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You Got Your Vendor Questionnaire Back—Now What?

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For many InfoSec teams, the vendor risk assessment process can be an overwhelming, if necessary, process. Questionnaires and risk assessments are a required part of any modern vendor partnership, and yet it can take hours, even days, of manual hours to sort through and manage questionnaire responses. Doesn’t it seem like there should be a new way to manage—and optimize—this process? Luckily, there is. Before we get into the new way to streamline questionnaire responses, let’s take a quick look back at the manual process InfoSec teams have been dealing with for years.

The manual questionnaire response process

Until now, dealing with questionnaire responses has been a pretty tedious task. Once questionnaires are sent back from a potential partner or vendor, InfoSec teams have had to manually go through questionnaire responses one by one and match these vendor controls to internal security and compliance measures. If there has been any replication of answers, it was typically managed via spreadsheet or shared document distributed among team members. However, there was no way of knowing which information was most up to date when reviewing a response.

A new way to streamline questionnaire responses

Today’s vendor risk assessment process looks a bit more streamlined and optimized, thanks in large part to cloud-based security solutions that allow for transparency, flexibility, and scaling of the assessment process at large.

Here is a look at what the streamlined assessment process could look like:

  1. An InfoSec team sends its questionnaire (either standard, custom, or semi-custom) to a new vendor for completion.
  2. The vendor completes the questionnaire either manually or by sharing their security profile, including responses to your questionnaire and more.
  3. Your team can easily see which responses were flagged as at-risk and focus your immediate attention there first.
  4. Common questionnaire responses that are flagged will be collected and escalated, giving your InfoSec team insight into areas of data security that could be addressed on a bigger picture.

Want to learn more?

With Whistic, InfoSec teams can do more than streamline the vendor risk assessment process. They can make their platforms more secure by identifying trends and repeatable questions in the assessment process that can be optimized down the road. You can learn more about making Whistic a part of your vendor risk assessment process here.

Vendor Assessments