In our previous post in this series, we talked about steps buyers and sellers can take to improve efficiencies in the vendor assessment process. One of the steps we discussed was on-demand vendor assessments. As mentioned in that post, 94% of survey respondents would be willing to begin a vendor assessment by leveraging an already completed on-demand assessment. But the really cool thing is that 80% of vendors surveyed said they would be willing to make security documentation available publicly as long as they had the ability to control who sees it and for how long.
If the desire and willingness exists on both sides of the transaction, why aren’t more businesses making the effort to make this a reality? Over the course of this post, we’ll discuss why we think businesses should make security documentation more accessible and offer some tips to make on-demand assessments a reality for more businesses.
Transparency leads to trust which leads to shorter sales cycles
The biggest reason businesses should make their security information available on-demand is the impact it has on the bottom line. Research conducted by Whistic found that 96% of individuals surveyed would be more likely to purchase from a vendor that is transparent about its security posture.
And that’s because transparency leads to increased trust from customers and prospects. It’s one thing to share your documentation early in the sales process, but it’s a whole other thing to publish that information publicly. Both can lead to faster sales cycles, but full transparency leads to greater trust and will likely result in a longer lasting relationship with your customers.
On-demand assessments lead to more collaborative relationships
When vendors remove the friction that previously existed in the vendor assessment process by making security documentation readily available, the relationship is built on trust. Your security ecosystem is only as strong as your weakest vendor, so working closely with them to ensure security from the beginning is paramount.
The best way for the businesses to fight back against the bad actors hellbent on infiltrating and stealing customer data is to team up with their vendors and fight back with strong, transparent security practices.
Read The 2022 State of Vendor Security
In this report, the third in an ongoing series, we’ll highlight the current state of vendor security, identify industry trends, and provide recommendations for how companies can improve their processes for conducting and responding to assessments.
Make transparency the expectation
If enough vendors adopt transparent security practices, it will become the expectation for customers evaluating new solutions. But that can only happen if customers start demanding this from their vendors up front.
However, this could take some work because new SaaS vendors are entering the vendor ecosystem all the time and their security practices initially might not be up to your standards. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and work with them. You should state your requirements up front and help them elevate their security controls until they meet your needs.
Part of this should be requiring them to provide their security documentation up front. As more and more businesses do this, transparency will become the standard that all future vendors are judged against.
Tips for being more transparent
Having transparent security practices isn’t as hard as you might think. If you incorporate these simple tactics highlighted below into your security strategy, you’ll be well on your way to creating transparent relationships with your customers built on trust.
Compile and build a security profile
The first step toward transparency is compiling all of your security documentation, including responses to industry standard questionnaires and frameworks, audits, and certifications, into a Profile that’s easy to share with customers.
Share that profile far and wide
Next, share your profile with all of your customers and prospects proactively. When you share your security information with everyone before they even ask to see it, it shows you have nothing to hide.
Publish your profile wherever you can
We mentioned this in our previous blog post, but it bears repeating. Publish on-demand access to your profile wherever you can, including the security page of your website, review sites where customers go to evaluate potential vendors, and exchanges like the Whistic Trust Catalog.
Full transparency isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight, but the more companies that make it their default, the more secure we’ll be.
To learn more how trends like these are impacting InfoSec and cybersecurity teams, download the 2022 State of Vendor Security Report, or to learn how Whistic can help your business be transparent about its security posture, request a demo today.