Supply Chain Risk Management: How To Identify, Prioritize and Mitigate Risks Detect Vulnerabilities With Cyber Risk Assessment Tools

Blog post Team CENTRL 2020-06-28

Cyber Risk Assessment

As the length and complexity of the global supply chain increases; the number, scope, and sophistication of cyber threats are also on the rise. To deal with such challenges, more and more organizations are turning to cyber risk assessment tools such as Cyber360 and Vendor360 from Centrl.

The Need for Cyber Risk Assessment Tools in Supply Chain Risk Management

For one, all organizations depend on suppliers to meet their goals and achieve their business objectives. Often, these suppliers handle sensitive data, which leaves the enterprise vulnerable to supply chain compromise, whether intentional or unintentional. A January 2020 Ponemon Institute report (via Security Boulevard) found that 53% of organizations have experienced at least one data breach caused by a third party, costing them an average of $7.5 million to remediate. It’s essential to manage the risk these suppliers represent. However, it is a complex task and requires a systematic, focused approach, which cyber risk assessment tools make possible.

These tools can also help with the assessment of other kinds of cyber security risks to the organization. Recent security research suggests that most companies have unprotected data and follow poor cybersecurity practices, both of which make them vulnerable to breaches, data loss or theft, and in some cases, corporate espionage. This fact was borne out in 2020, where almost 3000 publicly-reported data breaches led to the exposure of a staggering 44+ billion records. Cyber risk assessment tools can help minimize the probability of such events.

In the first three quarters of 2020, ransomware accounted for 21% of reported breaches. Often, before they launch the encryption process, attackers lurk inside their target organization’s systems. And even if they don’t exfiltrate data, they can still peruse files and other sources of sensitive data – which in itself is a dangerous situation for any organization to be in. Cyber risk assessment tools can help detect and mitigate the risk of ransomware breaches.

Here’s how organizations can use cyber risk assessment tools to detect and mitigate risks, and strengthen their supply chains.

Centralize Vendor Data for Easier Assessments and Early Issue Detection

Cyber risk and vulnerability assessments enable enterprises to implement a comprehensive and consistent approach to identify, prioritize and resolve security threats, weaknesses and risks from their vendor ecosystem. This helps protect the organization’s sensitive systems and data, and prevents unauthorized access.

With a cyber risk assessment tool like Vendor360 from Centrl, a single, cloud-based platform, you can easily create a centralized directory of vendors. Get a comprehensive view of all vendor information, from documents and policies to risk profiles, and leverage this information to assess vendors automatically via intuitive workflows, and industry-standard templates. Do this once (one-time assessment) or multiple times with a recurring schedule, depending on how critical the vendor and their services are. You can also streamline evaluations and issues management with custom or standard grading scales, and simplify collaboration, clarifications, and issue resolutions with third-parties.

Prioritize and Assess Risks by Vendor

A cyber risk assessment tool like Vendor360 can also help your security team segment vendors into multiple risk tiers based on attributes like criticality and inherent risk levels. You can effortlessly manage inherent risk for each vendor at the engagement, product, and service levels, conduct comprehensive risk analysis for detailed vendor due diligence and assess if you have appropriate vendor controls in place. This not only provides some sense of priority (high-risk vendor vs low-risk vendor); it also allows you to objectively evaluate the level of risk posed by these threats, and create an action plan to address those risks. In addition, you can compare third-party risk levels to improve visibility across the vendor portfolio. All of this enables you to gain better control over your vendor risk management process.

Automate Cybersecurity Risk Assessments

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise and manual, spreadsheet-driven risk assessment methods are often inadequate to mitigate them. One issue is that they are too slow and not proactive enough to stay on top of newer emerging threats. They are also dependent on human effort, and therefore susceptible to human errors and misses. A third issue is that such processes do not provide the analytical insights required to consistently analyze, prioritize and address risks. Automation can eliminate these issues by providing organizations with full transparency and control to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks.

Centrl’s Cyber360 is a particularly user-friendly cyber risk assessment tool. For example, you can get started with 9pre-seeded industry templates or upload your own standard practice questionnaire, and then customize the templates as you set up automation. You can set up recurring assessment schedules, configure your own risk scoring methodology with support for multiple grades (impact, likelihood, target maturity, etc.), and also analyze changes to risk and control maturity over time using the “What has changed” feature.

A Final Word

Using a robust cyber risk assessment tool, you can leverage industry best practice standards such as ISO 27001, COBIT, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, and more. This provides a way to map your internal controls to other frameworks, and analyze how your organization is doing compared to them. A tool like Cyber360 will also enable you to identify and document risks, and also prioritize and remediate them based on multiple dimensions. To ensure proper coverage for all identified risks, you can assign activities to the relevant business owners. Finally, a modern cyber risk assessment tool strengthens your organization’s cybersecurity profile through powerful analytics and reports that can help you gain action-oriented insights, understand risk sources, highlight risks, and monitor key indicators.

Prevention is better than cure, and nowhere is this more true than in cybersecurity. For any organization trying to stay ahead of the curve, risk assessment is the first step to building an effective cybersecurity strategy. And cyber risk assessment tools like Cyber360 and Vendor360 provide the means to streamline cybersecurity assessments, identify risks, detect vulnerabilities, and strengthen the organization’s cybersecurity presence. To request a free demo of these tools, fill out this form. An authorized Centrl representative will get in touch right away!

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