How to Take a Single Pane of Glass Approach to Vendor Risk Management

pane of glass

As a vendor risk manager, you're busy onboarding and evaluating new third parties, while also assessing and remediating the vulnerabilities in your current vendor portfolio. Finding the capacity to comprehensively assess and monitor all these vendors isn't easy.

That’s a problem because the cybersecurity threat posed by third parties grows commensurate with the number of businesses your company is working with. If your organization is like most, that can be a big number. According to Gartner, 60% of organizations work with more than 1,000 third-party vendors. Furthermore, the average company network is accessed by 89 different vendors each week – yet only a third of these organizations know the exact number of vendors who have access.

Having more vendors than you can keep track of introduces cyber risk. You can leverage monitoring and vendor risk management tools for each step of the vendor lifecycle, but more tools means more data, and it can be hard to prioritize actions when you’re jumping between multiple disparate toolsets.

A quicker and more efficient way to ensure new and existing vendors align with your organization’s risk tolerance is to leverage a single pane of glass vendor risk management strategy.

What is a single pane of glass?

A single pane of glass is a term used in information technology to describe a unified dashboard or control panel that presents data from multiple sources. 

In the context of vendor risk management, a single pane of glass is vital to achieving big picture insights into the cybersecurity postures of your third parties. It provides a unified, convenient view so that you can respond quickly and efficiently to potential vulnerabilities.

Features of an effective third-party risk management single pane of glass include:

  • An intuitive interface that gives you continuous access and visibility into the cybersecurity health of your vendors – at any moment.
  • The ability to automatically categorize vendors by tier groups and see how their security performance compares to pre-agreed risk thresholds.
  • Instant alerting when pressing security issues arise, allowing for fast intervention, quicker risk reduction, and greater peace of mind.
  • A format that allows for customization based on your needs.

With all your vendor risk data populated into one program or database, it's easier to notice threats and vulnerabilities, trends, validate vendor responses, and efficiently use your team's time.

How to achieve a single pane of glass view into vendor risk

Given your reliance on an expanding pool of vendors, you need to ensure new vendors are within your organization’s risk tolerance. And you need to do it quickly and with confidence.  

One way to do this is to use Bitsight for Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM). With Bitsight, you can gain near real-time visibility into a vendor’s security posture – at the click of a button.

With these insights, you can confidently assess, onboard, and monitor your vendors to ensure they fall within your organization’s risk appetite. And you can do this without adding more headcount.

For example, during the onboarding process you can gain a single pane of glass view into a potential vendor’s current and historical security performance and validate their subjective responses to security questionnaires based on objective data.


Then, once the contract is signed, use Bitsight to keep a finger on the pulse of your vendors’ cyber health for the life of the relationship. If a new vulnerability – such as poor cybersecurity hygiene or malware – is detected or a vendor deviates from pre-agreed security performance SLAs, you’ll receive automatic alerts for rapid remediation. 


You can even give your vendors free access to the Bitsight portal so they can see exactly what you see  - making risk management a more collaborative process.  

And, with our acquisition of ThirdPartyTrust, we’re unlocking new features that allow you to work smarter, not harder. These capabilities – including fully-automated vendor assessment and onboarding – combined with a single pane of glass strategy mean you get complete oversight of the risks involved in your third-party vendor ecosystem so you can efficiently scale your processes as your business and supply chain grow.

Watch this video to see Bitsight’s powerful single pane of glass third-party risk management solution at work.