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Remember when “Telephone” referenced a game you played with your childhood friends? “Telephone” in the workplace, especially between you and your vendors, is anything but fun and games. It is the cause of much frustration, inefficiencies and unnecessary risk to your organization. 

In recent years, businesses have greatly increased their reliance on vendors. Ideally, working with vendors enables businesses to operate in a more cost-effective and efficient manner. On the flip side, working with vendors also necessitates sharing sensitive data and access with vendors. Not surprisingly, with the increased dependence on vendors, attacks on third-party vendors have increased as well. In addition to the inherent risk of working with vendors, poor collaboration and communication only exacerbate the situation. Good communication, on the other hand, is the foundation for all solid relationships and is the conduit for stronger collaboration with your vendors. Here’s how:

Collaboration helps you monitor your vendors.

When there is collaboration, there is a common language. Conversely, when there isn’t collaboration, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, which also increases risk. Collaborating with your vendors, meeting relevant players, establishing responsibilities and creating processes will increase productivity and efficiency within your organization. Improved collaboration and communication enables you to better understand and properly monitor your vendors. 

Better communication helps you set clear security expectations.

Whether it’s waiting for your vendors to remediate findings or answer questionnaires, you know what a tedious process it can be. Lots of spreadsheets, many back-and-forth communications; someone’s bound to drop the ball. And when things fall between the cracks, it could be detrimental to your company. A high-risk finding that is not remediated or not complying with a regulation can have serious repercussions for your organization. 

Taking the time and putting forth the effort to initiate conversations with your vendors from the beginning, as well as throughout your business relationship, is essential. Engaging with your vendors allows you to set clear expectations enabling them to understand if and how they fell short. Having open discussions about findings empowers your vendors to ask questions and learn new things about their security posture, which is mutually beneficial. Better communication prevents risk instead of reacting to risk.

Improved communication helps you comply with regulations.

To comply with regulations such as NYDFS and GDPR, both you and all of your vendors must adhere to the requirements. Invariably, you will have questions for your vendors as they complete security questionnaires and after they remediate vulnerabilities. With ongoing and clear communication between you and your vendor, you can be assured that your vendor is complying. 

Panorays’ automated customized questionnaires make it easy to check that vendors are fulfilling compliance requirements. In addition, Panorays streamlines this process through its live chat capabilities between organizations and vendors. All chats are automatically stored on the platform which can be referred to later for clarification and auditing purposes. 

How Panorays Can Help

Panorays’ third-party security risk platform provides a single repository where all teams can securely collaborate and communicate with your vendors. No more phone tag. No more pings to nudge them for a response. Vendors can easily gain full visibility into the status of their security evaluation, discuss findings and respond to Panorays’ customized Smart Questionnaire™, all within a single platform. It allows you to monitor progress, stay in sync with your vendors and meet deadlines. Quick responses from your vendor are possible through in-app messaging, clarifying issues quickly and efficiently. 

Are you interested in learning more about how our third-party security risk management platform can help improve collaboration and communication with your vendor? Contact us today for a free consultation, or sign up for a free demo today.

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