Vendor Due Diligence

The secret to effective vendor due diligence

While vendors are critical to your organization, relationships with these third parties inevitably expose you to certain amount of cyber risk. The headlines are full of supply chain hacks that have resulted in massive operational disruption, high costs to remediate exposure, and damage to business reputations.

An effective vendor due diligence process should address these concerns, and efficiently identify risk within the supply chain and in potential vendor relationships. However, the methods for assessing cyber risk across an extended supply chain are typically time-consuming and inefficient. According to Forrester, more than two-thirds of businesses rely on manual processes for their third-party risk management programs. These cumbersome procedures hinder productivity and consume your team’s valuable time, and can potentially expose your organization to increased cyber risk.

Bitsight provides an end-to-end third-party risk management network for fully automated vendor assessment and onboarding. With Bitsight, your vendor risk management team can conduct high-quality, efficient security risk assessments without adding to headcount.

Best practices for vendor due diligence

When you’re seeking to improve your vendor due diligence process, these best practices can help you make more informed decisions.

Set risk tolerance thresholds and tiers

Establish an acceptable risk threshold that a third-party must achieve before they can be considered as a potential vendor. To make vendor due diligence more efficient, you can tier your vendors based on their risk and criticality to your business. Vendors like accounting firms or payroll companies that inherently represent greater risk and have access to sensitive company data should meet a higher threshold than vendors like office supply firms who pose less risk to your supply chain.

Continuously monitor risk

While you can’t continuously conduct in-depth audits or assessments for each vendor, you can keep your finger on the pulse of vendors’ cyber hygiene by continuously monitoring their security posture. Security ratings like the data and analytics provided through Bitsight Security Ratings can trigger automatic alerts when a vendor’s security posture deviates from pre-agreed risk thresholds or contractual SLAs, and provide historical context into a third-party’s security performance.

Automate due diligence processes

By automating processes, your teams can effectively manage vendor due diligence without increasing headcount. Automation can help to quickly discover and mitigate unforeseen cyber risk throughout your vendor landscape and ensure that critical data is shared with stakeholders. By quickly validating your vendors’ responses to security questionnaires, you can more easily identify red flags that require deeper investigation.

Bitsight Vendor Risk Management

Bitsight is the world’s leading security ratings service, providing trusted technology for third-party cyber risk assessments and vendor due diligence. Bitsight Security Ratings are a proven risk assessment tool, delivering a dynamic measurement of each vendor’s cybersecurity posture based on objective, verifiable data. By continuously monitoring the Bitsight Security Rating and provided risk vector data for every vendor in your supply chain, you can accelerate vendor due diligence processes and make more strategic decisions about third-party risk.

Bitsight offers two solutions to improve vendor due diligence. Bitsight Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) provides a solution for continuous controls monitoring that enables vendor risk teams to manage risk throughout the entire vendor lifecycle efficiently and at scale. Bitsight Vendor Risk Management is an automated vendor assessment tool that lets teams easily collaborate with their vendors to manage security risk assessments with higher quality and fewer resources.

With Bitsight’s solutions for vendor due diligence, you can:

  • Build customized workflows to drive results. Bitsight Vendor Risk Management (VRM) allows vendor risk teams to customize assessments for each vendor to best evaluate new and existing third-parties. Bitsight VRM also automates the entire assessment process, stores documents, and manages the risk assessment workflow to deliver trusted results aligned with the unique requirements of your organization.
  • Rely on objective intelligence. Bitsight’s third-party risk data and solutions allows you to quickly discover and mitigate unforeseen cyber risk across your extended supply chain. Bitsight’s continuous monitoring technology delivers real-time insights to drive strategic actions throughout the entire vendor lifecycle. Bitsight Security Ratings are independently verified to correlate with risk of a data breach or ransomware attack, so security leaders can confidently assess, onboard, and monitor vendors to ensure they fall within the defined risk thresholds.
  • Build trust with meaningful metrics at scale. With Bitsight, you can confidently validate your vendor’s subjective responses to questionnaires. Bitsight Security Ratings are highly correlated with critical business outcomes – including breaches and company stock performance – so you can confidently assess each vendor’s security controls and make vendor risk decisions.
  • Manage cyber risk more effectively. Bitsight TPRM and VRM provide integrated tools for improving vendor collaboration and sharing important cyber risk information with a growing number of program stakeholders who are concerned about the business impact of vendor risk management.

One dashboard for monitoring vendor due diligence

Bitsight Vendor Risk Management automates the vendor due diligence process to accelerate vendor onboarding and minimize manual team effort. This Bitsight technology helps your teams manage the complex third-party cyber risk environment by automating vender risk management throughout the vendor lifecycle. 

Bitsight Vendor Risk Management provides: 

  • Greater visibility. A single integrated platform offers a real-time overview of risk assessments and performance.
  • Monitor risk thresholds. Customize your cyber risk workflow to ensure that vendor risks fit your organization’s risk appetite. Easily prioritize your critical and high-risk vendors.
  • Automate assessments. Verify the data received from potentially error-prone manual processes.
  • Strengthen the evaluation process. Gain greater insight with access to 20,000+ vendor security profiles.
  • Collaborate easily. Interact with vendors as often as needed to assess and remediate risk, without additional costs.


40 questions vendor risk ebook

With this ebook, we'll help you prioritize which vendors need the most attention with an in-depth security assessment – such as those with low security ratings, or critical vendors that maintain constant contact with your company’s systems. 

Why Bitsight?

Bitsight pioneered the security ratings industry in 2011, creating the world’s first cybersecurity ratings platform. Today, businesses around the world trust Bitsight as they seek to manage cyber risk, improve cyber risk quantification, and build cyber resilience.

Bitsight Security Ratings offer a more insightful, complete view of cyber risk than traditional techniques like penetration testing, questionnaires, internal audits, or on-site visits. By leveraging externally observable data and cyber threat intelligence from sources around the world, we produce highly accurate ratings that evaluate the effectiveness of security programs for businesses and their third parties.

Bitsight is the only security rating provider with proven outside validation of its ratings, which have been demonstrated to correlate with data breach risk and business financial performance. The accuracy of our ratings has enabled us to grow to more than 2,700 customers including 120 government institutions, 20% of Fortune 1000 companies, 4 of the top 5 investment banks, and all 4 of the Big 4 accounting firms.

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