order to exterminate as many potential risks as achievable.
• They have to compile and present the reports on the results achieved.
• It is the responsibility of the Consultant to inform the company to remain up to date with the most recent security systems, tools, drifts, and technology.
• They should definitely train the company staff to identify and shield against the security breaches and risks.

The Companies thus can have a check on these Consultants after they have been hired, that whether they are fulfilling all the responsibilities of an ideal IT consultant or not. Whether he is standing up to the mark as he promised to be, during the hiring process. Whether he is proving to be an asset to the company or not. And if all the answers are affirmative, then the company’s future can be free from cyber attacks and if any urgency comes, then with the help of the IT consultant, the situations can ultimately be effectively and positively handled.
Authored By: Adv. Anant Sharma & Neha Sharma

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