Data protection starts with vendor risk management

Apr 21, 2022 12:00:00 AM | Data protection starts with vendor risk management

Gain insight into your supplier ecosystem to easily identify and efficiently assess and mitigate third-party risks. Integrate Vendor Risk Management with your processing register and Data protection impact assessment. 

Third Party Risk Management is the process of identifying,  analysing and minimising risks associated with outsourcing of third-party vendors and/or service providers. With proper third-party management, organisations understand which third parties they use, what safeguards they have in place and what (personal) data they share with them. Naturally, the scope of requirements differs per organisation and industry. In this blog, the main focus is on security & data protection.


Why is assessing your vendors important?  

First of all, risks might start at a vendor, but tend to move up. An example: if an attacker is going to target a large organisation, they’ll want an entry point that won’t raise suspicion. This means they will look for a valid entry point that they can access without anybody noticing. The attacker often looks for a third party that is less secure – like a smaller vendor with less stringent security protocols. Once they are in, they can leverage this access to break into a higher-value organisation that is linked to this vendor. 


Therefore, if vendors lack strong privacy and security controls, your organisation is exposed to operational, regulatory, financial and reputational risks. Vendor risk management or third-party risk management deals with the management and monitoring of risks resulting from third-party vendors and suppliers of products and services. As more cyber threats and ransomware attacks are being discovered than ever before, it is important to be ahead of the curb and manage these risks.


Secondly, you are responsible for your vendors. For end-customers, the complexity of third-party relationships can make the full scope of privacy and security risks difficult to comprehend. Even if a risk is due to a service provider's lack of security, in the mind of the end user (and, in most cases, also from a legal point of view), it is the main organisation that bears the responsibility and which will be named in the media. After all, the end user provided its data to you, not your third-party supplier. 


Is there a solution?

Yes of course! Make sure you choose a data privacy solution that helps you identify & minimise risks. You need to have privacy compliance level insights at your fingertips. Pre-defined templates; flexible, customisable questionnaires; automated compliance rating; and visualisation are the cherries on the cake. Last advice: Make sure your VRM module is fully integrated with your privacy solution of choice.


Interested to learn more?

Join us on June 14, 2022 for an online session on Vendor Risk Management. You will learn more about the specific privacy management activities that you should perform in each phase with a vendor. You will learn more about for example due diligence research, data processing agreements, standard contractual clauses, and transfer impact assessments.

In cooperation wit DPO Consultancy