The role of CISOs in mitigating supply chain cyber risk

Supply chain cyber risk

RiskXchange is a respected provider of cybersecurity ratings and can fully assess potential threats to ensure businesses are protected on all fronts. 

CISOs (Chief Information Security Officer) are crucial when it comes to mitigating supply chain cyber risk in any medium to large-sized organisation. The infamous 2020 SolarWinds attack underlined the need for CISOs to adopt tighter security measures within corporations right around the world.  

Predicting and preventing every attack is just not possible, but ensuring a high level of security is. CISOs who repeat the same security checks time after time are not preventing their business from possible attack. CISOs must adopt new approaches in order to tackle emerging supply chain cybersecurity threats. 

Let’s take a closer look at the top four areas CISOs should focus on to improve supply chain cybersecurity risk management in any organisation today. 

  1. Verify third-party security hygiene during the onboarding process 

Using objective data to verify a third party’s security hygiene during the onboarding process is key to protecting your business. Third-party vendors must be properly vetted during onboarding and CISOs must ensure they adhere to a company’s security standards. Assessments and point-in-time security questionnaires are some of the best ways to get a feel for a third-party’s security posture and to ensure it is in line with your own. However, there is one drawback to this approach – it’s very subjective and could leave your business open to a number of high-level threats.  

Cybersecurity firms like RiskXchange are now a sure-fire way for businesses to bolster security measures and prevent attacks. RiskXchange’s 360-degree cybersecurity risk rating management approach provides an in-depth look not only at your own organisation but also into third-party vendors. High ratings suggest a strong security posture and allow CISOs to prioritise which vendors need more (or less) attention prior to onboarding. Cybersecurity ratings provide a more real-time, accurate and more rounded picture of the risk rather than what can be achieved from the likes of penetration tests, risk assessments or vulnerability scans. 

  1. Include supply chain cybersecurity risk management within contracts 

Incorporating supply chain cybersecurity risk management within contracts ensures everyone is on the same page and security measures are at the appropriate level. Once a third party has been accepted into the fold, it’s up to them to ensure they keep within the main organisation’s security standards. Many businesses around the world are now including service level agreements (SLAs) into their contracts with partners to ensure that there is protection at all levels, at all times. This, of course, won’t completely prevent a third-party data breach, but it will hold the vendor accountable if their security posture is not up-to-date and they fail to act to repair the issue.  

  1. Continuously monitor third-party vendors 

CISOs must lead an organisation’s internal security team to ensure the cybersecurity postures of all vendors are continuously monitored and healthy. Continuous monitoring highlights vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to move up the supply chain, such as misconfigured software, insecure ports, unpatched systems and botnet infections.   

By using cybersecurity ratings as a third-party risk management program, CISOs and their teams can move beyond point-in-time snapshots and automatically and continuously assess a third-party vendor’s cybersecurity posture. Utilising technology that provides alerts when a vendor’s rating falls below a certain threshold, allows an organisation to act fast and reduce risk. 

  1. Work with vendors to fix vulnerabilities 

CISOs should work alongside and with vendors, rather than against. Working closely with the vendor community not only reduces risk but fixes security issues quickly. To ensure vendors stay on top of the latest methods, CISOs should educate vendors as well as their own teams on what should be done to keep security at the highest level.  

CISOs may also allow vendors access to their own cybersecurity ratings platform so that they can monitor their rating, identify vulnerabilities, and receive specific recommendations about how they can improve security.  

How RiskXchange can help  

RiskXchange is one of the firms leading the fight against cybercrime, coming up with novel solutions to everyday problems experienced at the hands of hackers. We are a respected provider of cybersecurity ratings and can fully assess potential threats to ensure your business is protected on all fronts. 

With full visibility over your eco-system’s entire attack surface in near real-time, you can regularly monitor and mitigate risks to prevent unnecessary exposures. Our passive data collection methods are effective and have no impact on your network performance. Using data-driven insights to prevent breaches is the best way to reduce an attack surface and prevent cyberattacks.   

About RiskXchange 

RiskXchange provides a powerful AI-assisted, yet simple automated and centralised 360-degree cybersecurity risk rating management approach. We generate objective and quantitative reporting on a company’s cybersecurity risk and performance, which enables organisations with evolving business requirements to conduct business securely in today’s open and collaborative digital world.  

RiskXchange is an information security technology company that helps companies of all sizes fight the threat of cyber threats by providing instant risk ratings for any company across the globe. RiskXchange was founded and is led by recognised experts within the security industry, who have held leading roles within companies such as IBM Security.  Find out more here.