First off, the intention of this article is not to discuss the technical aspects of data security, but to touch on the perceptions of security, when it comes to remotely managed back-offices.
When we get on a plane, we never question the skill set of the pilot. We automatically assume that the airline has followed all FAA regulations to employ only the capable people to operate the aircraft. We don’t question quality assurance of the engines and equipment, we assume the maintenance engineers have done their job right. Yet, accidents do happen.
When we go to the ER, checking a doctor’s credentials is the last thing on our mind. (Heck, we don’t even know if they are “in-network” in our insurance plan till we see the bill !) . We don’t know the quality and accuracy of the tools they use. However, we trust the “system”. Yet, fatal mistakes do happen.
We trust the (involuntarily) credit agencies to protect our most confidential personal data. We all know what happened with Equifax recently.
When we go to the bank, we trust the bank teller (with all due respect to tellers who are honest and hardworking) who is not at the top of the pay scale, not to divulge our information to bad guys. We assume that the HR departments have checked them out and cleared. Yet, we hear about breaches almost every day.
The point I am trying to make here is, we have to trust people and systems all the time in our daily life. However, when it comes to having remote teams, people are nervous, and rightfully so. So, how do you know that you can trust a team that works remotely, especially if they are a third party? You should be able to get comfortable by looking into the following areas;
- Do they have a good track record?
- What do references say?
- Are they associated with globally reputed professional bodies?
- Are the systems they use/propose internally developed OR developed and managed by reputed fin-tech companies with elevated level of data security?
- What are the internal controls to minimize or eliminate data breaches?
- What are the human controls to eliminate “one-man-shows” ?
Having a team like ‘CFO Plans’ is not only necessary but it is becoming a must-do in order to compete in the new economy. Whoever your competitors are, they are making use of it sooner or later. So, you need to adopt & adapt and get in the front of the line to be competitive. Trust is a valuable commodity and let’s place it with the right people!