HERNDON, Va. -- Nearly three quarters of organizations worldwide feel that business partners increase their levels of information security risk, and 13 percent of organizations have terminated a business partnership due to information security concerns, according to a recent survey of more than 200 organizations worldwide by Cybertrust®, the global information security specialist. While organizations overwhelmingly agree with the need to monitor the security of their business partners, fewer than half actually assess partner security. However, the study demonstrated that those organizations that do conduct business partner security assessments experience a more than three-fold reduction in the likelihood of security incidents.
When asked if their organizations had suffered a security incident involving business partners within the previous year, 32 percent of respondents reported at least one type of incident, with an additional 12 percent unsure. Of those organizations reporting incidents, malicious code was the most prevalent, with 43 percent of respondents reporting infections, followed by unauthorized network access (27 percent), denial of service (9 percent), system abuse or misuse (8 percent), data theft (7 percent), and fraud (6 percent).
While organizations have evolved from isolated enterprises to highly collaborative networks of partners, suppliers, vendors, and contractors, they continue to take the isolated approach when it comes to information security, according to Cybertrust Chief Technology Officer Peter Tippett. While compliance mandates and security audits drive many security programs internal to an organization, they have yet to implement a programmatic way of assessing the security of their external networks, which includes partners. Without this awareness, organizations continue to leave themselves open to financial and legal risks, as well as brand implications.