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The 4 Most Important Features to Look for in a Third-Party Security Risk Platform
Security Best Practices & Advice

The 4 Most Important Features to Look for in a Third-Party Security Risk Platform

By Yaffa Klugerman May 13, 20213 min read

Let’s face it—there are a lot of third-party security management platforms out there, and finding the right one for your organization is crucial. Yet not all third-party security management platforms are the same; features, benefits and price can vary significantly.  

So what should you be looking for when evaluating solutions? Read on for the four most important features to look for. 

1. Comprehensive assessment 

If a cyber assessment is not performed properly, organizations can face potential breaches and associated fines, loss of reputation and customer trust. Yet performing an accurate and transparent evaluation of supplier risk can be daunting. 

Some platforms assess third parties using security questionnaires, but they only provide a snapshot of a moment in time. Other platforms perform external attack surface assessments to detect cyber gaps, but these don’t consider a third party’s internal policies or security posture. In addition, they don’t necessarily consider the context of the business relationship between the organization and supplier to understand the level of risk. 

Panorays’ 360-degree ratings combine automated, dynamic security questionnaires with external attack surface assessments and business context, providing organizations with a comprehensive and accurate view of supplier and fourth-party cyber risk. 

2. Effective collaboration

Frustrated business owners demand quick turnaround of assessments, despite the difficulty of doing so, and third parties are often unable to quickly deliver requested documentation. Without effective collaboration, business relationships suffer, causing professional and personal stress over the inability to get answers, remediate risk and efficiently work together. 

Imagine not having to chase down vendors, following up on emails or tracking whether a questionnaire has been returned. All of this activity is streamlined within Panorays, making it easy to manage third-party security. As the only such solution that enables in-platform engagement, Panorays eliminates the friction between evaluator and supplier, enabling communication, collaboration and remediation. Because the Panorays platform facilitates engagement, suppliers can easily dispute or validate findings within the platform, helping them achieve accuracy. 

3. Contextual ratings

Not all risk is the same, but companies have no easy way to contextualize risk according to the business relationship. For example, a supplier that brings paper to the office should not be rated the same way as one that connects to your email systems. If not assessed correctly, risk can be inaccurately portrayed, leading to wasted effort in remediation when risk is incorrectly overweighted — as well as a lack of urgency in mitigating risk when it is falsely underweighted.

Only Panorays rates according to context by considering the business and technology relationship with suppliers. Organizations get an accurate picture of risk according to actual business impact, enabling them to prioritize efforts correctly to truly manage risk.

4. Transparent Ratings

To perform a comprehensive and accurate evaluation of third-party security, it’s necessary to combine data from many different sources, the results of which can be confusing. In order to fully understand this evaluation, organizations and their third parties must receive a clear explanation of how cyber risk is assessed, including the methodology used to calculate ratings. 

Forrester recently noted that “Panorays differentiates with its complete questionnaire capabilities, accuracy and workflow.” The Panorays platform also provides complete visibility into the elements that make up the vendor’s ratings. For the Smart Questionnaire™ rating, the user can see the vendor’s responses and can even sort according to questions that the user designates as important. For the Cyber Posture Rating, the user can see which tests were performed, whether there were findings or not, and drill down to the asset level so the finding can be validated. In addition, CVE information is attached to each relevant finding, which provides information on how the finding severity level was derived. The ratings history feature also provides a view of how ratings have changed according to changes to the attack surface. Finally, Panorays also provides a detailed public web page explaining its ratings methodology.

Want to learn more about what to consider when evaluating third-party security management platforms? Download our guide

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Yaffa Klugerman

Yaffa Klugerman is Director of Content Marketing at Panorays. She enjoys writing about the cyber world, drinking too many cappuccinos and arguing about the use of serial commas.

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