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Information Technology Risk Assessment

Choosing A Superior Information Technology Risk Assessment

As the size of your third-party network grows, the risk posed by your relationships with vendors increases as well. According to a recent report by Bomgar 1, more than 180 vendors have access to a company’s network in a single week – more than double the number from 2016. Monitoring and mitigating vendor risk requires a superior information technology risk assessment solution. Traditional methods like a risk assessment questionnaire or cyber security risk assessment checklist provide some value, but they can’t deliver the continuous monitoring capabilities required to manage risk year-round.

BitSight can help. Using BitSight’s industry-leading Security Ratings, BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management provides automated tools for continuously measuring and monitoring the security posture of your vendor network.

BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management

BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management provides continuous and immediate insight into risk living in your supply chain, giving you the confidence to make efficient, more strategic cyber risk management decisions with the resources you have today.

BitSight’s information technology risk assessment tools provide a clear view of the riskiest issues impacting your vendors, backed by data that correlates to potential security incidents and context from the most engaged community of risk and security professionals. In addition to ratings and details about risk for individual vendors, BitSight’s cyber security risk assessment matrix provides a clear picture of risk across your entire vendor portfolio, allowing you to adopt a tiered approach to existing operational workflows and focus efforts on your most critical vendors while feeling secure that your entire pool is still being monitored.

With BitSight, you can:

  • Enable your business to gain value from third-party relationships without compromising security.
  • Make onboarding faster, cheaper, and more scalable.
  • Gain visibility into risk across all vendor relationships, especially those with access to critical information.
  • Reduce risk through continuous monitoring.
  • Help risk managers understand how to mitigate third-party risk most cost efficiently.
  • Track performance across the entire vendor lifecycle.
  • Provide senior executives and board members with cyber security risk assessment reports that answer their questions about risk and cybersecurity with context and language they can understand.

1 https://www.bomgar.com/blog/entry/secure-access-report

Third party vendors present major cybersecurity risks, even for companies with strong network protections.

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What BitSight’s Information Technology Risk Assessment Can Tell You

With BitSight Third-Party Risk Management and BitSight Security Ratings, you can answer the three critical questions that should be part of every third-party risk management program.

Which vendors should you focus on during assessments or audits?

BitSight Security Ratings deliver all the insight and actionable data you need to decide which vendors to prioritize for information technology risk assessments. BitSight Security Ratings provide an easy-to-understand numerical rating that correlates to each vendor’s security posture. You can also grade vendors by criticality of the relationship, the type of information exchanged with the company, past interactions, and 12 months of historical security performance. By focusing your information technology risk assessments on more critical vendors, you can better prioritize your resources and staff time on remediation where it will make the most impact to your business, instead of spending valuable time on areas of insignificant risk.

What questions should you focus on in your assessments?

Security risk assessments shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all exercise. Tailoring your assessment to the specifics of each vendor will give you greater clarity into the risks each company poses. BitSight Security Ratings make it easy to customize the questions in your assessment based on a vendor’s individual rating and security history. For example, you may ask questions about security controls that seem to be missing or historically ineffective security policies. You can also use BitSight to validate many of the answers provided by vendors on their risk assessment.

How often should you engage with vendors?

BitSight Security Ratings can help to determine the best cadence for your information technology risk assessments. Rather than sticking to a standard annual assessment, you can allow your engagement with vendors to be more event-driven. A change in a vendor’s Security Rating, for example, can serve as the driver to check in with them. Vendors with consistently higher security ratings may need less frequent contact than vendors whose ratings are trending lower.

How BitSight Security Ratings work

BitSight Security Ratings are generated from objective, verifiable information about a company’s security performance. Ranging from 250 to 900, BitSight’s daily ratings provide a data-driven, dynamic, quantitative measurement of the security posture of an organization or its third-party vendors. In addition to quantifying overall cybersecurity performance, BitSight ratings can deliver grades on individual risk vectors as well.

BitSight Security Ratings are updated daily, so they represent a near real-time continuous monitoring solution. Ratings also provide a common language that can be shared by technical and non-technical individuals, facilitating data-driven decisions between cybersecurity professionals and executive or board-level individuals.

BitSight Security Ratings are calculated using a proprietary algorithm that analyzes externally observable data in four areas of cybersecurity: compromised systems, security diligence, user behavior, and data breaches. This outside-an approach to rating security performance requires no information from the rated entity.

BitSight Security Ratings are independently verified to correlate with the risk of a data breach. For example, companies with a BitSight rating of 500 or lower are nearly 5 times more likely to experience a breach than those with a rating of 700 or more.

Why Customers Trust BitSight To Manage Risk

BitSight was founded in 2011 and has been a pioneer in the security ratings industry for a decade. Today, BitSight is trusted by some of the world’s largest organizations to provide a clear picture of their security performance. By enabling complete security visibility and evaluating how well an organization’s attack surface and third parties are protected against cybersecurity threats, BitSight helps to improve cybersecurity posture and manage risk more effectively.

The BitSight is the most widely adopted security ratings platform in the world. Among BitSight’s 2100 customers are 20% of the world’s countries, 25% of Fortune 500 companies, 7 of top 10 largest cyber insurers, and 4 of the top 5 investment banks.

FAQs: What Is An Information Technology Risk Assessment?

An information technology risk assessment is a tool for mitigating risk within an organization’s digital ecosystem. By identifying risk within an organization’s IT environment and its third-party network, a risk assessment can help to evaluate risk severity and determine which areas of risk should receive priority for remediation.

Third-party risk management is the task of identifying, monitoring, and mitigating risk within relationships with vendors. A third-party risk management program helps organizations decide which vendors to select and onboard. It also enables risk managers to work with vendors to remediate issues in a vendor’s IT environment that may pose a risk to the organization.

Security ratings are a data-driven measurement of the security performance of an organization or its third-party vendors. Security ratings are based on objective information that is externally available, rather than internal information provided by the rated organization. Security ratings provide a quantitative metric that helps security and risk leaders compare their program to their peers, as well as to better understand security performance and prioritize budgets and resources for security and risk management programs.

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