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Third-party risk management (TPRM)

What is third-party risk management?

Third-party risk management (TPRM) — The systematic process of evaluating and mitigating risks associated with using third parties such as vendors, suppliers, contractors, and partners. The steps of TPRM include risk assessment, due diligence, contract negotiation, monitoring, and remediation. Organizations can better safeguard their reputation, data, and operations by managing third-party risks effectively.

The importance of performing TPRM

Organizations face many risks from third-party relationships, including data breaches, compliance violations, financial losses, and reputational damage. Effective TPRM helps businesses anticipate and mitigate these risks, ensuring sustained growth, compliance, and customer trust.

Types of TPRM

Cybersecurity risk management: Protecting sensitive data and systems from cyberthreats from third-party connections
Compliance risk management: Ensuring that third-party partners adhere to industry regulations and standards
Operational risk management: Identifying risks that could disrupt day-to-day operations due to the actions of third-party entities
Financial risk management: Evaluating financial stability and potential impact on an organization's bottom line

Business benefits of establishing a dedicated TPRM team

Enhanced security: TPRM reduces the risk of data cyberattacks and breaches by identifying vulnerabilities and ensuring that security measures are in place.
Improved compliance: A dedicated TPRM team helps organizations maintain compliance with industry regulations, avoiding legal penalties.
Stronger reputation: Proactive risk management demonstrates a commitment to security and reliability, enhancing the organization's reputation.
Better decision making: TPRM data and insights enable informed decisions when selecting and managing third-party relationships.
Cost savings: Preventing potential breaches and disruptions leads to savings associated with the costs of recovery and reputation repair.

Harnessing the power of TPRM to mitigate cyberattacks

Vendor assessment: Evaluating a vendor's security practices can pinpoint potential vulnerabilities that might risk organizational integrity. An extensive vendor assessment considers cybersecurity protocols, data-protection measures, and compliance with industry standards. This assessment informs organizations about potential partners' security stance and any security gaps that could be exploited.

Continuous monitoring: Continuous monitoring of third parties requires using advanced tools to detect suspicious activities in their networks. The monitoring must be in real time, enabling organizations to identify and address anomalies and potential breaches as they happen.

Incident-response planning: Organizations should have incident-response plans tailored to the challenges of TPRM. Such plans detail the strategy for responding to security incidents related to third-party connections, including immediate containment, communication, and recovery processes.

Collaborative approach: Effective TPRM requires a collaborative approach to understanding that security threats are interconnected. Organizations can align security practices and exchange threat intelligence with various sources. Collaboration aims for a unified security ecosystem with seamless information flow that better exposes threats than viewing third-party relationships in isolation. A mindset of collective security leverages each partner's strengths, enabling joint identification of threats, sharing best practices, and addressing vulnerabilities.

Use cases for TPRM

Supply chain disruptions: Helping organizations anticipate and mitigate disruptions caused by third-party vendor issues
Data breach prevention: Identifying weak links in third-party security measures to prevent breaches and leaks
Regulatory compliance: Ensuring that third-party partners adhere to relevant regulations, reducing compliance-related risks
Business continuity: Managing operational risks posed by third-party relationships to ensure seamless business operations

Learn more

For further insights into TPRM, explore the following articles:



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Third-party risk management survey: Prioritize end-to-end supply chain security — or fail

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The Rise of Malware Within the Software Supply Chain

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