Validating Cybersecurity Vendors and Third Party Providers

With cyberattacks continuing to escalate to record levels, organizations today are implementing more robust SecOps teams to hunt, detect, prevent, and mitigate potential cyber threats.

The job is big and the stakes are high.

To manage the relentless threats, organizations use a variety of security tools and security services from vendors, third parties, suppliers, and service providers. Security programs and vendors must be validated to ensure security. Everything must function properly and work together with the SecOps team to provide a comprehensive and consistent security framework.

Yet, there is often overlap in security tools as well as security gaps that exist. SecOps validation is essential to validate the efficiency, effectiveness, and execution across all aspects of security operations.

What is the Difference Between a Vendor and Third Party Provider?

While the lines often get blurred, there are some differences between vendors, third-party providers, suppliers, and service providers.

  • A vendor is someone that procures goods or services from a manufacturer and resells them to customers.
  • A third-party provider provides services to your customers on your behalf, although often companies refer to vendors, suppliers, and service providers as third parties.

In most cases, you can think of vendors and suppliers as someone that provides products or services to your organization and third-party providers or service providers as someone that provides products or services to your customers on your behalf.

When it comes to risk, you’ll often hear people refer to varying types of risk management programs, such as:

  • Supplier risk management (SRM)
  • Third-party risk management (TPRM)
  • Vendor risk management (VRM)

While they may also have different names, they all focus on the same basic concept. They identify, assess, monitor, and mitigate risk with the companies that provide services to you.

Security Programs and Vendors: Why is Vendor Risk Management Important? 

Vendor risk management is critical to protect your organization and your customers. Two key statistics tell the story well. 54% of organizations attribute a cybersecurity breach within the past year to a third-party provider. Yet, only a third of organizations have confidence that their suppliers or vendors would notify them in case of a breach.

When you consider that 60% of organizations work with more than 1,000 third parties, it’s easy to see how things can slip through the cracks and take a long time to discover. The Ponemon Institute reports that it takes, on average, 277 days to detect a third-party breach. A lot of damage can be done during such an interval.

Here are just a few examples of how breaches within an organization’s supply chain can affect those downstream:

SecOps Validation Goes Further

SecOps validation goes further than SRM, VRM, or TPRM programs to identify risks before breaches occur. By assessing how all the various tools and vendors you use work together, along with the capabilities of your SecOps team, you can get a total picture of your security posture and its maturity.

You can have all the right systems in place, but if your SecOps team doesn’t react appropriately, it may not matter. Conversely, you can have highly skilled team members but if the tools and processes fall short, the team may never get the information they need to catch problems.

You can’t really know if people, processes, and technology are effective in mitigating risk until you test them.

That’s what SightGain does. You get total SecOps validation by measuring and quantifying all operational aspects of a SOC for effectiveness. By coordinating and tracking live-fire tests using evolving attack scenarios based on threat intelligence, you can see gaps in security tools, processes, or teams. This allows you to proactively fix shortfalls, amend procedures, or provide additional training.

You will know what works, what doesn’t, what’s missing, and where you need to improve.

SightGain’s Threat Exposure Management Platform provides continuous SecOps validation by constantly evaluating your SOC programs to reveal your real-world performance and pressure-test your people and processes. When shortfalls are noted, SightGain suggests and delivers appropriate training to improve performance. SightGain’s Risk Analysis Module quantifies your risk exposure and provides a prioritized roadmap to improve performance.

See SightGain in action. Sign up for a demo today.