Business Partners and Security Risks Come In All Shapes and Sizes
More than likely, many of your business partners already have direct access to your IT systems and sensitive data. In today’s digital world of electronic data exchange, the number of partners that can access your systems is likely to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Which partner types bring risk into your organization?
- RISK: Vendors and service providers are integral parts of the business and could put the business at risk if operations are interrupted due to a breach
- RISK: Small- and medium-sized business partners typically have limited IT resources and therefore expose critical business systems and data to attack without even knowing it
- RISK: All it takes is one weak link in one of the vendors to turn a localized breach into a business-distruction event
- CHALLENGE: There are way too many vendors to assess through on-site audits, and questionnaires alone do not provide the data required to mitigate the risk
- NEED: The ability to generate a single, centralized view across all vendors and service providers regardless of size and business scope
- GOAL: Increase the security posture for the vendor ecosystem
- RISK: These partners have direct access to critical franchise systems and sensitive franchise data such as customer information and intellectual property
- RISK: They also typically have limited IT presence and experience, often outsourcing management (and therefore access) to franchise systems
- RISK: All it takes is one weak link in a remote franchisee office to turn a small-town franchisee breach into a national franchise media event
- CHALLENGE: There are too many partners in too many locations with too many types of business agreements to make these assessments feasible
- NEED: The ability to generate a single, centralized view across all franchisee and licensee information security risks
- GOAL: Increase the security posture for the entire franchise as well as the security posture of each franchisee
- RISK: Acquired companies will presumably have direct access to the acquirer's systems and data once the acquisition is complete
- RISK: The target's own third-party system and data-sharing relationships (and associated risks) become the acquirer's responsibility
- RISK: Limiting or filtering the risk view can leave the acquiring company at risk once the deal is done
- CHALLENGE: There are too many potential companies to assess as part of an ongoing M&A process
- NEED: The ability to assess any and all potential acquisition targets while understanding that a large portion of the results will be 'thrown out' once the deal is closed
- GOAL: Negotiate with and select the best possible acquisition target by taking information security and third-party risk into account
When it comes to running your business, vendors and service providers not only play a significant role in your company’s success, they can also play an unexpected role in a security breach. This is especially true for small- to medium-sized businesses that have access to your critical systems and data. When you know what you're looking for, it's easy to spot your third-party risk at a glance. Receive scores and reports for each vendor to see how they stack up by comparing scores and report highlights across all vendors in your portfolio. Routinely assess your vendors over the course of the business relationship to ensure the risk is managed properly as the scope of business transactions change.
Are you using vendors to help you run your business? Then it's time to gain a view into your vendor ecosystem risk.
Are you a vendor or service provider? See how easy it is to start measuring your security posture with the DatumSec Vendor Assessment Program.
Franchises and Licensees
There are hundreds, even thousands of franchisees that need to be assessed. How do you measure all of their security postures in a cost-effective, meaningful way? Given most of the "branches" are remote, and a good portion of them could be partially-owned, wholly-owned, or owned by a third party, it's important to institute a third-party risk program that can apply to all types of relationships and locations.