Why Your VRM Needs Automation

According to the 2020 Official Annual Cybercrime Report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercriminal activity is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face in the next two decades. Cybercrime is estimated to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. One of the best ways to combat this staggering number is through automation.

Manual vendor risk management (VRM) programs—where vendor assessments and their answers are stored in spreadsheets—open organizations up to a wide variety of cybercrimes due to the sheer nature of manual operations involved in the program. However, a digitally enabled VRM program can lessen the risk and results in faster vendor onboarding through the following features and benefits:

Access Control

A strong VRM program includes the ability to provide access and assign roles with varying access levels to increase collaboration. Logins should be coupled with two-factor authentication to help eliminate unauthorized access. And the program should document the history of each user’s activities so you can quickly see who is using the system and how.

Assessment Management

Moving vendor assessments to the cloud versus storing them in an Excel spreadsheet or Word document improves efficiencies for both vendors and organizations. Automated VRM programs allow you to send vendor assessments and launch a robust tracking workflow with just a few clicks. The vendor receives the assessment and, if their answers are stored inside the VRM program, the completion process is dramatically simplified. It also has the added advantage of storing a complete audit trail.

Individualized Risk Categorization

Risk-based scoring to categorize third-party vendors is an individualized process that should be left up to the organization. Risk tolerances are unique to every business based on the industry sectors they are in. Once your scoring methodology is defined, an automated VRM program should allow you to include your own rules and risk-scoring algorithms to gauge the inherent risk of every vendor based on internal thresholds.

Process and Data Consistency

An automated process that houses all of your aggregated data in one configurable database allows you to have a consistent process and accessible data set regardless of staff turnover or reassignment. Once the process is established and automated, no one should ever have to go back and recreate prior workflows or search through past responses.

Automated Workflow

A workflow that automates supplier onboarding can expedite the process, cutting onboarding costs and time significantly. The workflow should automate all email communications with your vendors, check the status of their assessments, and send reminders when they are behind schedule, removing you and your team from this tedious task. In addition, an automated workflow manages vendor documentation for you and allows vendors to update their information as needed.

Digital Dashboards

You need to easily and quickly visual risk on your organization. With a digital dashboard that aggregates vendor data, you can see a complete summary of vendor risk based on your internal thresholds. An ideal platform will also have a built-in report generator to provide pertinent data to stakeholders.

Remediation Management

As completed assessments flow into your VRM program, your digital dashboard should flag those that dip below your internal thresholds. Once the risk to your organization is identified and remediation is necessary, automation takes over the process and manages the vendor remediation activities.

Automation in Action

The ProcessBolt VRM program includes the above automation features and benefits, and many more. Schedule a short, 15-minute walkthrough of the program with our training specialists to see how much time and money automation can save you.