In this blog post, ProcessUnity, the leading provider of Vendor Risk Management software and Cybersecurity Program Management software, covers key strategies for addressing third-party cyber risk.
Modern cybersecurity programs need to evolve rapidly to navigate new challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and high-profile cyber attacks. The CISO’s role has expanded beyond monitoring risks and threats to include maintaining oversight of high-value assets, policies, training validation, and control ratings.
Recent high-profile third-party data breaches present another factor to consider: third-party cybersecurity risk. Growing reliance on third parties makes it necessary that organizations adopt agile IT compliance processes to mitigate cyber risk. The most efficient cybersecurity programs today have integrated third-party risk management across IT, procurement and executive teams to address cyber risk throughout the supply chain.
Top Challenges Facing Third-Party Cyber Risk Management
These are the most significant challenges that programs encounter when identifying, managing, and mitigating third-party cyber risk:
- Securing high-value assets throughout the supply chain: When a service is outsourced, the contracting organization will likely share some sensitive data or applications with the vendor. Organizations need to identify the vendors that access sensitive data or applications and understand their security practices.
- Identifying and communicating changes to the regulatory environment: New regulations and standards on cybersecurity, such as the Biden Administration’s Executive Order, make it critical that organizations verify the IT compliance of their vendors.
- Moving away from checkbox compliance and point-in-time assessments: It is not enough to assess a vendor’s security posture with a single assessment. Your organization needs to know that proper controls are regularly implemented while staying updated on any issues that arise.
Unfortunately, failure to properly monitor vendors often results in a third-party data breach that poses serious financial, operational, and reputational risk. The organization must regularly validate controls across all third parties by developing cross-functional processes for third-party risk management and cybersecurity.
Strategies for Aligning Cybersecurity with Third-Party Risk Management
Organizations can begin to address third-party cyber risk with enterprise-wide integration by:
- Establishing Internal Cybersecurity Policies, Procedures, and Controls: Determine the organization’s cybersecurity priorities and implement a control framework. This should be used as a standard for addressing the cybersecurity of your vendors in due diligence and ongoing monitoring.
- Assigning Ownership and Communicating Cybersecurity Priorities: Identify the appropriate owners internally for each third party. Make sure that owners are up to speed on the organization’s cybersecurity goals. Third-party owners should be able to effectively communicate these goals to the vendor.
- Continuously Monitoring Vendor Cybersecurity: Stay on top of a third party’s cybersecurity practices as new regulations, standards and incidents emerge. Do not rely on point-in-time assessments to tell a full story of third-party cyber risk. Consider verifying vendor risk assessment results with cybersecurity ratings from SecurityScorecard to validate a third party’s cybersecurity posture.
The bottom line is that third-party risk has become as critical as first-party risk. As cybersecurity becomes a priority for regulators, consumers and investors alike, organizations need to integrate Third-Party Risk Management into cybersecurity practices.
How ProcessUnity Cybersecurity Program Management and SecurityScorecard Can Help
It’s more important than ever to be effective in identifying where your cybersecurity weaknesses lie – both inside and outside your organization. ProcessUnity Cybersecurity Program Management (CPM) provides a single, comprehensive view into an organization’s entire cybersecurity program to provide holistic insight on the state of cybersecurity. ProcessUnity CPM features prepackaged mapped content, automated workflows, assessments, and dynamic reporting, enabling the CISO to manage cyber risk internally and externally. Connecting SecurityScorecard’s security ratings to ProcessUnity enables you to gain a single, comprehensive view with ratings embedded into third-party profiles for continuous visibility into risk. Learn more about ProcessUnity at https://www.processunity.com/cybersecurity-program-management/ and our pre-built connector at https://securityscorecard.pathfactory.com/l/processunity.