Regardless of industry, most enterprise companies have at least one compliance or risk management administrator on staff — and many of these teams are growing rapidly due to the nature of insurance and risk affecting more and more avenues. The compliance team is usually in charge of planning, designing and implementing an overall risk management process. And while there are certainly overlaps between what the compliance team and InfoSec or IT teams are responsible for (at least as it relates to new third party vendors or software providers), there are also a few differences.
For example, those focused on compliance are usually more attuned to implementing proper processes and setting the foundational frameworks that the organization is held to, along with any vendor that is chosen as a partner, whether a third party software or a subcontractor.
Traditionally, compliance and risk management teams have had to do much of their work manually: learning departmental operations, setting standards, conducting assessments, working with insurance providers, testing security controls, and so on. Today’s high risk landscape doesn’t allow for this traditional way of compliance as cybersecurity threats and vendors can compromise data in minutes — not days, weeks, or even months.
For institutions looking to raise their compliance standards without a significant investment into adding more headcount, more outside support, or more financial resources, they can benefit instantly by automate painstaking work by adopting Whistic’s vendor assessment platform.
6 Ways Compliance Teams Can Benefit From Whistic’s Vendor Assessment Platform
When considering the vendor assessment process or the vendor security management process, you probably first think of InfoSec and IT teams. While those teams are usually the first to adopt a new third party assessment process, other teams, such as sales and compliance can also benefit greatly.
Here are 6 ways that compliance teams can start using Whistic to streamline and improve their jobs today:
- Set the process for onboarding each new vendor according to your security policy.
While InfoSec and IT teams certainly have rigorous processes for onboarding new vendors, the foundational elements for what should be included are most likely set by a compliance or risk management team. This ensures not only that the potential new partner doesn’t exhibit risk tendencies, but that it’s abiding by security policy. Whistic’s platform allows compliance teams to document policies and visually represent how the business and its outside contributing partners (such as vendors), abide by the standards set forth either by the company itself, or by other governing regulations, such as GDPR.
2. Ensure that each third party relationship is assessed for risks to the organization.
InfoSec and IT teams surely care that each third party is assessed for security risks before, during, and after each new partner is signed on. However, they aren’t the only teams that care about security questionnaires. Compliance teams care for similar reasons as any data, financial, personnel, or HR risk falls directly under their supervision, making it supremely important to their team. As Whistic vendor assessments are usually conducted by InfoSec team members, the process only needs to be completed once — but details of each assessment can be shared with other business stakeholders that also require access, such as compliance and risk management.
3. Prepare for audits on your vendor management policies/program.
While most vendor assessment programs are focused on ensuring other third party vendors are abiding by the regulations and have tight security processes, it’s important for organizations to look at themselves in the mirror, too, which coincidentally is the responsibility of compliance team. By using Whistic’s vendor assessment platform, the compliance team can contribute to creating the policies and program, and they can also ensure that their own organization consistently meets new, changing criteria and regulations.
4. Ensure that your third party relationships abide by the security controls and frameworks that your organization is held to.
Compliance teams often play an integral part in the formation of the questionnaires for a company’s vendor management program. Technical risks and data exposure aside, compliance also cares about broader risks, such as not adhering to GDPR requirements or other international data laws or security controls. With Whistic, compliance teams can be notified of any red flags that occur either before a new vendor is approved, or even during the renewal process that can be automatically scheduled to run at any interval of time, such as 12 months.
5. Track the sharing of questionnaires and other documentation
With so many teams involved in the new vendor onboarding and assessment process, keeping track of documents and ensuring that each new third party has answered every question needed by every stakeholder, the process can quickly go off track — or be significantly prolonged. Thanks to easy sharing and tracking capabilities, teams across the organization can securely share questionnaires, responses, red flags, and even other documents via Whistic.
6. Automate ongoing vendor assessments so that the ball doesn’t get dropped after initial assessment
If an organization has partnerships with tens or hundreds of vendors, or is constantly evaluating new third parties, completing the vendor assessment process for each one can be completely chaotic. Not only do vendor questionnaires need to be created, but vendors need to be categorized by risk, assessments need to be issued and reviewed, red flags need to be resolved… and then there’s the renewal process, which should occur annually (at least!). With so many steps, the ball is sure to be dropped somewhere, at some time, by someone in InfoSec, IT, Sales, or Compliance. Fortunately, with Whistic’s automated processes, all questionnaires, responses, and issue handling is automated from the start to prevent risks and manage busy vendors and internal staff.
Ready to Learn More?
Check out our resources below for more third party vendor best practices and insights on how your organization can effectively approach security assessments.
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