A vendor security assessment is one way to make sure secured business connections. Of course, partnerships’ foundation is trust. However, even in business, trust should be earned.
So this assessment is not to judge nor downgrade vendors’ security systems. But the purpose of this is to ensure high-quality connections. Such connections should employ not just high profitability. But most of all, security.
Many businesses opt for having a vendor security assessment questionnaire. This is an effective way to verify your vendors’ security practices. Thus, this can help you decide whether to ‘trust’ them or not. Especially with your data.
However, security questionnaires should vary from one business to another. There is no blunt rule as to what questions you should have. But, you should have the key factors in mind while building these.
This article will tell you more about the basic principles of your questionnaires. Moreover, this must help you build your questionnaire. Following your business’ cybersecurity standards.
PRINCIPLE NO. 1: It Depends On Your Type Of Business
Some factors require careful consideration. Mostly this is about the type of data and services that your business produces. This should minimize your vendor-related risks.
Why? Because it was discovered that most third-party risks are data breaches. Especially data that contains personal information. Or it could be containing credit card data or even medical records. These are assets. And these are also the target of malicious intents.
So consider this. If your business has a high amount of data. Or if your services are data-related. You should be highly considering the likelihood of these vulnerabilities.
So you can ask. What are the types of data your business generates? How do you store this information? How do you ensure back-ups? How do you protect them from the vendors you have?
PRINCIPLE NO. 2: Have Clear Objectives
Another key principle is being clear with your objectives. However, this also depends on the size of your business. But whatever it is, handling these questionnaires and assessments should be clear.
Strive to be as clear as possible why you’re developing this. And further, develop your steps into those specified goals.
Is it your goal to encourage business continuity even during an assault? So, how will your vendor manage that for instance? How do they manage data breaches?
Thus, be clear about your intentions. Next, align your steps with it.
PRINCIPLE NO. 3: Security Empathy
Surely, the vendor you are assessing with does share the same goals. It is fitting to remember that every business shares the same goals. And that goes even with security.
Thus, the general and most questions should include the following.
- How do these vendors follow strict security measures?
- Also, how about their IT System? Is it updated and well monitored?
- How about their vendors? How do they interact with them?
The key is this. Have a goal to understand the factors that affect their security. You have a hint of these factors by considering yours too.
Moreover, you can learn from other businesses. You can find a wealth of these online. But also make sure to consider your own business’ special needs.