Expanding operations into new countries introduces prolific new cybersecurity considerations for organisations.
New regulatory environments, staff training needs, response planning, third-party oversight, and segmentation strategies must all be addressed to secure global growth. So how can scaling up organisations implement strategic cyber policies and procedures to enable a smooth transition overseas?
That’s what this guide looks to uncover to empower you to undertake this endeavour with confidence and ensure your overseas expansion is successful.
The regulatory compliance obligations in your new overseas location, should be fully researched and understood right from the start. Researching any new territories in depth that your business has identified as viable to enter should be the first part of your strategy.
Engaging experienced, professional legal counsel can help fully identify applicable cybersecurity regulations and repercussions of non-compliance. These should be baked into security and privacy policies from the outset. Special firms exist to help enterprises set up facilities in territories like Gibraltar with consolidated experience, advising foreign entities on establishment and regulatory obligations across technology and cybersecurity.
It’s always prudent to consult legal assistance and advice before taking operations overseas to understand the full extent of legal criteria your operation will have to meet.
Key areas to cover include (but are not limited to):
Do not assume any overseas staff – whether full-time hires or independent contractors – are familiar with your preferred cybersecurity practices and protocols. If you have spent time refining processes based on EU or US legislation and regulations, and you’re taking your enterprise to a new territory altogether, you may need to bring native workers up to speed.
Extensive training is required to uphold consistent policies across the organisation, regardless of geographical location.
You should enforce the following baseline protective measures for all workers, wherever they are located:
Schedule regular refresher training to keep security top of mind. Bring in outside experts to deliver bespoke training where necessary.
Existing incident response plans likely focus on infrastructure that’s established in your home territory. It’s likely that you will need to expand your plans to encompass any setup or facility that relies on connected and collaborative systems, particularly with more workforces working remotely on occasion
Cover overseas considerations like:
Relying on vendors native to your new territory introduces risks, which is why it’s crucial to scrutinize their security carefully. While most firms will exercise proper security across their operations, don’t always judge a book by its cover.
For third parties like local infrastructure, software, and payment processors, as well as marketing and PR agencies, make sure that you do the following before committing to any agreement.
Regular reviews of supplier security should be scheduled once under contract. Require swift remediation of any findings.
For organisations with constrained in-house resources, third-party cybersecurity services can provide quick capabilities for global growth. This can include the aforementioned penetration testing of incumbent systems to broader incident response retainers, policy implementation, vulnerability assessments, compliance consulting, detection & response capabilities and cyber threat monitoring.
While it’s safe to assume most qualified and accredited cybersecurity specialists will uphold data integrity, make sure that they can capably handle any anomalies that lie in your new overseas setup.
Digital transformation has accelerated the adoption of systems that can coexist with geographically dispersed teams.
With most company data able to be accessed overseas, the benefits this can bring are apparent. However, managing and limiting access is still critical, particularly for workers who have less familiarity with best cybersecurity practices.
Companies should enforce strategies such as:
Expanding operations overseas generates plenty of viable growth opportunities. However, among those lie major new cybersecurity considerations, from local laws to new human and vendor risks.
Addressing these proactively enables organisations to scale securely and with complete peace of mind. With proper vigilance, foreign markets offer more growth upside than downside.