Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

10/26/2015
10:30 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
100%
0%

New Approaches to Vendor Risk Management

The key to managing partner security risk is having truly verifiable evidence.

In the legend of Troy, Greek warriors spent a significant amount of time trying to break into huge walls surrounding the city until Odysseus had a clever idea: leave a wooden Trojan horse outside and hide the soldiers inside. Today, the city of Troy is your company and the modern equivalent to the Trojan horse are your third party systems.

Organizations spend inordinate amounts of money protecting their fortresses, but they neglect the immediate risks posed by unfortunate partners. Today, organizations attempt to rein in third-party risk through on-site visits, security questionnaires, and intrusive, one-time audits. These security measures are an exercise in trust, but difficult to fully verify.  As a result, forward-leaning organizations are looking for a fresh approach to manage their security-risk environment.

If you have hundreds of vendors today, there is almost no way to know all of the security-risk issues they have. You send a questionnaire, jump on the phone, incorporate legal provisions into the contract, and pray that vendor responses are correct. The key to managing partner risk is having truly verifiable evidence. In business, the faster you are able to make an informed decision the more business value you can extract.

Source: Dr. Aleksandr Yampolskiy
Source: Dr. Aleksandr Yampolskiy

You also need to know which vendors pose less risk to your company and deserve fast-tracked assessments. As facts about third-party security risk become more readily apparent, proactive management will be needed. How do you get there? You can start by following these seven steps:

  1. Get your executive team to buy in and the general counsel to participate
  2. Separate your vendors into groups of low, medium, and high criticality.
  3. Ask for objective evidence, supporting answers that third parties presented in the questionnaire.
  4. Work with, not against your partners.
  5. Evaluate and measure vendor performance as a continuous process.
  6. Establish regular touch points and personal relations with vendors to review common risk threats
  7. Reserve the right to audit vendors.

Make the case with information

The independent security risk evidence that is now available via technologies that span big data, threat intelligence, and governance, risk, and compliance systems can help organizations make smarter decisions. When this information is accurately placed in a comparative business context, companies can begin to prioritize vendor management resources and speed up the time to remediation. With this intelligence, we can improve the maturity of our risk management and vendor management programs. But this intelligence must be in a business-friendly context. 

The bottom line: technical metrics alone will not suffice. We need to stop pretending the paperwork we are pushing around is protecting our organizations and our customers. We need stronger levels of trust based on rapid, factual, and accurate information that is completely independent from our partner relationships. 

Black Hat Europe returns to the beautiful city of Amsterdam, Netherlands November 12 & 13, 2015. Click here for more information and to register.

Dr. Aleksandr Yampolskiy is the CEO and Founder of SecurityScorecard, the leading security risk benchmarking service. In the past, he has been the head of security and compliance at Gilt Groupe, and has held lead technologist and security roles at Goldman Sachs, Oracle, and ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-3154
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
CRLF injection vulnerability in Zend\Mail (Zend_Mail) in Zend Framework before 1.12.12, 2.x before 2.3.8, and 2.4.x before 2.4.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary HTTP headers and conduct HTTP response splitting attacks via CRLF sequences in the header of an email.
CVE-2019-17190
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
A Local Privilege Escalation issue was discovered in Avast Secure Browser 76.0.1659.101. The vulnerability is due to an insecure ACL set by the AvastBrowserUpdate.exe (which is running as NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) when AvastSecureBrowser.exe checks for new updates. When the update check is triggered, the...
CVE-2014-8161
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive column values by triggering constraint violation and then reading the error message.
CVE-2014-9481
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The Scribunto extension for MediaWiki allows remote attackers to obtain the rollback token and possibly other sensitive information via a crafted module, related to unstripping special page HTML.
CVE-2015-0241
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The to_char function in PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a (1) large number of digits when processing a numeric ...