Establishing a strong third-party risk management program is an important first step in mitigating cyber risk. It takes just one vulnerable vendor, partner, or even fourth-party, to cause a data breach.
You only need to look at the headlines to see that more and more data breaches are caused by third parties as businesses continue to suffer security compromises at the hands of suppliers.
The consequences are costly. One in five organizations has experienced a third-party breach with an average cost of $1.47 million per incident.
In our experience working with thousands of organizations all over the world, we’ve noticed that many security and risk professionals harbor misconceptions about what makes an effective third party risk management program. These misconceptions could lead an increase in cyber risk.
Some companies think that because they don’t have legions of suppliers that they needn’t worry about third-party risk management. Or they wash their hands of implementing a third-party risk management program because they can’t influence their third parties’ cybersecurity practices, even though security leaders have many tools at their disposal to do so.
And it’s not just about compliance. Maintaining compliance is important but it doesn’t ensure the safety of your company’s data. Regulatory standards typically reflect minimum acceptable standards of security — a truly effective third-party risk management program requires going above and beyond. Plus, since cyber risks are constantly evolving, a point-in-time audit of your vendors’ security posture isn’t going to protect you against new risk factors.
Another common mistake that organizations make is that they pour all their cybersecurity resources into protecting their own network. This can open the organization up to even more risk. Third parties may have access to your networks and data, offering an easy entry point for attackers to move laterally from a fourth-party to a third-party and then into your organization’s infrastructure.
It’s a challenge that security leaders can no longer overlook. Cybersecurity has become a top priority for board members; 75% of Global 500 companies now treat vendor risk management as a board-level initiative.
Download this ebook now to read more common misconceptions about third-party risk management and how to implement a third party risk management program that will drive value for your business.
You’ll also learn how BitSight enables you to continuously monitor, measure, and influence your third parties’ security performance from onboarding through the life of your relationship.