Third parties, whether they be vendors, suppliers, or contractors, are essential to the success of the majority of organizations. However, they may also pose serious threats to cyber security.
Third-party risk management shouldn’t be considered a “set-and-forget” security procedure. Many enterprises underestimate the value of periodically assessing the risks in their supply chain, which makes them more susceptible to cyber-attacks. Different kinds of connections to the same provider can produce varying degrees of risk. Organizations are also at risk when they are unable to keep up with monitoring and evaluating their supply chain risk due to a lack of resources or traceability.
Organizations can considerably lower the stakes by taking the following actions:
Undertake comprehensive third-party due diligence
Many different types of threats brought on by third-party connections can be dramatically reduced, mitigated, or remedied with effective supply chain due diligence. To prevent the fraudulent interception of goods or payments, organizations should conduct checks whenever they plan to interact with a new vendor or supplier or whenever they make modifications to high-risk parts of their operations.
It’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of a vendor’s security posture, before working with a vendor. This entails doing a comprehensive security evaluation of each one and keeping current records to ensure a full understanding of their security posture and ensuring that they adhere to regulatory compliance.
Don’t ignore seemingly unimportant services
Risks might be obvious or hidden in unexpected areas. If they have a system in place for automatic replenishment, CISOs must pay attention to details like the businesses that provide their janitorial supplies.
Because those technologies or services also inherently represent more cybersecurity risks, organizations often do a better job of mitigating possible threats from vendors considered essential to operations. If compromised, these vital services, such as network infrastructure, IP servers, security software, and payment and processing systems, could face a real risk.
Unfortunately, most companies just don’t go into the same depth or level of detail when it comes to technologies that fall outside the purview of what may be referred to as an IT provider. Enterprises can reduce some potential vulnerabilities by mandating two-factor authentication as a standard across all connections.
Consider using third-party cyber risk management
Management and mitigation of supply chain issues depend on a robust third-party risk management program. It helps businesses have a thorough grasp of the reliability of the safety measures used by the third parties they engage with.
A thorough third-party cyber risk management program should keep track of and evaluate all the many risk-producing domains, including vendor risk management, fourth parties, and vendor assessment.
Determine and guard data access points
Firms need to switch from an IT-centric mindset to a data-centric one when conducting third-party risk assessments. Businesses must consider the types of data they have access to, including financial data, customer information, and intellectual property.
By carefully examining their portfolio of third-party vendors and eliminating overlapping or unneeded technologies, organizations can reduce risk. Some companies can have two or three endpoint detection and response technologies as well.
Enterprises shouldn’t often invest in discrete solutions; instead, they should search for technologies that integrate throughout the full stack. Simply said, the point solutions must perish. Calculations that go beyond a simple checkbox on a spreadsheet are necessary for the rigorous and nuanced assessment of third-party risks. Penetration tests and in-depth analyses of software bill of materials are included in this. In addition, it is important to review internal security settings and security monitoring gaps frequently.
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