Common Pains When Conducting Vendor Risk Assessments — And How to Improve the Process

May 11, 2018

Are you the lucky (or unlucky) owner of the vendor assessment process at your organization? While it’s not news that assessing vendor risk is critical before engaging or renewing a partnership with a vendor, it can be a burdensome, time-consuming process for the individual or team that owns the process.

In recent years, vendor assessments have become a mandatory part of new third party procurement processes and onboarding procedures. As the the number of security breaches have increased dramatically (cyber crime damage costs are expected to reach $6T annually by 2021), vendors pose an increasing risk as those not vetted thoroughly can inadvertently, or as a result of a weakness in their security posture, compromise important data and personal information. But as the person that has to create the questionnaire, send it, follow-up on it, score it, and then determine what to do with the results, they can be a major pain.

Can you relate to any of these common vendor assessment pain points? If you’re like most that own the tasks, it can feel like a never-ending battle. Here are a few of the complaints we hear most often:

  • You’re notified at the last minute (or you’re never notified at all) of new vendors requiring security review
  • There’s not enough time in the day to keep up with ongoing reviews and partnership renewals
  • You feel like your head is spinning from all of the hours you spend examining responses in Excel
  • You have to use multiple disparate systems to store vendor information, so you’re constantly guessing or looking up information about where a specific piece of vendor information may be stored
  • You spend hours of your day contracting (or re-contacting) vendors to track down questionnaire responses and documentation that you need on file
  • You often feel like your role has evolved to more of a compliance check-the-box role than one focused on security
  • You lack visibility into the risks that exist within your vendor network
  • You’re constantly stressed about what you may have missed when it comes to protecting your organization against third party security risks
  • You spend hours putting together reports when your CISO asks for data on your program, and you have little to show from that exercise

Can you relate to several of these pain points? Perhaps you could add your own list of nuances and frustrations to the list. As a member of the InfoSec or IT team, your role is critical to the security and protection of your organization, but conducting vendor assessments can seem like a waste of your valuable time. The truth of the matter is, vendor assessments serve as a critical foundation for security protection. And thankfully, there’s a much better way to conduct the assessments that will not only ease your burden, but will provide improved visibility, collaboration, and significantly more third party vendor security safeguards.

Improve Your Vendor Assessment Process With Whistic

Whistic is specifically built for InfoSec teams that are looking to improve their third party vendor assessment program’s security effectiveness, efficiency, and scope. Our vendor assessment platform enhances productivity and unlocks insights that are traditionally trapped in static security questionnaires, all while eliminating the manual admin tasks that are normally associated with vendor assessments. At the end of the day, this allows you and your team to free up time to focus on protecting your organization from security threats.

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.

Request a Live Demo with a Whistic Product Specialist


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