You’ve heard of “bring your own device” and BYOD, but how about “bring your own security”? As the use of cloud-based services grows and more businesses rely on third parties to handle their IT needs, it’s important for organizations to understand the risks involved with using third-party vendors. This article will explain why it’s critical to put measures in place to protect against cyber threats, including:
- Understanding the risks involved with using third parties
- Making sure your business has a plan for protecting sensitive data from cyber threats when working with outside vendors or service providers
- Selecting vendors with a clear security plan in place (and making sure they follow through on that plan)
- Requiring all third parties comply with your organization’s IT policies
Understand the risks.
The first step to reducing the risk of data loss and theft is understanding that there is a risk. You need to know what third-party security threats could affect your business and how they might do so. Once you have this information, it’s much easier to take action against them.
- Third parties access sensitive data on an ongoing basis: Your employees may use cloud storage services or email providers that aren’t as secure as your own system, which means that their data could be vulnerable from an external source if those companies are hacked (or even just have poor security).
- Third parties can accidentally share information with unauthorized people: It’s easy for sensitive information like credit card numbers or social security numbers to get included in emails sent by mistake–or even intentionally! If one employee sends an email with such information attached, another employee might open it without realizing what was inside and therefore make copies of it elsewhere in their inboxes or on their computers’ hard drives without realizing what they’re doing.*
Determine third-party security needs.
It’s not enough to know the basics of third-party security. You also need to understand your business and its risks. To do this, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions:
- What are the risks to my business?
- How do I know what I don’t know?
- What regulations apply, and how can I be compliant with them?
- What are the risks associated with my customers’ data being exposed or compromised in any way?
Select vendors with a clear security plan.
When selecting a vendor, it’s important to look for one that has a track record of security. You should also be sure that the company has a clear plan for protecting your data, as well as the tools and expertise needed to do so effectively.
You should also consider whether or not this vendor has been audited by third parties like Verizon or Trustwave; if so, ask for documentation of those audits before signing on with them.
Require third parties to comply with your IT policies.
Ensure that your IT policies are reviewed and updated regularly.
Enforce the IT policy with third parties, including contractors and vendors. Communicate the IT policy to them in writing and make sure they understand it. Monitor the compliance of third parties with your organization’s security requirements by conducting audits on a regular basis.
Take action when you uncover suspicious activity.
If you find suspicious activity on your network, take action.
- Investigate the problem. If it’s a third-party breach, contact your legal team immediately. They will help determine what happened and how best to proceed with reporting the breach to authorities and fixing any issues internally that may have allowed it in the first place.
- Report to appropriate authorities as soon as possible (e.g., FBI). There are many organizations that can be involved in investigating or prosecuting cybercrime cases: local police departments; state attorneys general; federal agencies like the FBI or US Secret Service; even international law enforcement agencies such as Interpol or Europol depending on where your business operations are based geographically.* Follow up with third party after investigation has been completed by making sure they have addressed all identified problems with their security systems before resuming any work together again.*
Make sure that third-party security complies with your company’s IT policies and protects your data from cyber threats
- Make sure that third-party security complies with your company’s IT policies.
- Make sure that third-party security protects your data from cyber threats.
As we’ve seen, third-party security is a complex issue that can have a big impact on your business. It’s important to understand the risks and develop solutions that work for you. With a little bit of planning and foresight, though, you can ensure that your company will be protected from cyber threats no matter what happens in today’s increasingly digital world