Make Vendor Security a Priority—Not Just a Consideration

July 27, 2021

For years, InfoSec teams have worked tirelessly to combat advanced cybersecurity threats with the technology available to them. From on-prem hardware to the initial online security programs to modern, cloud-based protection, vendor security has steadily grown with the market. As organizations grow, however, and vendor partnerships multiple at an increasingly rapid pace, pulling in the InfoSec team for a vendor security protocol check can sometimes seem like an afterthought.


Prioritizing vendor risk management

In many SaaS organizations, working with a new vendor often means that the procurement or sales team spends weeks or months on R&D, conversations, and back-and-forth communication with the latest vendor to close the deal. Then, as a courtesy almost, the InfoSec team is looped in to ensure the security controls are in place to share data and access with the new vendor successfully. The InfoSec team, lost in the process, is then left struggling with timelines, controls, and internal processes to get things done.

Prioritizing vendor security means making procurement and sales decisions from a lens of security and compliance. This means pulling your InfoSec team in at the beginning of conversations, not the end, so that there is time for due diligence and accurate decision-making.


Tips for making vendor security a priority, not just a consideration

  • Make security a corporate goal for your entire organization. Other teams often lose sight of the importance of vendor security because they don’t understand why it’s essential to your overall company. By making online security, data privacy, and vendor data access key goals for your larger organization, team members will prioritize looping in the InfoSec team early on in the vendor sales process.
  • Have a documented process other teams can use to loop in your InfoSec team. Often, a simple email to an InfoSec contact serves as the kick-off for a vendor security workflow. InfoSec teams should have a documented process with automated tasks and requirements that team members can follow to kick off the vendor assessment workflow. 
  • Make it easy for new vendors to work through your risk management process. Unfortunately, some teams put off the vendor security workflow as long as possible because it puts unnecessary stress on vendors and asks for too much manual work on both sides. InfoSec teams can control the narrative by building a vendor assessment workflow that is efficient, automated wherever possible, and based on the highest security standards possible.
  • Promote your security-first vendor mentality. Establish a reputation as a security-first organization by promoting your vendor security controls and measures. This way, when a new vendor or customer is ready to kick off the security assessment process, they already know what they’re getting into.


How Whistic can help

With Whitic, InfoSec teams can make it easy to streamline the vendor risk management process. Instead of dragging out vendor assessments, control mapping, and questionnaires, InfoSec teams can easily share security protocols and documentation with new vendors, who can respond in kind. By making it easy to kick-start vendor security conversations, Whistic is helping put vendor security at the forefront of new vendor conversations.

You can learn more about Whistic here.

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