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Vendor risk management scoring

Security for executives

When you are clear on how important security is to stay in business and close business deals, you start evaluating vendors and their ability to manage risks.  

Furthermore, as a company that also cares about the success of your business, you are prepared to do the same with your company’s security.  

Typically, assessing vendor risk management starts by looking at how they perform on basic security measures like vulnerability scanning and penetration testing. You can also look into how often these assessments take place and what remediation efforts the company has put into place. 

Here are some additional things to keep in mind for vendor risk management scoring. 

  • What is entailed in your company’s best security practices is also what you look for in vendors and vice versa. This allows for a score that rates your company in the high, mid-average, or low score on the risk management scale. 
  • In addition to using best security practices as your foundation, it is also helpful to stay up to date on your industry’s compliance requirements and the global security industry talk on matters of cyber readiness and risks. 
  • Also, important are assigning roles and responsibilities to different parties within your organization that play into risk management and looking to vendors to see who those individuals are or who to talk to so you can find out who’s in charge of risk management.  
  • Defining policies as well as those responsible for operational compliance are also taken into consideration.  
  • Don’t forget that when creating your policies, it’s recommended that you consider what will happen when an incident occurs, how it will be addressed, which department is responsible for managing it. 

Next, how are companies scoring vendors and their risk management? 

Vendors are getting scored based on how good they are at assessing the cyber risks that they are facing. This is done by looking at their security over time, which includes how well they have managed risks in the past.   

Another way risk management levels are scored includes security assessments. Assessments are valuable because they give you a complete picture of your overall posture and a vendor’s posture.  

  • Did you know that there are apps that score you based on security assessment items?  And that these scores also include the list of standard compliance requirements and minimum of cyber hygiene (which involves cyber awareness training for your remote and hybrid workforce)? 

This means that as long as you rank ‘mid-average’ on your risk management with the security posture you have in place, you are as appealing to vendors as other companies.  

The question that you can ask yourself is, what company will you choose as your vendor?  A company that ranks ‘mid-average’ or one that scores ‘high’ on the risk management scale?  

Based on your answer, you also know which companies your vendor and other businesses will choose to work with due to their preference on risk management scoring. 

As more businesses are working with various companies in the supply chain, taking on their risks happens as a consequence and therefore opens them up to vulnerabilities that could cost you dearly in the future.  

Scoring vendors’ risk management is a great way to reevaluate who you partner with and who partners with you.  It also helps to determine if their priorities align with yours in terms of security, and yours with theirs.  

This is important for executives to do prior to making any business decisions where partners, vendors or suppliers will be involved.  If you are looking to get started on your vendor risk management scoring, let’s talk

Schedule your free consultation here.​


Photo courtesy of ESB Professional