Managing Third-Party Cyber Risks: Everything You Need to Know

By Dr. Jerry Craig | June 4, 2024
Jerry is Ntiva’s Sr. Director of Security and CISO, offering more than 20 years in the IT and cybersecurity industry. Certified CISO, CISSP and CCSP, Jerry also serves part-time as Adjunct Professor in the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Entrusting certain aspects of your business operations to external organizations can feel like navigating a delicate balance.

Although outsourcing can provide cost savings, access to expert resources, and increased efficiency, it also poses risks that could jeopardize your business's security, compliance, and operations.

From data breaches caused by third-party vendors' lax security measures to compliance slip-ups that can lead to hefty fines and damage to your reputation, the stakes are high. Navigating these complex waters can be a common challenge for many businesses.

Imagine having a clear, actionable strategy to manage these risks effectively, ensuring that your external partnerships deliver value without compromising on safety or compliance. Does that sound challenging? It doesn't have to be.

Don't want to read the article? Watch the full recording below.

Be sure to register here for the "Ntiva Tech Mastery On-Demand Webinar Series"

That's why you won't want to miss our latest webinar, "Managing Third-Party Cyber Risks."  Hosted by Dr. Jerry Craig, this session digs into the essentials of third-party risk management. This episode isn't just theoretical; it’s packed with real-world applications and strategies that can revolutionize how you manage third-party relationships.

Here's a sneak peek at what you'll learn in this session:

The Problems Caused by Complicated Business Processes

Third party cybersecurity risks

When managing third-party cyber risks, simplicity should be the goal—but often, the reality is quite the opposite. Overcomplicated processes, characterized by endless checklists and rigid, one-size-fits-all requirements, do more than just waste time; they drain valuable resources and can significantly inflate operational costs, leading to:

Inflexibility and Inefficiency 

Applying uniform, stringent security checks to all vendors, regardless of their size or the specific risks they pose, wastes time and resources. This one-size-fits-all approach can be overkill for smaller vendors and insufficient for larger ones, leading to inefficiencies and missed specific threats.

Strained Relationships and Delays 

Overcomplication strains relationships with vendors and delays projects. The lengthy vetting process required for each partnership can slow down operations and hinder timely market entry, potentially costing business opportunities.

Hidden Risks and Low Morale

Generic checklists may overlook unique risks tied to specific industries or vendors, leaving gaps in security. Furthermore, the cumbersome process can lead to employee burnout, reducing productivity and morale across your team.

Simplifying third-party risk management means assessing each vendor based on the actual risk they present, streamlining processes, and maintaining focus, thereby saving costs, enhancing security, and improving business relationships.

4 Steps To Streamlining Cyber Risk Management and Processes 

Streamlining Cyber Risk Management (2)

It's time to shift gears and simplify. Here's a focused, adaptable 4-step strategy that can cut through the noise and streamline your third-party cyber risk management:

Step #1: Craft a Tailored Checklist:

Start with a dynamic cybersecurity checklist that targets your business's specific needs and evolves with those needs. Prioritize information crucial for your stakeholders—like auditors, insurance providers, and clients—ensuring that every box you tick off provides real, actionable value.

Step #2: Utilize Expert Audit Reports:

Cut down on the legwork by relying on third-party audit reports to verify vendor compliance and security. This not only leverages professional expertise but also frees up your team to focus on strategic cybersecurity assessments rather than routine checks.

Step #3: Build a Repeatable Process:

Develop a process that's both repeatable and adaptable, capable of scaling up or down depending on the vendor’s size and the risk they pose. This modular approach allows for customized interactions, ensuring that you maintain security without sacrificing agility.

Step #4: Refine Due Diligence and Contract Reviews:

Simplify your due diligence questions into a standardized yet flexible questionnaire that can quickly identify red flags or areas needing deeper investigation. Ensure every contract passes through legal review to protect your interests without creating unnecessary bottlenecks.

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Empower Your Business Technology by Simplifying Complexity

Transforming your approach to third-party cyber risk management from a dreaded chore to a streamlined process isn’t just about saving time—it’s about enhancing security, fostering better vendor relationships, and positioning your business for future challenges and opportunities. 

By focusing on precision and adaptability, you can turn a potential vulnerability into a cornerstone of your business strategy. Check out the webinar now, get started on the decluttering process, and focus on what truly matters: propelling your business forward with confidence and clarity.

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Tags: Cybersecurity