Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Insecurities over Indian outsourcing

Filed under
Security

Some say there's little risk, while others warn of serious hazards, including a threat to America's national sovereignty.

In the incident, former call center employees of Mphasis are accused of taking part in a theft of $350,000 from U.S. consumers' bank accounts.

In the wake of the theft, some observers have voiced concerns about the security of data being handled by outsourcers in India, including worries about weak procedures for checking employee backgrounds. According to this school of thought, the Mphasis breach could dramatically dent the amount of call center work shipped to outsourcers operating offshore.

"This was not a lapse of judgment or an issue of poor customer service: The incident was an organized and systematic plot to steal customers' money," John McCarthy, an analyst at Forrester Research, wrote recently. "Forrester believes that this breach, coupled with recent onshore disclosures of sensitive customer data, will have far-reaching negative connotations for the offshore BPO (business process outsourcing) space."

Not everyone shares this view. But even the perception of danger could hurt the market.

A report from rival researcher Gartner played down the security risks but made no bones about the seriousness of the situation. "The entire Indian offshore industry ecosystem--including...the Indian government--must act quickly and decisively to counter the perception that Indian BPO poses a severe security risk," the report said.

Business process outsourcing, or BPO in industry parlance, refers to farming out tasks such as customer service and transaction processing to a separate company. The work could be done in the United States, or completed in lower-wage countries such as India or Mexico. In addition, some organizations have set up their own operations offshore. Shipping tasks offshore has become a controversial issue for U.S. labor advocates.

At the moment, U.S. organizations devote only a small fraction of their budgets for information technology services--including BPO--to low-cost countries, according to a recent Merrill Lynch survey of chief information officers. But that share of the budget is expected to grow over time, from 0.9 percent in 2004 to 1.6 percent in two-to-three years.

Rest of Story

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

96Boards SBC showcases Mediatek’s deca-core Helio X20

MediaTek launched the fastest open-spec SBC to date with a 96Boards development board that runs Android on its deca-core Cortex-A53 and -A72 Helio X20 SoC. The “Helio X20 Development Board” is MediaTek’s first 96Boards form-factor single-board computer, and the most powerful open-spec hacker SBC to date. Although we’ve seen some fast 64-bit SoCs among 96Boards SBCs, such as the HiKey, based on an octa-core, Cortex-A53 HiSilicon Kirin 6220, the Helio X20 Development Board offers an even more powerful Helio X20 system-on-chip processor. Read more

Red Hat Financial News

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • New projects, security, and more OpenStack news
  • LibreOffice 5.1.4 Released with Over 130 Fixes
    The first release candidate represented 123 fixes. Some include a fix for a crash in Impress when setting a background image. This occurred with several popular formats in Windows and Linux. Caolán McNamara submitted the patches to fix this in the 5.1 and 5.2 branches. David Tardon fixed a bug where certain presentations hung Impress for extended periods to indefinitely by checking for preconditions earlier. Laurent Balland-Poirier submitted the patches to fix a user-defined cell misinterpretation when using semicolon inside quotes.
  • Open source. Open science. Open Ocean. Oceanography for Everyone and the OpenCTD
    Nearly four years ago, Kersey Sturdivant and I launched a bold, ambitious, and, frankly, naive crowdfunding initiative to build the first low-cost, open-source CTD, a core scientific instrument that measures salinity, temperature, and depth in a water column. It was a dream born from the frustration of declining science funding, the expense of scientific equipment, and the promise of the Maker movement. After thousands of hours spent learning the skills necessary to build these devices, hundreds of conversations with experts, collaborators, and potential users around the world, dozens of iterations (some transformed into full prototypes, others that exist solely as software), and one research cruise on Lake Superior to test the housing and depth and temperature probes, the OpenCTD has arrived.
  • RuuviTag Open-Source Bluetooth Internet Of Things Sensor Beacon Hits Kickstarter (video)
  • Retro gaming on open source 2048 console
    Retro gaming in the open source vein could be on the upswing this season. Creoqode is the London-based technology design company behind 2048, the DIY game console with retro-style video games and visuals that is also supposed to help users learn coding.