So you have assessed your third-parties and established a third-party risk management (TPRM) program for continuous monitoring, along with a mitigation plan. Good job! But what about the risk posed by your vendors’ third-parties? It’s time to start thinking about fourth-party risk.
Once your TPRM strategy starts to grow and scale, you will need greater visibility into the risk landscape, and that includes discovering unknown subcontractor relationships. How can you be sure your program extends far enough? Just consider the following aspects.
It’s the risk posed by your suppliers’ suppliers. Fourth-parties can be anything from financial consultants to business planners working with your third-parties.
This extended ecosystem is a complex and ever-growing web of interconnected business relationships. Without a clear understanding of it, outages, disruptions, and cyber attacks could compromise your organization.
Modern business is fast-paced and the supply chain is rapidly growing. By managing the risk of the extended ecosystem, you can expand your visibility to achieve a new level of risk awareness and reduction.
Mapping your third-parties to their service providers enables you to:
Fourth-party risk management should be a collaborative effort based on a strong relationship with your third-parties. By monitoring their service providers in tandem, you’re not only improving your own TPRM strategy but also your third-party’s strategy.
Technology can definitely help: our ThirdPartyTrust platform allows you to make a requirement for your third-parties to add their third-parties, and uses that data to build a connections map to show you who’s connected to who. You can also build a subset of questions around how your third-parties are assessing their third-parties’ security posture. You want to make sure your business partners are performing proper due diligence on their partners as well. So it might be worth asking, what are they doing to mitigate any risk that could potentially affect you?
This doesn’t mean you need to perform assessments or continuous monitoring on all of your third-party’s sub-contractors. It means you need to be aware of who are the most risk-critical parties in your supply chain – be they third, fourth, or fifth-parties. To that end, follow these best practices:
To learn more about how ThirdPartyTrust can help you manage fourth-party risk, request your demo now:
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