Feeling overwhelmed by your vendor risk management program? You’re not alone. Thousands of companies have embraced the paradigm shift toward actively monitoring third-party vendors, but without a standardized process to follow, many are winging it.
While the good intentions are there—everyone wants to do whatever they can to avoid a security breach—many rushed to build a VRM program full of checks and balances, spreadsheets, and lots of vendor data. As a result, security teams are overwhelmed managing the process and CISOs are overwhelmed trying to make sense of spreadsheet data.
To lighten the load, here are three areas where you can streamline your VRM process, make life easier on your teams and free up more time in your already busy day.
As with most things, technology makes the VRM process swifter and more accurate. If you spend your days emailing assessments to vendors, reminding vendors that their assessment is past due, requesting additional information for incomplete assessments or combing through spreadsheets to locate answers and comparing them to your own risk methodology, there’s a more efficient way.
Technology has replaced these repetitive tasks with an automated process that handles it all. Your vendors are notified via email when as assessment is due, when additional information is needed, and when remediation efforts must be addressed. You get notified as vendors complete each step. And best of all, the process can be completely customized and need not be dependent on set forms or templates. You easily can add questions, sections and workflows to support the unique objectives of your organization.
You can replace spreadsheet management with automation, taking you out of the role of middleman.
Generating reports for senior leadership and the board based on spreadsheets of vendor data is not only time-consuming, it’s incredibly inefficient. Compiling all that data and trying to calculate individual risk scores for each vendor is a full-time job. Relying on another entity to assign your vendors’ an arbitrary risk rating is also less than ideal. Your company’s risk tolerance is unique, and it should be measured that way.
The right vendor risk management software will compile vendor data based on your organization’s scoring methodology. This compiled data can then be manipulated into a variety of reports and charts that show the impact of risk on your organization, the specific areas of risk by vendor, and pinpoint the need for remediation.
You can simply export this aggregated data in a report format that can be presented directly to stakeholders
If you only assess your vendors once a year, a lot can happen during that year. Changes in policies and procedures, personnel and systems can all impact a vendor’s security posture, and it can have a ripple effect throughout your organization.
Instead of periodically reassessing vendors every time they make a change, continuously monitor their Internet facing assets that are subject to cyberattacks. See exactly how a hacker sees your vendors’ (or your own) websites, applications, and IP addresses. Get notified instantly when a security vulnerability is introduced.
You can automatically receive alerts on risks that may affect vendor assessment ratings and remediation recommendations
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