Vendors are great. They round out your business and help deliver the products and services your customers need. But what happens when those vendors pose cybersecurity risks? What happens when criminals use vendors to get to you?
It’s not an uncommon tactic at all. Because vendors are important pieces in the machinery of business, hackers know they have access to your network and data. As a result vendors themselves have become prime targets for cyber attacks, which is why it is critical for companies to make sure their vendors follow cybersecurity best practices and protocols.
The challenge is there are thousands of vendors, and they all have their own cybersecurity stance (if they have one at all). This makes it nearly impossible for companies to comprehensively assess each vendor and gain real insight. Such a relationship adds significant vulnerability and poses real risks for companies of every size across industries.
To offset so much risk, companies need to determine the best way to ensure vendors are aligned with their own cybersecurity standards. Applying the zero-trust principle is the first step. When you use a cloud service provider or a managed service provider, approach the relationship with cybersecurity in mind. You must insist that vendors share their cybersecurity plan with you and that it is up to your standards and obligations. If it is not, don’t do business with them. If you are already in a relationship with a provider and see that they bring risk to your company, schedule a meeting to address the issue(s) and fix them as soon as possible.
But what would that meeting even cover? Do you have a clear understanding of where the vendor is vulnerable? Do you know which steps to take and in what order? Do you have a team capable of executing the steps, and if not a partner to help? These are the most basic questions to answer. The reality is most SMBs can’t do it alone.
InfoSystems and our partner Vivo Security specialize in helping customers assess vendor risk. We use a quantitative approach that calculates your risk based on the channels you use and with whom you conduct business. That calculation determines what steps you must take to keep your data and network safe.
It’s a new year and data protection should be your #1 priority. So take the guess-work out of vendor assessment and work with a trusted partner that knows how to identify vulnerabilities and how to fix them fast, before cybercriminals have a chance to attack.
Remember: your company relies on vendors and service providers to keep business moving forward. Don’t let unknown risks – and neglected vulnerabilities – stand in the way of success.
One of our cybersecurity experts is standing by to walk you through exactly how the vendor assessment process works. Strengthen your vendor relationships and develop the practices needed to protect your network and data for the long-term.
Keep would-be attackers away and improve your cybersecurity maturity level. Cybersecurity is no longer an add-on service. It’s a part of doing business in today’s digital marketplace. Vendor risk assessment shows your vendors, customers, and team members that you value their work and their privacy.