Vendor due diligence best practices we can expect to see in 2022

Throughout 2020 and 2021, we saw threats to cybersecurity increase by a significant margin. This led to disastrous cyberattacks all across the world, such as the SolarWinds attack, which undermined company profitability and credibility.

Social engineering attacks proved to be particularly devastating with multiple reports revealing that ransomware and phishing attacks were particularly successful in this timeframe.

In 2022, we can expect the number of cyberattacks to increase to correspond with the current uptick in successful social engineering attacks. 

Compliance also remains a significant issue because there are updated frameworks, regulations, and guidelines to consider. 

Compounding the issue is the growing number of vendors. It is not unusual to see organisations working with thousands of vendors, and this number will only grow in the next year or so. 

To mitigate the threat of data breaches, we recommend that you re-examine your vendor due diligence best practices. 

Due diligence sets out the procedures for assessing a vendor’s security standards before onboarding them into your vendor network. Due diligence is a critical process for preventing cyberattacks and keeping data safe. 

By re-examining your due diligence processes, you can ensure that you are not onboarding vendors with vulnerable cybersecurity practices. 

You can also ensure that your current model properly accounts for the developments that will define the coming year. This brings us to the question on everyone’s mind—what are the best practices that would work in 2022 and beyond? 

Exploring vendor due diligence best practices 

Effective due diligence practices come down to using the right tools, processes, and personnel. 

To ensure that you are using the most effective practices, it is worth analysing your due diligence strategy to account for the increased threat of social engineering attacks such as ransomware or phishing.  

In-house vendor due diligence

The best internal vendor due diligence practices would make it as painless as possible for vendors to share information about their security standards. You may consider adopting processes to facilitate the smooth exchange of vendor security information. 

Alternatively, consider investing in security tools that would allow for continuous monitoring of vendor actions and security standards. 

There are concerns, however, about relying on internal due diligence experts. While internal vendor security teams can oversee dozens or hundreds of vendors, even the most well-staffed, well-equipped team will have a hard time monitoring thousands of external organisations. 

Outsourced due diligence 

If you feel like your vendor management team is taxed or if your organisation does not have a team, working with a specialist can ease the burden. This model has been particularly popular with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis because it delivers faster time-to-value in risk reduction. 

A professional vendor security team is also better equipped to assess new vendors for security weaknesses that could open a backdoor for social engineering attacks.  

Alternatively, you can consider taking a more shared responsibility approach to vendor due diligence.

Shared due diligence 

As organisations build a sophisticated vendor ecosystem consisting of hundreds and even thousands of organisations, due diligence could become a more collaborative process through a model called shared due diligence. 

With this approach, network members and vendors pool their resources and share tools to mitigate vendor risks and improve security standards. Adopting a shared due diligence model will encourage your vendors to take more responsibility and streamline the vendor security process. 

Preparing for 2022 with better vendor due diligence practices 

With cyber breaches increasing and organisations working with more vendors, investing in vendor due diligence best practices becomes crucial. 

Vendor security tools play a pivotal role in third-party security. Solutions, such as a risk rating platform, can turn vendor security into a more responsive, effective process through features like continuous risk monitoring and vendor assessments. 

These security features will allow you to monitor a complex attack surface consisting of thousands of vendors, survey your environment for anomalies that could indicate a cyberattack, and ensure that you are complying with regulations. 

Reliable vendor security processes can help you maintain the security of your data and ensure that all your processes are compliant with industry requirements. 

To protect vendor systems from cyberattacks in the future, you need to invest in the best tools, strategies, and processes to secure data against cyberattacks and meet requirements in compliance. 

Given the volatile nature of cyberattacks, investing in cybersecurity risk rating solutions can be a prudent move for the future.

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