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Is Your Vendor Security Assessment Reactive or Proactive?

November 03, 2020

If you’re working in vendor risk management daily, you know better than anyone how it feels to be stuck on your heels when faced with a problem. Data security is continuously moving, changing, and growing. If your team waits for something to go wrong, this can spell disaster for your team and even your organization.

 

The Importance of Proactive Vendor Security

In today’s corporate landscape, a data breach, hack, or threat can be devastating to an organization. You may have to notify all of your customers, set up increased security protocols that could cause strife with clients, or, worse yet, have a PR dilemma that can permanently damage your brand reputation. Proactive vendor security means putting the processes in place before this type of disaster strikes to mitigate the risk of it happening in the first place.

One of the first steps of any proactive vendor risk management process is the vendor security assessment. Asking a vendor for their information and details, comparing protocols, and then identifying any potential gaps puts your team in a proactive position from the start. Instead of waiting for things to slip through the cracks, the vendor security assessment shines a spotlight on potential issues so that your team can actively work to fix them.

 

Building a Proactive Vendor Security Assessment

Here are a few things to keep in mind when building a proactive vendor security assessment:

  1. Even before you share a security assessment with a vendor, they should be able to see some of your security protocols and guidelines. Transparency and visibility are foundational pillars of a proactive risk assessment process.

  2. Brand reputation means a lot in the vendor risk management space. It’s essential to go into the vendor assessment process realizing that your team is responsible for a good first impression—one that could stick with you.

  3. Your assessment should be readily available and accessible to vendors. Hiding an assessment behind firewalls and downloads is unnecessarily time-consuming, especially when you could securely share an assessment through a vendor risk management platform, like Whistic.

  4. Understandably, your risk management process will change or be updated down the road, and your vendor assessment should reflect this. Work with vendors to help them understand that these assessments are designed to be flexible working documents that can change in response to new safeguards and protocols.

  5. All of your vendor security information—assessments you’ve received, questionnaires you’re responding to, notes for other teams, etc.—should be easily accessible in a single secure location so that your team is on the same page and aware at all times.

 

How is Your Team Proactive? 

The vendor risk management process is full of holes where potential threats can slip through, so implementing proactive vendor security guidelines is vital. The vendor risk assessment is a critical part of ensuring your internal data and vendor information are secure.

 

Are You Ready to Make the Change?

Now is the time to shift from reactive to proactive vendor risk management. Whistic can help you get there. You can learn more about how Whistic is helping InfoSec teams operate more efficiently and effectively in this hyper-connected world here.

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About the author

Whistic
Whistic

The latest insights and updates on information security and third party risk management.

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