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
Aviation Faces Increasing Cybersecurity Scrutiny
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
Microsoft Tops Phishers' Favorite Brands as Facebook Spikes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
MoviePass Leaves Credit Card Numbers, Personal Data Exposed Online
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-6154
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The authentication applet in Watchguard Fireware 11.11 Operating System has reflected XSS (this can also cause an open redirect).
CVE-2019-5594
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
An Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation ("Cross-site Scripting") in Fortinet FortiNAC 8.3.0 to 8.3.6 and 8.5.0 admin webUI may allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform a reflected XSS attack via the search field in the webUI.
CVE-2019-6695
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
Lack of root file system integrity checking in Fortinet FortiManager VM application images of all versions below 6.2.1 may allow an attacker to implant third-party programs by recreating the image through specific methods.
CVE-2019-12400
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
In version 2.0.3 Apache Santuario XML Security for Java, a caching mechanism was introduced to speed up creating new XML documents using a static pool of DocumentBuilders. However, if some untrusted code can register a malicious implementation with the thread context class loader first, then this im...
CVE-2019-15092
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The webtoffee "WordPress Users & WooCommerce Customers Import Export" plugin 1.3.0 for WordPress allows CSV injection in the user_url, display_name, first_name, and last_name columns in an exported CSV file created by the WF_CustomerImpExpCsv_Exporter class.