In a world where even the slightest change to your business can give you a competitive advantage, relying heavily on vendors has become more of a necessity than a luxury. In turn, businesses get to enjoy more efficiency, higher ROI, increased simplicity, and reduced costs. However, great rewards never lack great risks.
Most data breaches faced by businesses every year are connected to working with a vendor. After all, many businesses attend vendor events and build relationships. However, such businesses wonder if they should eliminate vendors from their processes. Simply put, working with vendors without these security risks trickles down to the vendor security management protocols that you choose to stick to. In this post, you will how to create the right atmosphere to run your business.
Assign Vendors A Risk Rating
Each vendor will require storing some form of data about your business to work with you efficiently. The question is, how much would a cyber-security attack targeted against your vendor affect your business? You should rank vendors and their security risk on the scale of high, medium, or low.
While this means that low-risk vendors will require less attention security-wise, high-risk vendors will require you to monitor their security operations every once in a while. It might only take a single vulnerability to have your business attacked. In case you feel that this security task is too complex or that you are understaffed, you can always rely on an IT Management Consulting firm to take the burden of rating these vendors off your shoulders.
Demand Written Security Policies
When translated into a written document, the cyber-security policies of the vendors can be easier to follow as employees will have a point of reference. It showcases the things that need to be done to be compliant with both your SLAs and regulatory requirements. Ideally, you should assess these documents before even starting a contract with any vendor. Look for familiar security protocols such as salesforce backup APIs. Next, you should ensure that they follow the requirements that you agreed on. For instance, they should be ready to proceed with patch management for vulnerabilities in their IT systems.
Require Regular Security Landscape
Every day, new cybersecurity threats will arise against both your business and that of your vendor. While they might already have the security protocols in place to battle today’s threats, the same protocols will not be enough for tomorrow’s. The trick lies in having the vendors assess their existing security protocols to be ready for the ever-evolving threat landscape.
This holds true for the high-risk vendors since a single threat can easily topple over your business. Getting this information from your vendors could be as easy as asking them whether they are ready enough to battle a list of current cyber-security threats in your industry.
Ask About Insider Threats
In today’s cyber-space, employees pose the greatest threat to your business, and so do the staff of your vendors. A disgruntled employee can easily gain access to your data and sell it to hackers and cyber-criminals. However, with the right internal control measures, you can avoid this. To protect your company, monitor your employees and stay updated on the latest cybersecurity trends.
For instance, a well-outlined access control policy will ensure that the vendor’s employees only access data that they are authorized to. The higher the staff member is in rank, the more access they can gain. Additionally, the vendors should also have policies to ensure a secure transition of a fired employee without any data loss. These policies should include changing their account passwords and even deleting these accounts.
The security posture of your business will only be as good as that of your vendors’ in today’s interconnected world. As a result, cybersecurity should be a priority when vetting the different vendors. Follow the guidelines above to give your business a competitive advantage security-wise.