Third Party Compliance: Partner Cybersecurity Risk Is Your Risk

By Dolly Krishnaswamy

Posted on Apr 27, 2018

Without proper insight into cybersecurity, executives may make business decisions may have negative consequences for employees, customers, stockholders, and other stakeholders. One crucial decision-making area that executives must engage in is the company’s cybersecurity efforts. Their input is required in making critical decisions on cybersecurity protection, including budgets, staffing requirements, security toolsets, and other areas.

Where cybersecurity is concerned, the decision-making process often requires weighing in potential risk versus investment. Without effective assessment of potential risk, executives are inclined to take poor cybersecurity decisions. Cybersecurity concerns extent beyond the organization to third-party businesses that provide business functions for or on behalf of the company. That is why ensuring the strong cybersecurity posture of business partners is important.

The Cybersecurity Risk of Third-Party Partners and Vendors

As an example, Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report indicates that in the retail sector “95% of breaches featuring the use of stolen credentials leveraged vendor remote access to hack into their customer’s POS environments”.  

Businesses need to get serious about their cybersecurity and vendor risk management strategy.

Information Gaps Lead to Poor Vendor Business Decisions

A major challenge for businesses is to source relevant information about the cybersecurity posture of their vendors. In the absence of insightful data, it’s impossible to make informed decisions on who to trust with sensitive corporate data.  

Businesses with third-party cybersecurity risk concerns need restate their engagement to help key vendors minimize the risk of embarrassing and potentially expensive breaches-- especially those resulting in third party compliance-related fines and other consequences. An important requirement is to setup effective vendor risk management programs. One solution is a centralized vendor risk management program, such as the one provided by SecurityScorecard.

SecurityScorecard Simplifies Smarter Cybersecurity Decisions

SecurityScorecard provides executives with a wealth of highly relevant data on the cybersecurity posture of of a large ecosystem of third-party companies and vendors. This publicly and ethically sourced security information helps businesses make data-driven decisions about the cyber health of third parties. Used either as an overall cyber security planning tool or as a collaborative partner risk management tool, SecurityScorecard helps support smart business decisions on how to decrease cybersecurity risk within one’s own company or across a universe of third-party partners and vendors.

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