Setting up an enterprise risk management plan is crucial for any organisation. The pandemic has seen the number of cyberattacks grow since its first outbreak, which means that company data is under severe threat.
To counteract the growing number of cyberattacks and to keep a company's reputation intact, it is important to develop an expansive vendor risk management programme to reduce the likelihood of cyberattacks, and protect the most important asset across our organisations.
Even though most organisations understand the importance of third-party risk management, many are unclear on where to begin. As I’ve seen, this is often because third-party security is an all-encompassing strategy that covers many areas.
To help organisations create a vendor risk management plan that can withstand a spate of attacks from even the most dedicated cybercriminals, it’s important to manage three core elements: tools, techniques (processes), and personnel.
Augmenting vendor security with the right tools
Finding the right tools is the most important investment you can make to strengthen vendor risk management. Tools like risk rating solutions can help you monitor the entire attack surface, which includes your own infrastructure as well as that of your vendors. In the event of a cyberattack, your security team will be alerted.
These tools not only improve vendor security but also support reporting.
Reporting is crucial because it takes the findings from your risk rating solution and summarises them to reflect what these findings mean for your business. If your top-level executives can understand these reports, you will have an easier time securing buy-in for future initiatives, which is crucial for effective vendor risk management.
While cutting-edge tools are important, however, they will not deliver much value if they are not used to their full potential, which is why the right processes are equally crucial.
Adopting the right processes to improve your cybersecurity
Defining a set of repeatable processes your team can implement to secure your infrastructure is crucial for building a powerful enterprise risk management plan. Unfortunately, there are several processes your teams may be using that have not caught up with your technology.
Many teams still rely on outdated techniques for managing vendor risk security, when they need to invest in automated, data-driven processes to support these efforts. Having the right management processes can help you identify third parties with vulnerable infrastructure and preempt certain attacks.
For example, when onboarding new vendors, your team can assess their network for vulnerabilities. Once the assessment is done, the vendor is ranked based on the findings. Your team can then determine if the vendor is safe to work with or not.
Moreover, this will optimise vendor management because your team will know which third-party vendors you need to prioritise and work with, instead of treating all third parties the same way.
The right processes can help your team work more efficiently to identify risks. Beyond that, however, it is also important to work with the right team.
Choosing the right team
Personnel have two responsibilities: To oversee vendor security infrastructure and ensure that vendor risk management is an organisation-wide initiative.
With that in mind, you need to select personnel who can perform both duties well.
At the top of the hierarchy should be the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and they work with key stakeholders, like the CEO and heads of departments. The CISO is responsible for communicating with other stakeholders to make sure that third-party risk is an organisation-wide initiative. Your team should consist of information security specialists that understand third-party risk.
Besides the CISO, the rest of the team is also responsible for ensuring that organisations are following security best practices.
Some of these best practices include ensuring that only approved devices can connect to the company network, setting up MFA, and ensuring that employees are aware of common cyberattack methods, like phishing.
Creating the right enterprise risk management plan should be supported by tools, processes and your team
According to recent research, there has been a 20% increase in cyber fraud since the pandemic began. There have also been over 445 million cyberattacks detected since the start of 2020.
Given the growing risk of cyberattacks, it is important to invest in an enterprise risk management plan that can withstand the range of attacks we’re seeing across various industries.
Creating a detailed plan does not happen overnight. It requires strategic planning and the acquisition of the right tools.
If you are looking for a cybersecurity rating platform to support vendor security, consider RiskXchange.