In the wake of increased successful and high-profile attacks, ransomware incidents, and the newfound fragility of critical infrastructure systems, vendor risk management (VRM) is emerging as an undeniably necessary component of instilling trust between enterprises and stakeholders. This includes operationalizing a strong vendor risk management strategy, focused on conducting thorough risk analysis across the organization. To do this, it’s important to consider 3 pillars of an organization’s third-party risk posture: security, compliance, and privacy.
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Critical Vendor Risk Categories: Security, Compliance, and Privacy
As the importance of having a well-built VRM program gain public attention, key stakeholders and business units are pivoting strategies to align with the latest vendor risk management needs. To accurately implement thorough strategic measures, it’s important to understand each key factor independent of the other.
Security combines both the concepts of compliance and privacy (outlined below), striving to protect data through the creation and use of secure systems. Overall, security works to prevent malicious attacks on enterprise supply chains and ensure that your vendors are able to effectively protect data.
Note: To implement holistic security, it’s pivotal to hold your vendors to the same standards that your organization holds itself to.
Compliance is a comprehensive effort to understand, ethically implement, and comply with laws, regulations, and standards set by industry-relevant governing authorities. Compliance is vital to a VRM program. It ensures that the enterprise treats obligations with consistency from a universal level and maximizes visibility into the implications of unmaintained and unmonitored compliance measures.
Note: When considering compliance and ethics, it’s important to consider Environmental Social & Governance. It’s also vital to ensure that you’re screening your vendors the same way you are screening your internal organization.
Privacy focuses on the use and protection of personal data and personally identifiable information (PII). Privacy strives to increase trust between the customer and the enterprise through enabling transparent data usage and ensuring customers have a choice in what happens with their data through data subject rights.
Note: In order to properly maintain privacy, organizations need to use vendors who can provide evidence of their commitment to personal data protection and ability to comply with privacy regulations.
The Evolving Vendor Risk Landscape
As the vendor risk landscape and malicious attacks evolve, VRM programs must extend beyond cybersecurity toward an increased emphasis on trust, and trust includes each of the three pillars above. How can these teams work together in a way that maximizes all the teams’ efforts while providing value and functionality specific to their needs?
The ideal solution is that each team collaborates to leverage shared data. This operationalizes a strong risk management strategy across the different categories, contributing to a thorough VRM program. Additionally, these teams should work closely together and be able to automate processes that involve each stakeholder. An executive should be able to look at their vendor inventory and see all the different risks they have associated with vendors across the different risk domains.
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How OneTrust Can Help
The OneTrust platform leverages expertise in Vendor Risk Management, Ethics & Compliance, ESG, Privacy, GRC, and many other categories to deliver an immersive cybersecurity management experience. We enable you to gain visibility into all aspects of your organization’s security structure, providing a gateway to collaboration between teams. OneTrust Vendorpedia addresses critical vendor risk management needs through centralizing vendor inventory, automating processes, and reducing risk across different domains.
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