The New Standards for Third-Party Risk Management Platforms

By Robert DeStefano

Posted on Jun 2, 2021

Cybersecurity is in the news every day, and therefore, it’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind in your organization. Sure, those of us in security-related roles have been living and breathing it for years. However, colleagues from procurement, product development, human resources, and of course executives, are either having to raise their acumen or are at least asking questions. It’s good that everyone is paying attention because the threats are escalating and risk management needs to include exposure from third parties (and beyond). A couple of recent stats to consider:

  • Between January and April of 2020, McAfee reported that attacks on cloud services increased 630%
  • IBM reported it can take 280 days to identify and contain a breach.

If you weren’t feeling stressed before, those numbers may cause you to sweat. Risk management isn’t new, but what is happening now is the pressures coming from different angles, placing more security challenges onto your plate and those of your SecOps team. The changes are coming rapidly, making it hard to stay on track. Organizations need a modern risk management platform to control this volatility and stay ahead of threats. This is true for the biggest, and also the smallest firms. So, what does a new standard for third-party risk management look like? How does it address the security challenges your organization faces today, with the ability to scale to where your business is going in the future?

Foundationally, it starts with the credibility of the risk score. You need to be able to trust the validity of the score, else why bother taking action. Transparent scoring and an automated process to refute inaccurate or false data instill confidence. The dialogue - especially to address errors, builds trust. Being able to supply evidence of a security control directly within the ratings platform makes this easy. A predictable scoring methodology that provides quantitative ratings can use machine learning to correlate your actions back to your score, reflecting improvements by continuously monitoring your ecosystem each day.

Speaking of continuous monitoring, the threat landscape is rapidly expanding. Digital transformation is one cause. Cloud-based systems are connecting and sharing more data to drive business. And remote work has exploded since the beginning of 2020. The explosion of devices at the edge is expanding the threat landscape - and this won’t slow down anytime soon. IDC predicts there will be 55.7 billion connected devices around the world by 2025, and 75% of these will be connected to an IoT platform. A modern third-party risk management system needs to manage everything from shadow IT to cloud vendors, discover unmanaged assets, and optimize incident response times.

And organizations struggle to respond quickly enough, even to known problems. Sadly, 60% of breaches involved vulnerabilities for which a patch was available but not applied. Saying you need to patch vulnerabilities faster is obvious. Consistently doing so requires a risk-management system that integrates with and automates security workflows. Rule-driven triggers can automate workflows within your security stack to identify, resolve, and report on risk faster.

Automation can also facilitate collaboration with third-party vendors. VRM’s can start with a simple and automated vendor invitation process, easily adding new vendors to the risk management platform, conduct assessments, and track progress. This approach should quickly expand to creating customized remediation plans should a vendor’s rating fall below your acceptable threshold. Your third-party risk management program can then scale to include automatically deploying, responding to, and validating security questionnaires. Altogether, these actions deliver a complete 360° view of vendors’ security postures - reconciling external ratings data with internal questionnaire responses.

So, what’s the solution? Organizations need a modern risk management platform that includes the key attributes described above (along with others, not named). The answer must be able to address the growing cybersecurity risk demands of your business and be globally viable. SecurityScorecard delivers the cloud-scale security ratings platform you need to navigate third-party risk management. Our recently released features help you navigate the dynamics of today’s cybersecurity challenges, keeping you prepared for tomorrow. Here are just some examples:

  • With SecurityScorecard Sentinel, our next-generation scanning engine that powers SecurityScorecard’s on-demand ratings, you get actionable information faster, so you can manage threats more quickly.
  • Our Digital Footprint updates give you a current view of the org’s entire digital presence, and the ability to sort, filter, or prioritize specific IP’s that most significantly impact your ratings. Clear attribution detail helps you understand why an asset is included in your footprint, so you can quickly refute if necessary.
  • Evidence Locker acts as a single source for TPRM documentation, allowing teams to automatically populate vendor and compliance questionnaires with stored data by exchanging this information between Atlas and Ratings. This significantly cuts down the time spent on assessments - by both vendors and VRMs.
  • Security teams need to be able to “double-click” into different areas of the organization to compare risk factors and exposure. Company Hierarchy makes that navigation easy, so you can see that specific brand or that specific branch of the business.
  • The SecurityScorecard Integrate360° Marketplace is the largest security ratings marketplace for automating workflows and integrating 3rd-party signals with your security stack. It’s filled with purpose-built apps designed to boost team efficiency, automate workflows, and manage your entire vendor ecosystem.
  • Our FastScore capabilities leverage the power of the SecurityScorecard Sentinel engine, delivering immediate ratings insights to aid decision making. This kind of speed is essential in use cases including M&A due diligence, assigning risk for cyber insurance, and more.
  • Updates to our Custom Scorecard capabilities help VRMs focus on the business unit they work with while seeing the bigger picture of a vendor’s security posture.
  • Our Board Reporting provides real-time executive-level reporting and trends for your digital ecosystem, packaged for delivery in minutes. You no longer have to spend hours poring over data to provide reports to execs.

We’re excited to offer these new features to help you, your security teams, and newly-interested stakeholders see and understand cybersecurity risk in the organization and across the ecosystem. Our aim is to enable you to see risk, solve problems, and report results with 360-degree visibility and seamless workflow integration within your security stack. We’re building a safer world, with a modern risk management platform designed so you meet the cybersecurity threats of today, with 360° visibility and automation to help accelerate to where you plan to go tomorrow.

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