Due to the complexity of today’s globally functioning supply chains, identifying and avoiding cyber-related third-party vendor risks is becoming more and more challenging. To add to the challenge, the cyber security of an organization’s supply chain is no longer exclusively dependent on the prevention of system breaches, crashes or cyberattacks. Sophisticated attackers are willing to use any means necessary to gain access to sensitive data, and third-party suppliers and vendors may have fewer security controls in place than your organization, making them an easier target for an initial attack. Once breached, attackers can leverage these vendors’ access as an ingress point into their ultimate target, your organization’s crown jewels.
“The supply chain stuff is really tricky.”
~Elon Musk, CvEO of Tesla and SpaceX
Key Cyber Supply Chain Risks
Cyber supply chain risk covers a lot of territory. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the key cyber supply chain risks are:
Third-party service providers or vendors – from janitorial services to software engineering — with physical or virtual access to information systems, software code, or IP.
Poor information security practices by lower-tier suppliers.
Compromised software or hardware purchased from suppliers.
Software security vulnerabilities in supply chain management or supplier systems.
Counterfeit hardware or hardware with embedded malware.
Encrypting your company’s laptops and other mobile devices.
Third-party data storage or data aggregators.
In order to address cyber-related supply chain risks, organizations must have strategies in place to actively and preemptively address cybersecurity in and along the entire value chain. They must invest in a robust vendor risk management program across their enterprise.
What Is an Enterprise Vendor Risk Management Program?
An enterprise vendor risk management (VRM) program is a well-defined approach to identifying, calculating and mitigating supply chain cybersecurity risks. Companies use these programs to gain meaningful insights into their vendor relationships and manage third-party risks more effectively.
In some industries, VRMs are called supply chain or third-party risk management (TPRM) programs.
VRMs often compare vendors to well-known and widely accepted quality frameworks. Standards differ based on industries and may include guidelines like:
International Organization for Standardization frameworks like ISO 27001 and ISO 27701.
NIST guidelines for cybersecurity.
Standard Information Gathering (SIG) principles like SIG Lite and SIG Core.
The Cloud Security Alliance Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CSA CAIQ).
HITRUST guidelines for those in the healthcare space.
Higher Education Community Vendor Assessment Toolkit (HECVAT) for educational institutions.
Many businesses today rely on robust technology to help them design and deploy their VRM regardless of the comparison frameworks they use.
Choosing the Right Technology Partner for Your VRM
A comprehensive VRM considers multiple factors for successful development and implementation, and technology plays a vital role in the process. The ideal software is customized for your specific business demands and risk profile. In many aspects, VRM software functions like a customer relationship management program for your third-party network — a centralized source of crucial vendor information providing a holistic view of your supply chain partners.
While the solution may look different for every organization, you should have a few key expectations for your technology partner. These include:
A collaborative approach: Your program must be unique to your organization and its supply chain ecosystem. That means your TPRM consultant should take the time to fully understand your needs and define your particular risk landscape.
Thorough support services: For your VRM to be most effective, a successful implementation is essential. A great technology partner offers end-to-end support throughout the VRM life cycle.
Robust tracking and reporting: Risk is dynamic. Your software solution must be able to reevaluate risks as they arise and deliver insights that allow you to be proactive instead of reactive.
TBG Approach To Vendor Risk Management
At TBG Security we take a methodical approach to assessing your cyber supply chain, creating an effective supply chain management program and reducing your cyber supply chain risk.
Third-party risk management and Vendor Risk management are a critical aspect of overall risk management that involves analyzing and controlling risks associated with outsourcing or working with third parties, including vendors, suppliers, contractors, or service providers. TBG Security has partnered with three of the industry-leading vendors to create a TPRM/VRM service to address both the regulatory requirements and best industry practices in this space. TBG Security’s VRM service provides everything your organization needs to build, implement and execute a robust comprehensive program to effectively manage the risks posed by the use of third-party vendors.
The three complementary components of our service solution are provided by Whistic, RiskRecon and Osano. Whistic is on Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant as a leading provider of IT Vendor Risk Management tools. Whistic makes it easy for buyers to assess their vendors and for vendors to proactively share their security posture directly from Salesforce, including security assessments, documentation, audits, and certifications to build trust early in the sales process. By leveraging RiskRecon, our solution makes it easy to gain deep, risk contextualized insight into the cybersecurity risk performance of all of your third parties. RiskRecon gives you visibility into a deep risk assessment spanning 11 security domains and 41 security criteria — software patching, network filtering, IP reputation, web encryption, application security, and more. All fully risk contextualized and tuned to match your risk appetite.
Benefits of Our Supply Chain Risk Management Services
A comprehensive solution helps vet new and existing third parties to determine risks, how they change over time and how best to reduce them. The primary advantage is a stronger supply ecosystem for everyone involved, and TBG Security can help you get there.
When you partner with TBG Security for vendor risk management consulting, you benefit from:
Swift risk assessments: Sophisticated technology means you get visibility faster. You’ll spend less time on manual spreadsheet processes.
Streamlined vendor workflows: Adding automation to your toolbox lets you evaluate third parties efficiently. Plus, you’ll be audit-ready with built-in documentation of due diligence.
Better decision-making: Increased visibility and powerful business intelligence deliver more confidence in your vendor risk management. The extra transparency and data lead to more objective and strategic decisions.
Improved business reputation: When you take steps to reduce vendor-related risks, you demonstrate a commitment to more security, privacy and compliance. The result is better supply chain performance and boosted customer trust.
Why TBG Security
TBG Security is a leader in supply chain risk management consulting because:
We have decades of experience in cybersecurity risk management.
We’re trusted advisors providing world-class information security consultancy to Fortune 1000 companies.
We’re experts in regulatory compliance such as PCI, HIPAA, ISO, GDPR, NIST and more.
We offer fully independent and expert advice.
We are product agnostic and consulting services are our core services.
Our customers include hedge funds, investment firms, health services, retail, start-ups, cloud services and more.
For more information or if you have a specific question, we’re here to help.