Third Party Risk Management (Definition)

The Challenge Of Third-Party Risk Management

Third-party vendors are essential to any business, helping to increase competitiveness, optimize efficient offerings, and achieve digital transformation. But as your third-party ecosystem continues to grow in size and complexity, managing the risk posed by third parties becomes increasingly difficult. In fact, studies show that 75% of companies who have experienced a breach report that the attacker accessed their network through a vendor, partner, or another third-party.

Consequently, it’s no wonder that your security leaders and vendor risk managers are constantly seeking new ways to improve third-party and IT vendor risk management. Traditional solutions like annual vendor assessments and questionnaires offer some value, but they can’t provide the continuous awareness your organization requires to ensure measurable risk reduction and achieve cyber resilience.

Bitsight for Third-Party Risk Management offers powerful solutions to meet this challenge. By measuring and continuously monitoring third-party security controls, Bitsight empowers you to validate vendor security performance with confidence while effectively communicating risk to your stakeholders.

Related Blog Reading: What is Third Party Risk Management? (Blog Guide)


Why Continuous Monitoring Makes Sense

Third-party risk is constantly evolving. The security posture of every organization in your supply chain may vary daily or weekly as new cyber threats appear. Yet, many organizations still rely on annual or semiannual vendor self-assessments to monitor third-party risk and may be caught off guard by threats and vulnerabilities that arise between assessment periods, or beyond the coverage of a typical assessment.

Continuous monitoring offers a more effective and secure tool for third-party risk management. Many organizations already have continuous monitoring technology in place to scan their own networks 24/7 for attacks and vulnerabilities. Adapting this technology to continuously monitor third-party risk has been a challenge in the past, as organizations typically lack visibility into the internal operations, security defenses, and controls of their massive list of vendors.

That’s where security ratings can provide remarkable value. Based on externally observable data, security ratings offer an outside-in approach to continuous controls monitoring that requires no access to a vendor’s internal systems. With a superior security ratings solution, you gain continuous visibility into the security posture of your vendors, with real-time analysis that lets you identify and remediate risk as it happens. Continuous monitoring technology evaluates your entire vendor pool, so vendor risk teams are picking and choosing which third parties to evaluate and gambling on the rest.

Bitsight For Third-Party Risk Management

Bitsight pioneered the security ratings industry in 2011, creating the world’s first cybersecurity ratings platform and continuing to innovate ever since. Today, Bitsight is trusted by leading organizations around the world, including Moody’s Corporation as an invaluable partner in third-party risk management.

Bitsight for Third-Party Risk Management provides solutions to manage and mitigate cyber risk in your supply chain more easily and effectively. From onboarding new vendors and assessing third-party exposure to clearly communicating security performance and critical risks across the organization, Bitsight simplifies and enhances third-party risk management and empowers security leaders to manage risk in the vendor lifecycle with confidence.

With Bitsight for Third-Party Risk Management, you can:

  • Validate vendors effectively. Bitsight security ratings allow you to take control of cyber risk across the vendor lifecycle quickly and confidently, ensuring new vendors are within acceptable levels of risk tolerance. By using Bitsight’s objective data that is aligned to standard and customized vendor questionnaires, your teams can quickly identify red flags with existing vendors. You can also prioritize mitigation efforts with clarity from Bitsight ratings. Bitsight also offers world-class partner integrations to further automate and prioritize risk reduction as early as possible in the vendor onboarding and procurement lifecycle.
  • Continuously monitor risk. With Bitsight, you can track changes, prioritize responses, optimize efforts, and drive risk reduction more effectively without overextending the vendor risk team you have today. Proactive, evidence-based collaboration enables your teams to work with vendors to address specific areas of risk. Automatic discovery can expand your visibility of fourth-party service providers to assess risk in your extended supply chain.
  • Deliver security assurance. The reliability of Bitsight Security Ratings instill confidence with business leaders and stakeholders in your third-party risk management program. Bitsight’s reports provide credible evidence that security controls in third parties are being managed effectively, and are proven to correlate with likelihood of a breach. Bitsight also provides a historical perspective of the performance of third-party controls so your team can better observe negative risk trends.
Third Party Risk Portfolio Report

Download our vendor portfolio risk report sample to get an exclusive look at the actionable reporting capabilities third party risk management teams can use to reduce critical portfolio risk.

How Bitsight Security Ratings Work

Bitsight for Third-Party Risk Management is built on Bitsight’s industry-leading Security Ratings solution. In contrast to security assessment tools that review corporate policies or conduct periodic scans, Bitsight continuously measures security performance of companies and their third-party vendors based on evidence of compromised systems, security diligence, user behavior, and publicly disclosed data breaches. The result is an objective, evidence-based measure of security performance that requires no information from the rated entity, but sees a network the way an attacker might see it.

Bitsight ratings range from 250 to 900, with the current achievable range being 300-820. Higher ratings correlate to greater effectiveness at implementing good security practices, while lower ratings indicate greater likelihood of cybersecurity attack. Specifically, companies with a rating of 400 or lower are five times more likely to experience a data breach than companies with a rating that exceeds 700.

By monitoring large sets of cybersecurity data and cyber threat intelligence 24/7, Bitsight generates daily security ratings for hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide. Security ratings are accessible through the Bitsight platform and through an API to enable continuous monitoring of third-party risk.

Why Customers Trust Bitsight

The security ratings leader

Bitsight is trusted by some of the world’s largest organizations to provide a clearer picture of their security posture as well as risk in their supply chain. Bitsight is the choice of 120 government institutions, 4 of the top 5 investment banks, 20% of Fortune 1000 companies, and all of the Big 4 accounting firms. Bitsight is also backed by Moody’s, who invested $250M in Bitsight in 2021 in a joint partnership to bring Bitsight Security Ratings to the forefront of cyber risk management globally.

Deeper visibility

Bitsight’s proprietary data set generates objective, verifiable Security Ratings. Based on 120+ sources – including both owned and licensed data – Bitsight ratings provide unprecedented visibility into 23 key risk vectors, many of which are unique to Bitsight.

A highly engaged community

Bitsight has the most robust community of cyber risk professionals interacting on its platform, increasing the value of the working with Bitsight for Third-Party Risk Management and providing the confidence that our customers require in their interactions with third-party vendors.

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