Vendor risk management (VRM) and third party risk management (TPRM) are trending terms following a series of major cyberattacks and data breaches affecting organizations through their third party vendors (Kaseya and SolarWinds are the latest examples). But what is TPRM?
The global, interconnected network of enterprises and vendors working together, and the uptick in digitization amid the covid-19 pandemic, stress a growing risk of being hit by a third-party data breach.
Assuming your organization interacts with dozens or hundreds of third party vendors, read on to find out everything you need to know about TPRM and how to secure your vendor ecosystem.
Third party risk management is the continuous process of identifying, analyzing and controlling risks presented by third parties to an organization, its data, operations and finances.
TPRM allows organizations to control the risk that arises from outsourcing services and products, by shedding light into areas of potential business risk.
The term ‘third party’ encompasses vendors, contractors, suppliers, and any person or entity that provides goods and services to other entities, such as:
Broadly speaking, there are 4 stages on a third party risk management lifecycle framework:
Every organization, no matter the size or industry, engages with third party vendors. But in working with them, organizations usually grant them access to their network and data, expanding the risk surface.
As a consequence, securing data and implementing defensive measures does not end at your organization’s perimeter. Simply put: you could end up in the headlines because your vendor failed to protect your data and that of your customers.
It is necessary to assess, monitor and reduce the risks that arise from that business relationship, as well as ensure that the third party vendor will comply with your security standards. This is all part of a third party risk management (TPRM) program.
A third party risk management program manages risks associated with third party vendors, customers, or regulators end-to-end. This involves collecting critical vendor information, assessing their security posture, tracking what they have access to, understanding what internal policies apply to them, and more.
In doing so, you might want to know things like:
Ultimately, the goal of TPRM is for you to know how much risk you are taking by engaging with a vendor, and to have enough information to decide if you want to pursue that relationship.
TPRM is a critical component of a comprehensive Governance, Risk and Compliance or GRC program. GRC manages enterprise risk on a much broader scale, including external risks, issues of corporate governance and compliance with regulatory requirements. Legal, contractual, internal, social and ethical parameters, as well as industry regulations, fall under the GRC umbrella.
Therefore, every insight from a proper due diligence and vendor risk assessment process, obtained as part of a third party risk management program, is a valuable input for the overall enterprise risk management and strategic decision making that GRC owns. That is why, in many organizations, TPRM is conducted by the GRC team.
There are a handful of benefits to reducing risk in your supply chain; to name a few:
Mastering third-party risk management will bring your organization to new heights and ensure a secure relationship with third party vendors to avoid unnecessary risks.
Learn how ThirdPartyTrust can help you build and automate your third party risk assessment and monitoring process:
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