Studies show that data breaches can be attributed to third-party vendors. Because of this, your company must assess the security of your third-party partners and service providers to make sure they are not putting your network at risk. Here’s what you can do to limit your risk of data breaches because of third-party vendors:

Evaluate Vendors Before Onboarding

Make sure to do your due diligence when selecting vendors to work with. Security ratings can be used to evaluate a possible vendor without introducing operational overhead for your team. These ratings supplement and can replace time-consuming vendor risks assessment approaches such as on-site visits, questionnaires, and penetration tests. With security ratings, you can understand a possible vendor’s external security posture and the cyber threats they may have susceptibility to. As a result, your team will have reduced operational burden when choosing vendors, doing due diligence, onboarding vendors, and monitoring them. In addition, you can share reports with vendors and use them to remediate issues.

Create a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

This agreement will make sure your third-party vendors uphold necessary security standards. You will be able to hold them responsible if a breach takes place because of their negligence or fault. Also, you may require these vendors to take part in audits. Before you make your SLA, evaluate your security requirements first and include them in it.

Manage Privileged Access

Privilege access management is important to protect your network. It must be customized so you grant access to each vendor based on their roles. You should give vendors access to programs and data they need to complete their job. Review access regularly and modify, so it reflects changes in vendor responsibilities.

Enforce Third-Party Policies

To minimize your company’s risk of a data breach, review and update third-party policies regularly, taking into account emerging security threats. Make sure to enforce these policies; otherwise, you will establish a precedent with vendors that they don’t have to adhere to your rules. When rules are disregarded, this can increase your online security concerns and make your network vulnerable to unknown to teams.

Perform Regular Audits

Your SLA terms with vendors must include an audit, ensuring all third-parties know their obligation to participate, understand that they have a role to maintain security, and encourage them to prepare. All vendors need to be audited to establish their compliance. An audit may uncover issues that can help establish a stronger network and benefit your relationship with vendors.