GRC Viewpoint

Safeguarding Huge Volumes of Data Will Be Critical as Dependency on Third-party Vendors Continues in 2022

After the on-set of covid-19, specific security issues had to be given more importance over many others. Data security was unquestionably one among them in 2021. Moreover, data security in the context of third-party vendors is of extreme importance in 2022 and maybe beyond, considering the multi-faceted attempts happening across the sector towards ensuring data safety.

The increased dependency on third-party vendors made the cybersecurity world focus more on the opportunities and probability of risk with respect to data security and third-party vendors. A well-defined cyber-attack on third-party vendors leads to operational, compliance, and cyber security risks for enterprises the vendor is associated with. As these concerns need an urgent response, substantial financial losses can occur.

As a result, organizations have to alter their strategies and priorities when it comes to third-party vendors. The assessment of top-tier vendors should be given more importance than others. It is also necessary to evaluate their network accessibility, the safety procedures undertaken, and interactions with the business.

Mostly, host organizations tend to rely more on the services provided by third-party vendors. Consequently, there is a total reliance on vendors, which may indirectly lead to exploitations and vulnerability of data involved in the processes.

If a hacker tries to attack any one of the third-party vendors, the entire IT infrastructure could be impacted. Consequently, all sensitive information on the network is at risk. Mostly, smaller vendors are more prone to cyber attacks as they mostly have lesser security controls. Mostly, enterprises would be confident about their security features, but third-party security might not be as perfect as it should be. Also, enterprises can’t ignore the possibility of security breaches through third-party ventures anymore. In fact, this year, ensuring third-party vendors have their security arrangements intact would be the biggest priority for cybersecurity experts.

If proper security features are implemented within the enterprise, the risk and impact of data breaches can be reduced substantially. A multi-faceted defense approach should be put in place that covers the entire enterprise. All devices and end-points should be included in these. However, in 2022, these would be mere basics of ensuring data security in the context of third-party vendors. Successful strategies would require going beyond long-standing or conventional methods.

Employee training needs to be repeated annually. In addition, a strict data security policy should be available for all employees. It would also be a perfect idea to apply encryption on files in transit, even in networks, and also in the cloud.

It is critical to establish clear cybersecurity rules for both your employees and third-party vendors associated with them. Enterprises also need to introduce an internal policy that sets well-defined responsibilities, and there need to be standard actions for varied cases and procedures.

To ensure proper and accurate detection of cyber threats, it is essential to utilize appropriate solutions to establish notifications and alerts for probable suspicious events and actions.

Carrying out frequent audits and assessments of an enterprise’s third-party vendors is inevitable. Besides incident response systems, cyber security reports should be based on user activity monitoring solutions.

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