COVID-19 disrupted supply chains, exposing weaknesses, legacy issues, and the need for greater visibility in order to adapt more easily to new ground rules… such as a pandemic. We take a look at the biggest pain points from a third-party risk perspective, and provide some tips to boost the supply chain resilience.
The biggest pain points in the supply chain
- Lack of visibility: Risk management executives struggle to get a trusted view of all their third-parties (and fourth-parties) across the enterprise. You may have built a global supply chain, which could expose the company to a number of risks if you don’t have visibility and control up and down stream.
- Security posture and Compliance: You need to be able to assess risk and compliance for all third-parties, not just vendors and suppliers, but also partners or resellers to name a few. The traditional method of assessing and monitoring third-parties is often ineffective, with a lot of redundant workload and manual processes.
- Business continuity: Executives tend to focus on the security aspect – how their third-parties are protecting their data. But you should also be considering their business continuity and operational resiliency, especially that of offshore resources that may have to stop conducting essential processes.
It’s important to understand that the risks posed by third-parties and their vendors can affect your business. Fortunately, you can take a risk based approach to third-party management to tackle these issues in your supply chain without breaking the bank or overloading your team.
3 Ways to Boost your Supply Chain Resilience
#1 Improve visibility over third-party data
Partners in the extended supply chain have blind spots, so you need to be a step ahead. With ThirdPartTrust, you can centrally assess and manage vendors across the entire business, for a 360° view of all third-party data and a better understanding of all outsourced relationships. With automation built into the on-boarding and upkeep of vendor security documents, you can bring on hundreds of third-parties in one year.
#2 Improve Risk Monitoring
Identifying supply chain risks requires a company to perform due diligence on its vendors. At a minimum, many businesses request recent security artifacts, such as SIG or SOC 2 reports, to demonstrate that a third-party is safe enough to engage with. However, this approach hardly shows risks that have yet to put pressure on a company.
A true ongoing monitoring of third-party risk across the supply chain requires real time information and intelligence. Integrated risk data analytics from providers like BitSight, RiskRecon, Security ScoreCard and others provide a better picture of vendor risks and the security posture of third-parties before engagement and throughout the relationship.
This allows detecting early warning signs to steer conversations about program direction and remediation activities in motion, instead of mid-project. Otherwise, how could you expect an annual assessment to guarantee that everything’s OK for the remaining 364 days of the year?
#3 Improve business continuity
A small deviation from plan at one end can have large and costly effects up and down stream. Operational issues in the supply chain can impact information security, business continuity, collaboration, and compliance.
Data security is the cornerstone of third-party risk management efforts, but that doesn’t mean organizations should overlook the reliance aspect of their external relationships, which can actually impact the continuity of service and support immediately.
Managing this has to do with flexibility and customization. With the right TPRM tool, you’re not limited to asking about cybersecurity, you have the ability to ask about any type of information and technology risk that you may identify in your risk profile. So you can add all of this to your assessment and monitoring process.
Third-party risk management tools can enable better supply chain visibility, risk monitoring, and business continuity. Automation and analytics certainly offer an elegant solution to time-consuming processes and information overload.
Are you ready to boost your supply chain resilience through a risk based approach to third-party risk management?
To learn more about how ThirdPartyTrust can help you streamline your TPRM program, request your free trial now: