Information security questionnaire is becoming more and more common. Most especially that more and more data privacy is being imposed within the entities.
However, along with the security essence of these questionnaires. Also comes the complexity of the task. It is true that it is indeed overwhelming. That sometimes it falls to be a company’s burden.
Why Is Information Security Questionnaire Essential?
As much as vendor relationships are important. Information security questionnaires are important too.
This helps the company to better assess their security. Most especially with the third parties, they are connecting with.
One factor that concerns companies is the raise and more influx that comes with cybersecurity. Only by 2016, data breach reports increased by 40%. The rate goes on and on as the year goes by.
Most especially today, in the time of a global pandemic. More network dependencies do occur. Plus, work from home alternatives is also the new norm. As a result, more cybersecurity cases are then reported.
In addition, most of the cybersecurity rate increase is because of third party vendors. Not to mention, that this goes even with the ‘smaller’ ones.
One reason is that most small companies tend to be complacent. A mistaken notion that high-security standards should only be for the big fortune companies. But that is not the case.
Considering these factors, companies now increase their security measures. One way is through these questionnaires. Moreover, these assessments are also required by cybersecurity programs. Also by government regulations such as CCPA and GDPR. Or sometimes by cybersecurity insurance providers.
So, what if you’ve received a questionnaire. How will you handle this effectively? Let’s begin.
Handling InfoSec Questionnaires
Answering questions effectively shall depend on its length and scope. Handling this effectively needs careful planning. Also cooperation by your team members.
This is such a complex task. But it is worth your team’s best efforts.
Clarify The Questions First
Fight the urge to answer immediately. First, take the time to scan through the questions. Maybe there are vague details. This may need further clarification.
Also, there could be non-applicable aspects.
Moreover, it is advisable that you should have completed your risk assessment first. This will lead you to a better position in handling this. Also, this will help you understand the risks associated.
If Your Company Lacks Some Security Measures
Suppose your company is lacking somewhere. And you have to say ‘NO’ for some items. If that is the case, then try updating your company’s security policies.
Also, preparing a security remediation plan helps. This shall show that you are working hard in controlling the risks. Thus, it also shows that you are taking security concerns a top priority.
It is advisable to keep a file of your completed questionnaires. You can further use this as a reference for future ones.
One option is to have a completed security questionnaire. But, you should expect that the company shall ask for further clarification. Or sometimes, they will really ask you to answer their original questionnaire. Especially, if it is under their own security policy.