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Data Risk in the Third-Party | Ponemon Institute

Posted by Jeffrey Spetter on 10/12/17, 8:29 AM
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The Ponemon Institute recently rolled out there second annual study of Data Risk in the Third-Party Ecosystem. The study aims to understand trends in the challenges companies face in protecting sensitive and confidential information shared with third parties and 4th party vendors. 

Since the study was first conducted last year, companies have made little progress in improving the overall effectiveness of their third-party risk management programs. In areas such as: 

  1. How many of their third and 4th parties have access to sensitive and confidential data.
  2. Confirming the existence of adequate safeguards and security policies in third parties.
  3. Reviewing third-party management policies and programs to ensure risks are addressed.

A serious barrier to achieving these objectives is the lack of adequate resources to manage third-party risk. 

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Data breaches caused by third parties are on the rise

Fifty- six percent of companies confirm that their organizations experienced a data breach caused by one of their vendors and the sensitive information stolen was misused.

The effectiveness of third party governance programs remains low

Only 17 percent of companies rate their companies’ effectiveness in mitigating third party risk as highly effective and less than half of all companies say managing outsourced relationship risks is a priority in their organization.  

Accountability and board level involvement increased slightly

Accountability for the third-party risk management program is dispersed throughout the organization but only five percent of organizations say it has an owner. And only one-third of all companies say their organization regularly reports to the board of directors on the effectiveness of the third-party management. 

Companies lack visibility into third-party and 4th party relationships

More than half of all companies do not keep a comprehensive inventory of all third parties with whom they share sensitive information. And the average number of third parties with access to confidential or sensitive information has increased from 378 to 471 third parties and visibility only gets worse with 4th-party relationships. 

Today’s programs are insufficient to manage third-party risks

Less than half of all companies say that their company evaluates the security and privacy practices of all vendors before starting a business relationship that requires the sharing of sensitive or confidential information. If they do conduct an evaluation, it is mostly to acquire signatures on contracts that legally obligate the third party to adhere to security and privacy practices.

ThirdPartyTrust's technology helps teams easily inventory vendors, partners and contractors in the simplest fashion; by simply requesting a connection to the vendor's profile. In turn, a vendor only has to create one profile and can share with all their companies asking for security documentation. 

We believe in a holistic view, which is why we partned with SecurityScorecard to bring you web application scans included in the platorm. We also pull publicly available data breaches and have included the BITS Sig Lite questionnaire, Google's Vendor Security Assessment Questionnaire, and the Cloud Security Alliance questionnaire in the platform. Try the platform for free for thirty days, just click the button below. 

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Topics: Vendor Risk Management, third party risk

ThirdPartyTrust is a vendor risk management platform strengthening cyber risk intelligence and simplifying the management process for enterprises performing vendor risk assessments.
By analyzing both third and fourth party vendor cyber risk using a network-based solution, like 3PT, trust is built and mapped within your vendor eco-system.

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