The Importance of Assessing Your 3rd Party Vendors’ Cyber Security Strength

22
May
2017
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Most understand addressing the cyber security needs of their company or government agency is essential.  However, it’s important to remember that your data does not reside solely within the control of your office.  The majority of organizations, whether public or private, share pieces of their data with 3rd party vendors on a regular basis.  While this has always been a normal part of doing business, it now presents new issues with regard to the overall cybersecurity of an organization and the protection of its data assets.

Unfortunately, given the constantly changing cyber landscape, there’s never a guarantee a breach won’t occur at your office or at an outside vendor’s.  But, there are a variety of measures businesses and governments can take in order to promote more thorough data protection; and regular cyber assessment of each 3rd party organization it works with is high on this list.

Each entity your organization shares data with should be put through a regular assessment process to determine their cyber security procedures and how they’re safeguarding your private informaiton.  Most organizations find however, that this work isn’t within their skill set. In this case, choosing experts in the cyber strategy field who knowledge needed to assess each of your outside vendors’ cybersecurity methods can be the best option.

Working with an organization like Innove that has extensive cybersecurity expertise can allow any organization, including those operating within the technology and cyber sectors, to have a thorough understanding of the way their data is handled by each organization it’s being shared with. These individuals have a deep understanding of both defense and commercial IT risk best practices, National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines, as well as the use of Shared Assessment Program tools like the Standard Information Gathering (SIG) questionnaire, Agreed Upon Procedures (AUP) onsite assessment, and the Risk Management Maturity Model (VRMMM) to provide a thorough assessment.

Working with an informed group like Innove will also ensure these evaluations are completed with efficiency to save time and resources. We have processes already in place to perform thorough evaluations of any type of 3rd party vendor and we’re adept with their use.  Not only that, our experience allows us to offer an understanding of the results obtained from our assessments not possible otherwise.

Once this initial assessment is complete we will begin work on addressing any deficiencies found.  We can support both your work in-house and with each outside entity you share data with so that a comprehensive solution can be employed to combat each cyber vulnerability.

We will also work with you to support future cyber security efforts by reviewing the type of data you’re sharing with each vendor.  We’ll then categorize it in accordance to its risk and sensitivity through the use of the NIST Risk Management Framework.  This process creates the opportunity for stricter privacy controls that are based on the sensitivity of the data, and the development of policies and procedures surrounding who has access to what data on your network, why they need it, and for how long you’ll allow this level of access.

After these steps are complete, you can work with Innové to perform regular 3rd party vendor cyber security re-evaluations.  This process will promote continuous improvement for your organization as well as each of your vendors, while, at the same time, ensuring everyone’s data protection methods are up to date given the constantly changing nature of cyber threats.

There’s no cybersecurity strategy that can protect an organization from every threat out there.  But, when organizations are able to address their internal cyber security as well as that of those entities they do business with, it’s possible to build a stronger level of data protection for all.  To discuss 3rd party vendor risk assessments and other cyber security strategies to protect your business or government agency’s data assets, please contact Innové Strategy Vice President Brandon Neff at brandon.neff@innove.com.