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How can IT contractors impact cyber security?

Published 16th March 2016

For a business to succeed it will need to be able to effectively govern risk and risk factors. However, there are a number of new risk areas that need to be accounted for. IT security is one such area.

Nevertheless, there is a range of responses that business leaders can take in relation to IT security. One such example could be the deployment of IT contractor services.

Could IT security impact business development?

Growing a business is typically one of the key goals that leaders set out to accomplish. However, IT security is becoming a major obstacle to development for many organisations.

According to research by Robert Half, 38 per cent of chief technology officers (CTO) and chief information officers (CIO) said that IT security will have the biggest effect on businesses over the next five years.

The report is based on a survey of over 900 CIOs and CTOs from a range of countries, including Australia, Germany, UK, Honk Kong, Singapore and Japan.

“The rising fear of data theft, hacking and fraud compounded by the fact that many staff are now working remotely and on multiple devices means there’s an increasing demand for IT security specialists,” said Robert Half Senior Managing Director Asia Pacific David Jones.

“Across the globe, all IT initiatives require expert IT professionals and in order to wheel them in, companies are increasingly prepared to offer more extensive remuneration packages,” he added.

Attracting IT security staff is only one way to fix the problem; enlisting contractor assistance is another. However, with contractors comes another form of risk: Employee engagement.

To be able to handle this, companies will need to find new ways to control for risk when it comes to contractor agreements.

Controlling for risk: Contractor engagement

In the fight for IT security, boards may be employing more employees and contractors who can help implement new strategies as well as additional hardware and software. However, organisations may have to alter their risk strategy in an effort to stay on top of employment management.

According to Ernst and Young, only 7 per cent of Australian directors are reviewing their risk management and business goals in real time. The report shows that this approach limits the capabilities of risk management as well as the opportunities to implement risk analysis as part of day-to-day decision-making.

On the other hand, the report points out that 35 per cent of Australian executives are beginning to use real-time analytics. This approach could help lead corporate and project-level employees to a more insightful and efficient risk management process and thus can lead to more balanced risk taking.

Oceania Risk Transformation Leader Catherine Friday said that Australian executive boards were similar to the global average. However, better oversight could be developed through more persistent evaluations of their company’s risk profiles.

One major part of a risk strategy should be how the organisation handles its arrangements with contractors.

What about contract management software?

Enlisting the help of a specialist contractor management software supplier is one way a company can manage risk more efficiently.

“While an annual review process can be useful, it really is the bare minimum in terms of connecting risk information to business planning and decision-making,” Ms Friday said.

Companies such as Oncore Services offer a range of products that could help boards review up-to-date risk factors. By streamlining payment and tax obligations, employers can limit the employment risk a company shoulders.

Alongside contractor management software, contractor specialists can offer comprehensive contractor insurance policies as well as payroll services. The aim is to reduce the risk associated with contractor engagement agreements and reduce the reliance on non-compliant structures, for instance sole traders and trusts.

If you would like to find out about better risk management, talk to the experts in the field. Contact Oncore Services today and find out how their services can reduce the risk your company carries.