Picture this: your procurement team is working to bring a new vendor on board. The team is well into the sales process and has decided to move forward with a particular vendor. Towards the end of the process, your IT team runs a vendor security audit and shares security controls with the potential new vendor. Suddenly, multiple gaps are uncovered, and a standard vendor integration has turned into a multi-department, months-long integration issue.
An all-to-common issue
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common scenario for InfoSec (and sales or procurement) teams. Thanks to the open-source, cloud-based posture of the modern SaaS industry, many teams outside of the InfoSec sector take seamless integrations for granted. Some may assume that because two organizations are open source, they can easily share and/or integrate data with a new vendor.
However, as security threats are becoming more invasive, SaaS security controls have tightened substantially to keep up. InfoSec teams aren't just letting anyone have access to private information—they're running rigorous, comprehensive vendor risk management audits to ensure complete security in every partnership.
Earlier is always better
So, when is the right time in the sales process to share security information? Let's say earlier is always better. The earlier your team has access to a new vendor's security posture, the more in-depth you can be during the audit and assessment process. Additionally, if there are any red flags or issues to work through, your team has the runway to ensure things are addressed in the right way before moving forward.
Here are a few ways InfoSec teams can ensure they stay on top of security sharing during the sales process:
- Work directly with sales to educate them on the importance of introducing security early in the process. Often, sales and procurement teams are entirely unaware of security processes. Increasing transparency between teams internally can ensure your InfoSec processes are understood and followed.
- Publish your security posture publicly. While this may seem alarming at first, publishing your security posture for potential vendors and customers to see allows the other side to understand right out of the gate if a partnership will work. Working with vendors who also share their security posture is a good sign because it means that they take their security posture seriously and are confident in their controls.
- Re-use the questionnaires you've already completed. During the vendor risk management process, one of the biggest time-sucks is sending, completing, and receiving security assessments. InfoSec teams can streamline this process by building a secure Security Profile to share security controls with vendors as soon as they're requested. Inbound assessments can also be uploaded and assessed, so your team knows right away if a vendor will be a good fit.
Building a seamless vendor risk management process
With Whistic, your team can streamline the vendor risk management process both internally and with prospective vendors. Ready to get started building a seamless VRM process? Talk to a Whistic expert today to learn more!