How to Get Started With Your First Security Assessment

October 06, 2020

Modern vendor security risk management is a remarkably fast-moving field. Security threats and hackers are constantly adapting and growing, which means risk management and security teams must be upping their game at every turn. A security assessment can help teams take back the high ground against malicious actors. 

Vendor security assessments are easy, shareable ways for an organization and a potential vendor to identify whether or not any obvious security concerns need to be addressed before the two partner. There are many different questionnaires and assessments out there that InfoSec teams can use to build a baseline trust profile. Then, with more visibility into the needs and gaps in the security process, InfoSec teams can work together to move a partnership forward without risking compliance.


Asking for a Vendor Security Assessment

Sending out your first request for a vendor security assessment is a significant milestone. This process shows your potential vendor that your team prioritizes security and trust. It will establish a baseline from which every single vendor partnership will be measured throughout your organization’s tenure. Security can be—and ought to be—a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and this first assessment will set the tone for your organization to be a leader in this space.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be clear about what you’re looking for. Don’t just send an Excel file with a few vague security questions. Instead, leverage a clean, approved questionnaire that can enable your team to take action once it’s complete.
  • The same format should be used for both the request and response. Make sure it’s a usable template that your team can access and edit.
  • Store your assessment answers in a secure place to easily access next time a questionnaire comes along.

Responding to Security Assessments

For many InfoSec teams, every time an organization receives a request for a security assessment, it means hours—or even days—of manual data gathering and formatting. While responding to your first security assessment can be insightful in some ways, it also sets the tone for how your team handles assessment responses down the road. Make sure your response process is straightforward, easy, and as repeatable as possible. Scalability is key.

Security assessment requests often come in through the sales team, which can cause bottlenecks in operations. Starting with the first security request, InfoSec leaders can empower their sales team by giving them access to a sharable security profile that doesn’t need a security team member to format.


Scaling the Vendor Security Assessment Process

Once you’ve completed your first vendor security assessment, it’s time to scale the process. Luckily, a vendor risk management platform like Whistic can help you quickly and securely scale assessments— without any additional resources. Complete assessments and questionnaires and store them in your Whistic Security Profile, which can be easily shared with potential vendors during the assessment process. Every completed questionnaire helps inform your profile, allowing your team to scale and grow with ease.


Connect with a Whistic representative to learn more about the Whistic Security Profile.

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