Importance of 3rd Party Vendors
Third-party vendors are extremely important to today’s businesses. They let you systematize certain business processes that you can’t do yourself or that are too costly to do yourself. For instance, third-party vendors can provide your payroll services, HR support, technological services, and do sales for you.
While the third-party vendors can help you save time and money and boost your efficiency, there are also risks associated with using third-party vendors. One of the major risks posed by third-party vendors pertains to cybersecurity. Unfortunately, many businesses underestimate the cybersecurity risks resulting from third parties.
Third-party Cybersecurity Risks
The security risks resulting from third-party vendors have witnessed a steep rise over the last couple of years. The rate of data breaches has increased to an unprecedented level. Almost all industries are now targeted.
According to a survey conducted by Soha Systems, 63 percent of all data breaches resulted from third-party vendors. And on average, businesses spent more than 10 million dollars in their bid to respond to data breaches triggered by third-party vendors in one year, according to a 2016 Ponemon report.
A news report from American Banker about the Target cyber security attack stated that the cybercriminals started their attack by breaking into the one of the retailer’s heating and cooling vendor’s system. The attackers then entered the billing system of the vendor, which led them to Target’s servers. From there, the criminals stole the information on more than 40 million payment cards.
Even though conducting security awareness programs and crafting cybersecurity policies are good to start with, there is no better approach to avert possible cyber attacks than by beginning with a cybersecurity assessment of your third-party vendors.
Third-party Vendor Assessment Program
The best and most effective way to avert third-party cybersecurity risks is to start with a third-party vendor assessment program. By assessing your vendors, you will get an insight into their Internet security gaps. This program is a critical step to address third-party risks and avert cybersecurity attacks.
The vendor assessment program will enable your organization to achieve its goals and objectives in a safer and better way, without bearing losses and damages resulting from cyber attacks.
How to Implement a Third-party Assessment Program
There are certain steps you can take to implement a third-party vendor assessment program in your organization. Here are the steps:
Step 1. Identify Your Third-party Vendors
Start with knowing your vendors. It is likely that the different departments of your business might be using different vendors. Be sure to identify all of your vendors and make a list.
Step 2: Review Your Vendors
Review your third-party vendors in terms of their existing cybersecurity practices, networks, systems, access points, data security, and employee awareness about cybersecurity. The outputs of this step will help you understand the level of risks posed by each vendor to your business. You can then decide whether to terminate your contract with these vendors, keep working with them, or help improve their cybersecurity function.
Step 3: Develop a Questionnaire for Possible Vendors
You can use a questionnaire to assess certain services used by the vendor you plan to work with. Doing so will unveil weaknesses in their practices and systems. The responses will help you make a judicious decision regarding working with the vendor.
How Can Infoguard Help
Infoguard Cybersecurity specializes in 3rd party vendor assessment programs, besides providing a range of other cyber security solutions. We are Certified Third-party Risk Professional (CTPRP) by Shared Assessment Organization. We can develop an inclusive third-party vendor risk management program for you that will mitigate cybersecurity risks posed by your vendors.
Our service includes program governance, development of policies and procedures, security review contracts development, and vendor risk identification and analysis, among a host of other solutions.
Contact us now to know more about our vendor assessment program.