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
Crowdsourced vs. Traditional Pen Testing
Alex Haynes, Chief Information Security Officer, CDL,  3/19/2019
BEC Scammer Pleads Guilty
Dark Reading Staff 3/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Well, at least it isn't Mobby Dick!
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
The State of Cyber Security Incident Response
Organizations are responding to new threats with new processes for detecting and mitigating them. Here's a look at how the discipline of incident response is evolving.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-4035
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
IBM Content Navigator 3.0CD could allow attackers to direct web traffic to a malicious site. If attackers make a fake IBM Content Navigator site, they can send a link to ICN users to send request to their Edit client directly. Then Edit client will download documents from the fake ICN website. IBM X...
CVE-2019-4052
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
IBM API Connect 2018.1 and 2018.4.1.2 apis can be leveraged by unauthenticated users to discover login ids of registered users. IBM X-Force ID: 156544.
CVE-2019-9648
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
An issue was discovered in the SFTP Server component in Core FTP 2.0 Build 674. A directory traversal vulnerability exists using the SIZE command along with a \..\..\ substring, allowing an attacker to enumerate file existence based on the returned information.
CVE-2019-9923
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
pax_decode_header in sparse.c in GNU Tar before 1.32 had a NULL pointer dereference when parsing certain archives that have malformed extended headers.
CVE-2019-9924
PUBLISHED: 2019-03-22
rbash in Bash before 4.4-beta2 did not prevent the shell user from modifying BASH_CMDS, thus allowing the user to execute any command with the permissions of the shell.