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If 2020 has taught businesses anything, it’s to “expect the unexpected.” The COVID-19 pandemic showed the world just how ill-prepared we really were for a disruption of this magnitude. As we enter 2021, resolve to protect your assets by employing a third-party security risk management platform and watch your old, manual process quickly transform into an efficient, streamlined one.

So how do you take your organization’s third-party risk management program to the next level? Read on for the top five features to look for to effectively and efficiently manage your third parties.

1. Automation, automation, automation.

Nobody has the time or manpower to perform tasks like reviewing manual questionnaires as part of your third-party security risk assessment. And while manual assessments take weeks to complete, automated security risk assessments are typically completed in several days. This speed not only means that third-party vendors can be hired more quickly; it also ensures that companies can be promptly notified of cyber gaps so that they can quickly work to close them.

Whether it’s for internet connectivity, office supplies or electricity, organizations today depend on third parties to function. Many businesses work with hundreds—and sometimes thousands—of third parties. For this reason, any third-party security assessment and monitoring process must be highly scalable. Manual evaluations cannot realistically accomplish this, but automated security assessments make scalability possible. 

2. At-a-glance 360° security rating.

When selecting a vendor, you want to find out at a glance whether to do business with that vendor or not. Security ratings provide organizations with an overall view of their third parties’ cyber posture by assessing their attack surface. The best solutions can pinpoint cyber gaps, provide directions about how to close them, and continuously monitor third parties for any changes in cyber posture throughout the business relationship.

That being said, these cybersecurity ratings only provide one part of the information that an organization needs to adequately assess its third parties. It’s important to combine the ratings with security questionnaires to get a full picture of your third party’s cyber posture.

Lastly, you need to consider the inherent risk, or the business impact, the vendor has on your organization. Once you consider the combination of the security ratings with the security questionnaires and the inherent risk, you can truly assess your vendors with confidence. A solution which provides an all-in-one rating with the quick click of a button is ideal—especially when evaluating so many vendors.

3. The human factor.

You cannot ignore the role that humans play when it comes to cyber risk. Since the start of 2020, Google registered a record 2.02 million phishing websites. Cybercriminals played on people’s fears during the pandemic, resulting in individuals clicking on malicious links and opening fraudulent websites that appeared to relate to COVID-19.

For these reasons, your solution should also consider factors such as the likelihood of your employees being targeted for cyberattacks, the presence of company accounts in breach dumps, the presence of a dedicated security team, irregular public footprints of company employees and the presence of official profiles on social media. 

4. Easy communication and collaboration.

Businesses have greatly increased their reliance on vendors. Ideally, working with vendors enables businesses to operate in a more cost-effective and efficient manner. Good communication and  collaboration with your vendors enables a more productive working relationship.  

Engaging with your vendors allows you to set clear expectations, allowing them to understand if and how they fell short. Having open discussions about findings empowers your vendors to ask questions and learn about their security posture, which is mutually beneficial. 

When you have the ability to communicate with your vendors within the platform itself, the entire process is streamlined. This results in quicker responses from vendors, improved ability to track their progress and stay on top of deadlines. Plus, you have an autoarchive of communication with your vendors for future use.  

5. Multi-language support.

In today’s globalized world, working with a third-party security platform that can  provide localization is a powerful way to expand and enable business. Look for a solution that supports different languages and allows you to share security questionnaires with your vendors in their native languages, while providing answers in English. Having this capability also improves communication and leaves less room for misinterpretation. 

How Panorays Can Help

Panorays helps expedite your third-party security management program through its automated platform. It is the only platform providing a rapid vendor Cyber Risk Rating that combines automated security questionnaire results with attack surface evaluations while also considering business context. Additionally, the platform provides a single repository where all teams can securely collaborate and communicate with your vendors.

Are you interested in learning more about how Panorays’ third-party security management platform can help you? Contact us today for a free consultation, or sign up for a free demo today.

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