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Five Common Mistakes in Vendor Cybersecurity Management

Cybersecurity attacks have become exponentially powerful when targeting data transmitted between unprepared organizations. Cybersecurity needs a holistic approach in an organization. Cyber risk management needs a concerted effort from the leadership to each rank-and-file employee. It should be planned and executed to address cyber risk management from all corners of the organization. 

In other words, vendor risk management needs to be dynamic to account for threats and attacks. There are also basic core principles for every organization to maintain a solid compliance management system to face persistent cyber-attacks. Companies must have effective compliance management systems to prevent these disastrous cyber-attacks. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid to prevent massive third-party data breaches. 

  • Unaware of Vendors

Companies should be aware of their vendors and their connections. Research says that about 5% of the suppliers are unaware of the vendors. You can’t protect the company unless you ultimately know the vendors. So, you must uncover all the supply relationships with an asset discovery tool. It is essential to evaluate and monitor them continuously. You can pinpoint security issues in the supply chain that can be fixed before any cyberattacks. 

Most breaches feature hacking. Hackers use many strategic tactics like phishing, social engineering, and open-source intelligence to steal authorized credentials by brute force. Most breaches take months to discover. Hackers mostly look for easy access points to enter the network and search until they find valuable data. 

  • Assuming the Security of Your Vendors

It will likely be secure if you think the vendor is well known. If you also believe that a small company’s level of risk is low or below average, you have made a mistake. Many evaluators don’t recognize the need to monitor low-risk business partners continuously like marketing tools. We can also find that risk comes easily from low-risk business partners. 

Studies found that about one-third of the management firms are running the old versions of CMS. Vendors of all sizes are vulnerable to risks and cyber-attacks. But some companies pose fewer risks because they maintain a unique business relationship with vendors. So, it is necessary to determine the risk level of the cyber attacks and learn to manage it effectively by vendor risk monitoring. 

  • Don’t Overlook Third-Party GDPR Requirements.

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it is legislation that updates and unifies the data privacy laws across the European Union (EU). 

The purpose of GDPR is to protect the data of individuals and ensure that the organization responsibly collects the data. The GDPR mandates the maintenance of personal data safely. 

If the third-party vendor is based in the United States, you might think that you don’t have to worry about GDPR compliance, then you might be wrong. Suppose an organization has its establishments and offices in Europe and does business in Europe by offering goods and services to people in the EU. In that case, it must not only comply with GDPR’s requirements but also be responsible for ensuring that third parties do the same. Organizations or third-party vendors that don’t comply can be fined 4% of global annual revenue or greater. 

So, you have to check the third parties’ GDPR compliance as a part of vendor cybersecurity management. Make sure you put robust protocols to safeguard software promptly. 

  • Don’t Forget Fourth Parties.

You might think that if a vendor has documentation showing that it is safe and performs diligence, its partners and suppliers are better known as fourth parties. But this might not be the case. The reality is businesses have to be concerned with other business relationships. If there is a breach to your third party, it could also cause a breach to the company. Breaching the fourth-party vendors can pose a risk to the company as well. Research says that the security position of third parties is directly correlated to fourth parties. So, assessing and monitoring your third and fourth parties is essential. 

  • Don’t Rely on One-Time Assessment. 

Some evaluators may believe that one vendor security assessment can provide the entire image of the third-party cyber position for a reasonable amount of time. But they might be wrong. Cybersecurity is a very diverse and dynamic concept. Many technologies are introduced daily, and hackers find new ways to steal data. Hence, a one-time assessment is of no use these days. Instead, we should use third-party vendor risk management to monitor the attacks continuously and detect gaps and changes in cyber posture. Some companies think they are secure when they have taken action to develop their security posture. Don’t hesitate to break off early talks or terminate the relationship if there is a lack of compliance. 

These are some ways of compliance management to protect data from cyber-attacks. A workspace education in cybersecurity is the best way to protect the company from data breaches and hackers. The best protection can be given by instilling a culture of cybersecurity through training. Companies must ensure adequate protection before buying any new IoT device. 

Concluding Remarks

Cybersecurity is not something that happens in a vacuum. Just like threats, solutions are also interconnected. A top to bottom plan is what companies need to raise the bar on security and keep the hackers at bay. Cyber defense strategies and tools can’t be static, and it has to be tested, improved, and evaluated regularly. 

So, the best way is to understand the sensitive data, follow strict cyber hygiene rules, and elaborate on specific email security habits. 

There are high stakes involved in vendor cyber risk management, so it is made a top priority in companies or organizations. Businesses should avoid common mistakes to prevent themselves from data breaches and strengthen their cyber posture. Working with experts like ComplyScore helps in vendor cybersecurity management. They are one of the leading agencies providing risk management solutions to businesses to manage third-party risks. To know more, visit https://complyscore.com/

 

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