Third-party risk cyber security

The connection between third-party risk and cyber security

In today’s highly interconnected business environment, third-party risk can have a huge impact on an organization’s cyber security posture and cyber liability. Enterprises increasingly rely on cloud-based services and outsourcing to accelerate speed to market and remain competitive. Because vendors and suppliers are often given access to sensitive data and high-value IT environments, a breach that starts with a third party can easily lead to a cyber security attack on the organization itself. In fact, a recent study reports that more than 90% of companies have experienced a data breach that originated within a third-party vendor.

To manage supply chain security, risk managers need extensive visibility into each vendor’s security performance and controls. Traditional solutions provide only a point-in-time snapshot of security posture that’s updated once or twice a year. Cyber threats evolve quickly and security posture can change daily, so organizations need a clear understanding of the risk within the supply chain on any given day.

BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management delivers clear, up-to-date insight into third-party risk and cyber security issues. Built on data that correlates to potential security incidents, BitSight’s solution helps risk managers to proactively mitigate risk by continuously measuring and monitoring the security performance of vendors.

Why continuous monitoring is critical

Managing third-party cyber risk requires risk managers to have a clear sense of each vendor’s security performance. This visibility helps the organization select partners during vendor procurement that won’t introduce unwanted cyber risk into the organization, and to take steps to mitigate risk when a vendor’s performance fails to meet expectations.

Traditionally, this information has been gathered from self-assessment and manual questionnaires that vendors complete on their own and return once or twice a year. Third-party risk and cyber security teams then determine whether a vendor presents an unacceptable level of risk and, if so, take actions to mitigate it.

Relying solely on vendor self-assessments presents challenges for risk managers on several fronts. Weeks, months, or years can go by without an updated view of an organization’s security posture. The information provided by vendors is inherently subjective and may not deliver a thorough or completely honest view of security activities. The process of collecting, analyzing, and acting on manual self-assessments is extraordinarily time-consuming – which can be exponentially compounded when working with hundreds or thousands of vendors. Together, these challenges make it difficult to manage third-party risk and cyber security effectively, opening the organization up to significant security threats.

Fortunately, BitSight provides a solution that can provide security visibility with daily updates into the security posture of vendors while simplifying third-party risk management and operational risk management.

Continuous Monitoring eBook

Learn how to adapt to the continuously changing risk environment with an efficient, continuous risk monitoring strategy.

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BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management

BitSight is the most widely adopted Security Ratings solution in the world, helping to change the way enterprises address third-party risk and cyber security. With BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management, organizations can make faster, more strategic decisions about vendors while launching, growing, and optimizing risk management programs with existing resources.

The tools within BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management are driven by BitSight Security Ratings which provide a data-driven and dynamic measurement of an organization’s security performance. BitSight ratings are based on objective, verifiable information drawn from 23 major risk categories, including evidence of botnet infections, malware servers, patching cadence, open ports, file sharing activity, leaked usernames and passwords, and publicly disclosed breach events. BitSight aggregates and analyzes this data, using a proprietary algorithm to create a rating that ranges from 250 to 900. The higher the rating, the more effective the company is at maintaining strong security practices.

By monitoring the security ratings of vendors, third-party risk and cyber security teams can quickly identify issues within the supply chain, taking quick action to achieve significant and measurable risk reduction and encouraging vendors to adopt cyber risk best practices.

Benefits for third-party risk and cyber security

BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management provides organizations with the capabilities they need to reduce third-party risk and mitigate cyber security issues.

  • Security ratings that correlate to risk of data breach. Research has shown that an organization’s BitSight rating along with grades in certain risk categories can reliably predict future security performance and how susceptible they are to bad actors.
  • Faster onboarding. BitSight helps third-party risk management teams reduce the time and cost of onboarding vendors by quickly identifying known issues and quantifying risk with smart tiering recommendations.
  • Enable the business. BitSight makes it easy to bring on vendors in a timely way while summarizing and communicating the risk that’s associated with the vendor relationship.
  • Reduce third-party and cyber security risk. BitSight delivers a clear picture of risk aligned to each organization’s risk tolerance. Risk managers can prioritize resources to drive risk reduction across the portfolio of vendors, based on the risk-based tier a vendor falls into.
  • Communicate risk to the Board and C-suite. BitSight’s reporting capabilities make security performance understandable and accessible for individuals with non-technical backgrounds. Security and risk managers can quickly create custom reports on the fly or use built-in cyber security risk assessment report samples and templates.

Why customers trust BitSight

BitSight third-party risk management solutions are trusted by some of the world’s largest organizations for three key reasons.

Extensive visibility into risk and security performance
As the only Security Ratings service that’s independently verified to correlate to breach, BitSight offers the broadest visibility into existing and emerging areas of risk. BitSight delivers comprehensive assessment of the security performance of third-party vendors, including impactful and common areas of risk such as botnets, IoT systems, mobile apps, and more.

A highly engaged community
The BitSight platform is home to the most robust community of cyber risk professionals, providing risk managers with critical context that fosters confidence in interactions with third-party vendors. Over 2,100 BitSight customers share BitSight Security Ratings with more than 170,000 third-party organizations, making it the most widely used security ratings platform across all industries.

Effective prioritization
BitSight effectively prioritizes the most critical cyber risks, allowing risk management teams to more efficiently allocate resources. Only high-quality risk vectors are incorporated into each Security Rating, and critical assets are ranked higher, thanks to a formula that calculates importance in a more diversified way.

Get a personalized demo to find out how BitSight can help you solve your most pressing security and risk challenges.