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How to Outsource Programming Tasks Safely

Outsourcing programming tasks can be a great way to save time and money, but it's important to do it safely. That begins with picking an organization (or person) to outsource to. Anyone in a decision-making role probably gets dozens of messages a year (if not week) from supposed trustworthy outsourcers. But how can you be sure that's the case?

Here are some tips to pick an outsourcer:

  1. Do your research. Before you outsource any programming tasks, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable company. There are many companies out there that offer programming services, so it's important to find one that has a good reputation and a proven track record of success.

  2. Get everything in writing. Once you've chosen a company, be sure to get everything in writing. This includes the scope of work, the timeline, the budget, and the payment terms. This will help to protect you in case there are any problems down the road.

  3. Set clear expectations. Be sure to set clear expectations with the company you're outsourcing to. This includes things like the quality of work, the communication style, and the level of involvement you want to have in the project.

  4. Provide clear instructions. When you're providing instructions to the company you're outsourcing to, be sure to be as clear and concise as possible. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings and ensure that the project is completed to your satisfaction.

  5. Monitor the project closely. Once the project is underway, be sure to monitor it closely. This will help to ensure that the project is on track and that the company is meeting your expectations.

  6. Be prepared to make changes. Things don't always go according to plan, so be prepared to make changes to the project as needed. This could include things like the scope of work, the timeline, or the budget.

  7. Be respectful of the company's time. Remember that the company you're outsourcing to is a business, so be respectful of their time. This means providing them with all the information they need in a timely manner and being responsive to their requests.

  8. Be fair in your dealings with the company. Remember that the company you're outsourcing to is a business, so be fair in your dealings with them. This means paying them on time and honoring the terms of the contract.

Outsourcing work to a third-party can be a great way to save time and money. However, it's important to share resourcers, and specifically, credentials with outsourcers safely to protect your data and systems. Here are some tips:

  1. Use a secure password manager. A password manager can help you generate and store strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts. This will make it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts if one of your passwords is compromised.

  2. Only share the minimum amount of credentials necessary. When you're sharing credentials with an outsourcer, only share the minimum amount of credentials necessary for them to do their job. This will help to reduce the risk of a security breach.

  3. Change your passwords regularly. It's important to change your passwords regularly, even for accounts that you've shared with outsourcers. This will help to keep your accounts secure in case a password is compromised.

  4. Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. Be sure to monitor your accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. This includes things like unauthorized logins, unusual transactions, or changes to your account settings.

  5. Have a plan in place in case of a breach. In the event that your credentials are compromised, have a plan in place to mitigate the damage. This may include changing your passwords, freezing your accounts, and reporting the breach to the authorities.

We also need to understand what a password gives a user access to. We call our product Secret Chest rather than something-something-passwords (although that would be a great name) because it's about far more than just passwords. Most modern products bring in APIs and frameworks from a variety of sources. When we give a user a password with enough rights to do a task, it often means they can create tokens, keys, certificates, and more. Therefore, we have to analyze each service and revoke any of those that aren't necessary. Further, we should do this routinely.

Finally, we must-must-must review the code checked in (e.g. via GitHub or GitLab) before it goes live. This means a version control system, automated checks, and manual review of changes. That helps keep from releasing stuff that not only puts us at risk but also puts our users at risk.

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