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How to Incorporate Security Into Your Vendor Selection Process

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As an InfoSec leader, how often are you pulled into the vendor selection process? Often, it’s probably only in an auditing role or to assist with vendor risk assessments when available. Often, InfoSec teams are introduced into these conversations and processes way too late, creating roadblocks for vendor partnerships to move forward.

Incorporating security into your vendor selection process—and making it a clear focus during this period—can ensure your vendor implementations run smoothly,

How to incorporate security into vendor selection

Here are some steps to ensure security controls and teams are incorporated successfully into your vendor selection process:

  • Establish security guidelines with your procurement team.

Often, security teams are left out of vendor selection or introduced too late to the process because nobody knew to bring them into things. By establishing security guidelines with procurement teams, educating these team members on the importance of vendor security, and building a process for incorporating security controls, security can be a principal focus of new vendor conversations, not an afterthought.

  • Introduce security controls and resources early on in vendor conversations.

In today’s open-source vendor marketplace, many vendors are starting to introduce security early in sales conversations to establish controls as a priority in the partnership. If a vendor doesn’t bring this up early on (or try to dodge any security introductions), this can be a huge red flag in moving the vendor selection process forward.

  • Make it easy to share and receive vendor assessments.

A main reason why security conversations are sometimes considered a roadblock to vendor selection (and why some try to avoid them as long as possible) is that sending, receiving, and auditing vendor assessments can often be time-consuming and tedious. This is attributed to the fact that, traditionally, these assessments are shared through email, spreadsheets, and other traditional formats. Making these easy to share, receive, and review can streamline this process exponentially.

Ready to get started?

With the Whistic vendor risk management platform, security teams can give procurement, sales, and other departments access to security documentation and content, making it easy for these teams to speak to security requirements and controls with vendors. With a secure, cloud-based platform, your team can easily share your security protocols with potential new vendors and easily upload incoming assessments when received. Whistic automatically flags potential risk areas that need investigation, freeing up your team from having to review every single line item received manually.

With Whistic, Infosec teams can proactively establish security as part of the vendor selection process. You can learn more about Whistic and talk to a security expert on building a security-focused vendor selection process here.

Vendor Assessments