This is episode 3, season 3 of The Defiant Business Podcast and today we’re going to talk about security while outsourcing. This is a topic that actually comes from my roots in cybersecurity, back when I was a federal contractor and in the Army. I’ve found that I’m a bit more conscious of cybersecurity risks than anybody in my network. This is something I wanted to cover to help keep you safe when you’re outsourcing work, whether you’re a big or a small business.
You can listen to the audio here:
Or watch the video:
Companies of the Future are Running Lean
Outsourcing is becoming more big-business, because there are a lot of companies out there who are trying to run as lean as possible. This means that they’re outsourcing portions of their business that don’t serve the company’s mission or vision.
Not to mention, you may have heard that it’s cheaper to write off X services than it is to hire X staff. What I mean is, it’s cheaper to write off marketing services than to hire marketing staff. The same goes for human relations, or finance, or your supply chain and logistics services.
If you aren’t a supply chain and logistics company, then it may be cheaper for you to outsource those to a 3rd party logistics (3PL) company, and you can write that off as a business expense.
Entrusting Someone With Business Critical Information
Speaking from a marketing perspective, outsourcing kind of feels like the Wild, Wild West. You want to hire someone to rewrite your website, or write blog content, or use platform functions. How should you do that?
My advice is to use platform functions to give them access to your site versus giving them your credentials (your username and password). In WordPress, it’s possible to add authors or users to your website.
You might be thinking, “Hmm, it might be easier just to give them my username and password.” But it’s less safe, and this may come back to bite you.
So if you feel like you just want to give them your password, you should use an app like Dashlane!
I used to recommend LastPass until it stopped allowing me to share passwords. The LastPass Help Desk told me that I was part of a small but growing subset of users who could no longer share passwords on their platform. Additionally, they didn’t have an estimated time frame in which I would be able to share passwords again.
So apps like Dashlane, which is the new platform that I’m using, can securely share usernames and passwords.
It also allows you to quickly revoke access at any time. And this works great! If a contractor/freelancer agency ghosts you, or you’re suspicious of some of the activities that they’re doing on your website, you can just go and cut off their credential access. They won’t be able to log in anymore.
It’s Alright, I Trust This Person!
Now you might be thinking, “Oh, but Ruthie, I trust so-and-so!” Well, I have people that I trust too. I explicitly trust them with everything, but it’s not them that I don’t always trust.
Hackers May Get Your Credentials
I love that my clients trust me. However, even if I do everything right and all of my passwords are secure, if I receive their credentials in my email and my email gets hacked… I think you can see where this is going.
It’s not me using my client’s credentials in a way that’s unethical or illegal. It’s that I, along with hundreds or millions of other people, had our email accounts hacked, and now they have access to those sorts of things.
There are programs that are created to just scan, looking for things like usernames or passwords, and then checking to see if those are credentials that they can use. This is a real thing, and something that you should be concerned about.
Help Your Virtual Assistant Out
Additionally, password-sharing apps can be more efficient for contractors as well. Especially virtual assistants, who may require many of your passwords to properly assist you.
Do you really think that they want to have to go, “Okay, open emails… Search… Okay, I found it. Oh! Nope, didn’t find it…” And they’ve got a bunch of your emails that they have to keep safe.
Apps like Dashlane, in addition to being secure, will autofill the username and password without having to copy and paste it in.
Our content channels are the faces of our business and we can’t afford to have them compromised, whether it’s from an unethical freelancer/agency or hackers. Outsourcing isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, but you have to be smart about it when you do it.
That was my security briefing for when you outsource your content creation, or any of your other business functions, to an outside person who’s not on your network on your computers. If you have the infrastructure to have multiple employee computers, that is my security briefing for you. I will see you next time.