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Elements That Third-Party Risk Assessments Miss
Security Best Practices & Advice

Elements That Third-Party Risk Assessments Miss

By Demi Ben-Ari Oct 31, 20182 min read

Now more than ever, running a reliable third-party security risk assessment is a necessity for most enterprises. Hackers and cybercriminals throughout the world can gain access to a company’s network by exploiting even a single vulnerability of one of its numerous vendors and suppliers. Understanding how to minimize this risk is paramount for any business that doesn’t want to face the tremendous consequences of a data breach.

Nevertheless, many third-party security assessments often miss some key elements, leaving many potential “doors” still open. Let’s see where many fall short.

Visibility

To mitigate a threat, you must first understand the potential weaknesses that a malicious entity may wish to exploit. But how can you understand a vendor’s cyber posture if you have no visibility into its security landscape?

Many assessments use questionnaires that fail to comprehensively evaluate third-party cyber posture. The answers to these questionnaires can be highly subjective, and often fail to provide a reliable and transparent view of the vendor’s true posture. Modern platforms such as Panorays, by contrast, perform external third-party analysis using, for example, the hacker’s view as well as by considering a company’s internal security policies. These security risk assessment best practices help provide the necessary visibility into your third party’s cyber risk.

Prioritization

Different vendors may expose your company to different levels of risks. For example, a supplier may not have an API to your internal systems, while another one may be involved with vital data transfers daily. While protecting yourself from the first one may not be a priority, taking action to mitigate any risk associated with the second is critical since it poses a threat.

Identifying your riskiest vendors is vital to defining a well-prioritized mitigation roadmap. This way, your security team can tackle the biggest threats first and make efficient use of their time.

Monitoring

A vendor may boast an industry-recognized security badge provided by a reputable and prestigious organization. But what’s the purpose of such a badge if the audit was performed, for example, six months earlier?

Third-party cyber posture must be constantly monitored and reassessed to make sure that its security measures stay up to date with the newest technologies available. Automated platforms such as Panorays can perform continuous security risk assessments to reevaluate vendors’ ratings and notify the company if this score has changed.

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Demi Ben-Ari

Demi Ben-Ari is CTO and Co-Founder of Panorays. He’s a software engineer, entrepreneur and international tech speaker, and takes #CyberSelfies like nobody else can.

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