August 29, 2019 Three Tips to Lock Down Business Security in the Digital Age

The need for every business to ensure iron-clad digital security has increased along with the growth of the gig economy. According to Forbes, gig work has expanded in virtually every industry, and even emerging economies are developing their gig sectors by as much as 30 percent. Every business that offers a digital component must think about securing its data.
Mike Morris, CEO of Topcoder, was invited by Dave Bittner, the host of CyberWire’s daily podcast, to discuss how Topcoder has been at the forefront of providing privacy and security for its clients, in terms of IP security that began with the companies they work with, but also in terms of the IP security of the code or other deliverables that are created through Topcoder’s talent network. The two discuss Morris’s insights about security in the podcast episode Security in the gig Economy Era. Here are Morris’s top three suggested strategies for companies wishing to ensure their data is protected.

1. Verify the Workers

Digital security is similar to traditional security in that background checks, contracts and NDAs are necessary first steps. People who work through a digital platform still need to be screened and verified in all the same ways, with legal contracts set into place. The key to accountability is knowing who your worker is, and these are necessary steps to achieve that. Topcoder expands upon this by deepening its relationships with its platform members, fostering a robust sense of community and clear expectations for accountability. The talent you work with through Topcoder, for example, is a known entity. These are known entities. “These are people that have a background and a track record that you can look at and see who is working on your projects,” says Morris.

2. Trace all Data Transactions

Another key component to an exceptional digital security program is to trace every data interaction, says Morris. Topcoder traces every data interaction. From who has access to the data to ensuring the data cannot be downloaded, precautions are taken every step of the way. This transactional-based security check happens with data coming in, and data going out. It also includes technical checking through virus scanning, code reviews, and additional manual scanning by reviewers who are paid to look through code. “This is built into our process and creates a much more secure and robust way of working versus the traditional model of just assembling teams together and having that ad hoc requirement for security,” says Morris.

3. Build a Merit-Based Rating System

Additionally, Topcoder further ensures quality security by creating a merit-based rating system that tracks the overall experience and performance of each Topcoder community member. This rating system includes reliability and performance. Each person is rated on his or her accomplishments, and on performance in relation to his or her peers. “This program is similar to the rating system used by Major League Baseball for its players,” says Morris. “We do that same type of thing for our community members, but we track them on their accomplishments—when they compete or produce something. We factor in a person’s scores. A person’s reviews. Morris says that Topcoder combines all of the data to create a composite track record of accountability.
These three key features—verifying, tracing and rating—are at the foundation of a state-of-the-art digital security program, says Morris. It has allowed companies working with Topcoder to feel confident that their information is protected. Check out Topcoder to find out more.

VP, Marketing

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