Offshore coding work raises security concerns

Monday, 5 May 2003, 6:00 PM EST

IT professionals are raising serious questions about the U.S. software industry's reliance on overseas software developers, arguing that the practice puts companies and the U.S. economy at risk.

A recent study by Gartner Inc. predicts that by 2004, more than 80% of U.S. companies will consider outsourcing critical IT services, including software development, to countries such as India, Pakistan, Russia and China. But some users said the trend needs to be given a sanity check in light of recent changes in the global security environment.

At last week's Techno-Security Conference, users peppered a panel of corporate security officers with questions about the wisdom of outsourcing software development to cheap labor overseas, where there is little or no way to ascertain the security risk that workers may pose.

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