Third-Party Security Vetting

Author: Jennifer | Date: July 24, 2018 | Categories: ,

Many businesses are outsourcing work to third-party vendors. There are many reasons to do so; it can save money, free up resources, and allow you to focus on what’s important. However, when hiring these external companies, it’s important that you ensure that you do your due diligence in regards to security. It’s been an all too familiar story when third parties are compromised, and customer details are leaked. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most important factors you should pay attention to when discussing terms with a company.

Do Your Research

Do not rush into a contract with a third-party vendor. You should have a strict list of requirements to which any external company should adhere to, particularly if they will have access to sensitive data. If you can, try to look at a few different providers before you commit to one. Ask about their history, internal practices, and how they handle data.

Be Aware of Technology Trends

Although you may not be directly involved with new technologies, it’s good to have an awareness of how they work. If you’re keeping up to date with security trends, you can ensure that companies you’ve hired are also aware of the changes. Bear in mind the growing importance of mobile security. More customers are using their smart phones as their primary device. Any external suppliers should also have a focus on this trend.

Ensure They Are GDPR Compliant

Europe recently introduced new laws surrounding data protection with the GDPR act. It requires all businesses who handle data from customers in Europe to be compliant with the strict laws. Regardless of whether this applies to you or not right now, these laws represent a new standard in security. Your company and those associated with it need to be prepared.

Examine Your Service-level Agreement

You’ll want to make sure that you’re familiar with the contractual obligations you’re entering into with a third party. Pay particular attention to confidentiality clauses and how security measures are implemented and changed.

Check Their Authentication Methods

If your third-party supplier has access to customer data, you’ll want to ensure that they have strict authentication protocols in place. Examine if they use password protection, passphrases, two-factor authentication, or PIN security. All of these can help prevent data from being stolen.

Vet Companies Before You Need Them

Be proactive rather than reactive. A time of crisis is not the time to vet security companies. This is when mistakes are made. Interview, research, and at the very least create a short list before you need professional help. This way, should you face a cyber-emergency, you are not scrambling to find a company you can trust.

All of these aspects should be considered when signing on with an external provider. When it comes to third-party security vetting, you can never be too careful. You should practice the same diligence in the hiring process as you would expect them to show when they’re working for you.

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