Category Archives: Insights and Solutions for Vendor Risk Management

The Top 10 Things Every CISO Should Know

what every ciso should know about

What Every CISO Should Know in 2023 to Protect Their Business

 

In our rapidly evolving digital age, the role of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has never been more crucial. As a CISO, your role stretches far beyond traditional IT security measures. You are the protector of your organization’s most valuable assets, from intellectual property to customer data. The following insights delve deeper into what every CISO should know in 2023 to ensure they’re at the forefront of safeguarding their business.

 

1. Grasping the Business

Understanding your business inside out is paramount. The best CISOs fully comprehend the company’s goals, mission, and operational mechanics. Why is this so vital? Because only with this understanding can you adequately prioritize and champion security initiatives. Furthermore, by aligning security measures with business goals, you ensure that security is not viewed as a roadblock but rather an enabler of growth and success.

 

2. Emphasizing Effective Risk Management

Risk management isn’t just a box to tick; it’s a continual process. This involves constant vigilance—identifying emerging threats, assessing their potential impact, and implementing controls to counteract them. Today’s cyber threats are dynamic, with cybercriminals using sophisticated techniques that change by the minute. Hence, regular risk assessments and updates are non-negotiable. But, just as crucial is the art of communication. The ability to articulate these risks, along with their potential implications to the board and executives, can make the difference between proactive action and reactive damage control.

 

3. Moving Beyond Compliance

While regulatory compliance is essential, in 2023, it’s merely a starting point. With the ever-evolving threat landscape, relying solely on regulations and standards can render a business vulnerable. It’s like only installing a front door lock while leaving all the windows open. Instead, a proactive approach, involving continuous assessment and adaptation of security measures to the unique needs and threats faced by your organization, is pivotal.

 

4. Championing Security Awareness

The human factor can often be the weakest link in any security chain. As such, empowering every single employee with the knowledge and tools to act as the first line of defense is vital. This means ongoing training, regular reminders, and cultivating a culture where security is everyone’s business. Remember, from the receptionist to the CEO, everyone can either be an asset or a vulnerability.

 

5. Harnessing the Power of Effective Communication

Clear, concise, and compelling communication can be one of the most potent tools in a CISO’s arsenal. It’s essential to translate the often complex world of security into language that everyone—from the tech newbie to the seasoned board member—can grasp. Regularly updating stakeholders about security postures, potential risks, and ongoing initiatives not only fosters trust but also reinforces the importance of collective vigilance.

 

Expanding the CISO’s Toolkit in 2023:

But let’s push the envelope further. In addition to the critical pointers above, CISOs in 2023 should be aware of:

 

6. Embracing the Cloud and Zero Trust: 

As businesses transition to cloud infrastructures, understanding cloud security best practices becomes paramount. Moreover, adopting a Zero Trust approach—where every access request is fully authenticated, authorized, and encrypted before granting access—ensures layered defense in a distributed work environment.

 

7. Machine Learning and AI:

Cybercriminals are leveraging AI; so should you. Incorporating machine learning can help in anomaly detection, identifying potential threats faster than any human could, and enhancing predictive analytics. Findings not only automates assessments and the auditing process for all of your company’s vendors, but we also offer real time updates on your risk posture powered by RiskRecon and Anomali.

 

8. Regular Penetration Testing:

Gone are the days when an annual penetration test sufficed. Regularly challenging your systems can expose vulnerabilities before cybercriminals exploit them.

 

9. Incident Response Preparedness:

It’s not about if, but when a breach might occur. Having a well-rehearsed incident response plan ensures rapid containment, minimizing potential damage.

 

10. Collaborative Security:

Partnering with other businesses, industry groups, and governmental bodies can provide invaluable intelligence and resources. Cybersecurity is a collective endeavor.

 

In conclusion, being a CISO in 2023 means juggling many balls—compliance, risk management, employee training, effective communication, technological advancements, and more. The threat landscape might be challenging, but with the right approach, tools, and mindset, CISOs can ensure their organizations are robustly defended and primed for growth.

 

 

Complying With EU Taxonomy Regulations to Enhance Risk Management

Findings.co discusses how to comply and leverage the eu taxonomy to enhance risk management efforts

In today’s fast-paced regulatory landscape, businesses face the daunting task of complying with new regulations all the time. Recently, organizations have been faced with dealing with the EU Taxonomy regulations. With an increasing demand for sustainable practices and transparent reporting, organizations need to learn and adapt quickly to avoid falling behind their competitors. Leveraging the EU Taxonomy in risk management can drive data-driven decision making by providing a structured framework to assess and manage sustainability-related risks and opportunities.

The constantly evolving regulatory environment has made Taxonomy compliance a critical challenge for businesses. To meet investor expectations, consumer preferences, and regulatory requirements, organizations must navigate through complex sustainability criteria and efficiently report their compliance efforts. Make sure to read on to see how Findings can help – especially when it comes to staying compliant with the EU Taxonomy Regulation.


Understanding the Regulatory Demands

The EU Taxonomy sets guidelines and criteria for determining the environmental sustainability of economic activities. Compliance with this regulation is critical for many businesses operating within the European Union, aiming to foster a greener and more sustainable economy. These significant updates and changes will impact the way businesses assess and report their sustainability practices. It is crucial for organizations to understand these updates, ensuring compliance while mitigating the risk of penalties and reputational harm.

Leveraging Risk Management for Data Driven Decision Making

By implementing a robust risk management framework revolving around taxonomy, organizations can stay ahead and ensure compliance. Leveraging the EU Taxonomy in risk management drives data-driven decision making by providing a standardized and science-based framework to assess sustainability risks and opportunities. By integrating financial and sustainability data, companies can make informed choices that align with the EU’s environmental objectives, attract green investments, and proactively respond to changing regulatory landscapes.

Here are some of the key ways taxonomy can influence data driven decision making:

  1. Identifying Taxonomy-Eligible Activities: The first step in using Taxonomy for risk management is to identify the company’s Taxonomy-eligible activities. By mapping all activities against the Taxonomy’s criteria, businesses can determine which of their operations contribute to environmental sustainability. This helps in recognizing areas where the company aligns with the EU’s sustainability goals and where there may be potential risks due to misalignment.


  1. Environmental Risk Assessment: With the Taxonomy’s defined criteria for environmental sustainability, businesses can conduct a more rigorous environmental risk assessment. This assessment will go beyond traditional financial risks to include the evaluation of ecological impacts. It allows companies to identify areas where they might face future regulatory or reputational risks due to non-compliance or unsustainable practices.



  1. Data-Driven Eligibility and Alignment Scoring: The Taxonomy requires companies to link their financial data to sustainability assessments. This means companies need to gather data on their operations and expenditures related to Taxonomy-eligible activities. By collecting and analyzing this data, businesses can score their eligibility and alignment with the Taxonomy’s environmental objectives. Data-driven scoring provides a more objective and transparent view of a company’s sustainability performance.



  1. Risk Mitigation Strategies: Armed with data on eligibility and alignment, companies can develop risk mitigation strategies. For instance, they can focus on increasing investments and efforts in Taxonomy-aligned activities, which not only contribute to sustainability but also enhance their attractiveness to green investors. Simultaneously, they can work on transitioning away from activities that are not aligned with the Taxonomy to reduce exposure to future risks.



  1. Regulatory Compliance: The EU Taxonomy is likely to expand to cover more sectors and objectives in the future. By leveraging the Taxonomy in risk management, companies can proactively prepare for upcoming regulatory changes. They can stay ahead of the curve by identifying potential future Taxonomy-eligible activities and aligning their strategies accordingly. Findings recently announced two features, Assessment AI and Audit AI, which revolutionize the labor-intensive compliance landscape by enhancing efficiency and responsiveness for all stakeholders worldwide. For more in-depth information that’s easy to digest, check out the linked videos.



  1. Reporting and Transparency: Using the Taxonomy for risk management facilitates better reporting and transparency. Companies can disclose their Taxonomy-aligned activities, eligibility scores, and risk mitigation strategies in their sustainability reports. This enhances credibility and helps investors and stakeholders make informed decisions based on reliable data

  1. Continuous Improvement: The data-driven approach to Taxonomy integration allows companies to track their progress over time. By regularly assessing their eligibility and alignment, businesses can set benchmarks, monitor improvements, and continuously optimize their sustainability efforts.

By implementing a comprehensive Taxonomy risk management framework and leveraging Findings, organizations can proactively address the challenges posed by the EU Taxonomy regulation. This approach ensures compliance, mitigates risks, and unlocks opportunities for sustainable growth and competitive advantage. With automated risk identification and mitigation features, organizations can confidently make data-driven decisions while navigating the complex regulatory landscape, reinforcing their commitment to sustainability. Stay ahead, embrace Taxonomy risk management, and shape a sustainable future for your organization.

 

Discover Our Compliance Solutions Today

 

 

Automated Security Assessments: Expectations and Preparation

What to expect during an automated security assessment and how to prepare for it - findings.co

Automated security assessments are one of the most talked about features in the supply chain management industry. Organizations have turned to automated solutions to enhance their risk management and supply chain compliance after recognizing the need to eliminate the burdensome and time-consuming task of manually auditing and tracking numerous vendors. It makes sense after all. Who wants to spend hours on end of manual work to audit and chase hundreds of thousands of vendors? 


The answer is: no one. 


Findings’ comprehensive platform has gone above and beyond to automate risk management and supply chain compliance, saving organizations of all sizes extensive manual work and reducing friction. 


Now, let’s break down some things you should expect to see when using the platform that will ultimately help you prepare. 


  1. Assessment Logic 


When managing assessments in Findings platform, you can create an assessment from scratch with branching logic or upload pre-existing assessments and tweak it to suit your needs. When you create an assessment from scratch, you can create a question with various answer choices. If the answer choices are branching types such as the Radio button, multiply select, or dropdown, you can create a follow-up question based on a certain response chosen. 


When it comes to uploading assessments from pre-existing documents, you can edit the subjects and alter the logic to suit the vendor’s needs via our assessment wizard. Once the assessment has been uploaded you can clone, edit and tailor custom it with various app integrations for the associated vendors. 


  1. Findings and Remediation:


Imagine the ability to pre-create remediation plans and suggestions. Essentially, rather than sending out an assessment to a vendor and having to review it and write out compliance corrections and suggestions manually, this is pre-prepared before the vendor even begins the assessment. For any answer choice that is not in compliance, you can create a remediation suggested plan for that answer and change the risk level that will affect the vendor’s overall score. When the vendor completes the assessment, they already have a remediation plan ready for them, so that they can bridge the gaps without all the time-consuming back and forth. 


  1. Response Repository (NLP):


Our response repository is based on neuro-linguistic programming and is one of the biggest assets our users hold. When a vendor or customer completes an assessment, our system scans the answers and creates a respiratory for similar written questions the next time an assessment is completed. The next time a user completes an assessment, our automated suggested answers pop up and the user can insert the answers based on the relevant match. This saves numerous hours of manual work by having to complete assessments from scratch. Within seconds, your assessment can be completed and you can focus on other essential tasks. 


Automated security assessments provided by Findings are perfect for organizations seeking efficient risk management and streamlined supply chain compliance. By automating the assessment process, organizations of all sizes can save valuable time and resources that would otherwise be spent on manual audits and vendor follow-ups. By utilizing the features we offer, organizations can complete assessments quickly and focus on other essential tasks, ultimately improving their overall security posture and supply chain management.





Benefits of Automating Security Assessments for Your Organization

Findings.co explores the benefits of automating security assessments

It is indeed true that companies that fail to leverage automated tools are overlooking significant opportunities. This hold particularly true when it comes to security and compliance. Companies are finding it increasingly challenging to proactively identify, address, and mitigate security issues, since, well – there’s more threats than ever. Conducting regular security assessments is essential to detect vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of future breaches. However, relying on manual methods and outdated procedures can be unreliable and diminish the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies. To ensure secure and robust networks, as a business leader, you must prioritize the implementation of automated security assessments. They not only minimize risk exposure, but they can shorten the sales cycle and save a company money, and they also strengthen cybersecurity defenses, making it a crucial investment for your company. 

(Source: CISA – Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Learning Program: Benefits of Automating Security Control Assessments)

Automation Speeds Up Reaction and Activity:

Automation plays a vital role in streamlining processes and driving transformation in modern industries. By automating the risk assessment process and management, organizations can make informed financial decisions, streamline risk and compliance procedures, and enhance their overall risk profile. This automation eliminates human error, enables faster response times, and promotes growth. Real-time threat information and risk reports empower security teams to handle threats more effectively and improve response and action times. Automated risk management strategies can efficiently compile, classify, upload, and organize incoming data, which allows for the identification of similar incidents and the implementation of prepared actions or responses.

Enhanced Cybersecurity Risk Management:

Automated assessments provide organizations the ability to manage cybersecurity risks more comprehensively and effectively. These assessments offer security teams up-to-date and detailed data about ALL their vendors that can be shared with senior management and executives. By eliminating manual tasks and enabling real-time monitoring, automation allows risk managers to focus on risk avoidance and mitigation. Furthermore, automation expedites the entire risk management process by instantly uploading fresh data and promptly reporting any issues. Through continuous monitoring and real-time visibility, organizations can identify gaps in their cybersecurity posture and take the necessary security measures to rectify them.

Standardizing Data and Improving Collaboration:

In many organizations, different departments rely on separate and potentially incompatible data to analyze and assess cyber risks. With so much data floating around in different hands, conflicting reports create confusion among managers. Automated security assessments provide a centralized platform for data collection, ensuring consistent and standardized data across the organization. This eliminates discrepancies and enables effective collaboration among departments. Executives and managers can access accurate and comprehensive information, leading to better-informed decision-making and improved cyber risk management strategies.

Scaling Security Risk Assessment:

Automation significantly simplifies the scalability of security risk assessment processes within a company. Automated assessment platforms like Findings are designed to handle both small and large-scale tasks, allowing organizations to adapt to changing demands without the need for hiring and training new personnel. Predictability is another advantage of automation, as most response actions can be anticipated, making it easier to manage various system interactions securely. Additionally, automation provides better tracking capabilities, allowing organizations to monitor progress, identify completed assessment components, and address pending tasks more efficiently.

Measuring ROI of Automation:

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) for automated security risk assessment involves considering the time and resources saved by automating time-consuming tasks and preventing adverse outcomes. While evaluating the ROI for automated security risk assessment may differ from other business operations, the goal is to demonstrate to IT management that the investment was worthwhile, considering the resources and time allocated.

Out With the Old, in With the New:

In today’s digital landscape, where cyberattacks are a constant threat, automating security assessments is not just beneficial but imperative for organizations aiming to protect their assets, maintain customer trust, and ensure business continuity. It is an investment that pays off in terms of enhanced security, streamlined processes, and improved risk management.

Collaborating with companies like Findings – who specialize in security risk assessment automation can help organizations identify weaknesses and risks more effectively. Automated security risk assessments provide a proactive approach to maintaining the security of organizational systems, preventing potential breaches, and ensuring a safe operating environment. By leveraging automation, organizations can improve response times, standardize data, enhance collaboration, and scale security risk assessment processes. It is crucial for businesses to embrace automation.

The Biggest Supply Chain Compliance Risks To Conquer For 2023

Findings explains the biggest compliance risks in your supply chain in 2023

Now is the time for businesses to overhaul their supply chain compliance strategy. As they head into 2023, organizations should take stock of which supply chain compliance challenges matter most today, as well as which types of practices can help them conquer those challenges.


Let’s walk through the biggest risks that we’re noticing heading into 2023 and what businesses can do about them.

Core Supply Chain Compliance Risks For 2023

There are four overarching types of risks that are likely to shape supply chain compliance challenges for most businesses in the new year.

  1. The Need For Real-Time Visibility

Supply chain visibility, such as through a vulnerability disclosure policy, has always been an important component of supply chain compliance. 


Today, however, basic visibility isn’t enough. Businesses need real-time visibility so that they can detect and react to supply chain risks as they appear. As Blume Global notes, “in a volatile market, real-time information is essential…to maneuver through supply chain disruptions.”


To achieve real-time visibility, businesses need automated tools that can detect and evaluate supply chain risks in real time. Running periodic audits or relying on occasional reports for visibility is not enough.

  1. Supply-Wide Communication

Knowing where supply chain risks lie is only the first step toward supply chain compliance. In order to ensure that they can actually respond to those risks, organizations must be able to communicate and collaborate with stakeholders from across the supply chain – including not just their direct vendors, but also fourth-party organizations.


Communication and collaboration are key to ensuring full adherence with supply chain compliance policies across all layers of your supply chain.


  1. Managing Fraud And Insider Threats

Malicious insiders have always posed some risk to supply chains. But we’re now living in the age of the “super malicious insider,” as DTEX puts it. The term refers to malicious insiders who are not just your typical disgruntled employees. Instead, they are people hired to perform activities like espionage or sabotage, and they will take advantage of insider access to carry them out.


This means businesses need to be more vigilant than ever in detecting cyber security threats such as malicious insiders, not just within their own ranks, but also within their supply chains. They need to know whether their vendors and partners take steps to protect against malicious insiders as part of supply chain compliance initiatives.

  1. Executing On Supply Chain Compliance

It’s one thing to have a written supply chain compliance strategy – which many businesses do at this point, given the attention supply chain compliance has received over the past year.


But it’s another to put that strategy into practice. Going forward, organizations will need to ensure that their supply chain compliance rules and policies become more than just words on paper. They need tools that can operationalize and automate those policies across their supply chains.

But That’s Not All. Be On The Lookout For:


  • Consumer Protection Regulations: The fallout from security or customer service incidents can be devastating for a company’s brand – and critics often don’t know, or care, whether the root cause of the issue was a blunder made by the company itself or by one of its suppliers. That’s why staying on top of supply chain compliance is critical for protecting your brand and public image.

  • Lack Of Regulatory Inventory: To manage supply chain compliance well, businesses and suppliers need to know which specific regulatory rules they must abide by. But many still lack a “regulatory inventory,” meaning an inventory of applicable regulatory rules and frameworks. Getting these up to scratch in a timely fashion should be at the top of your list.

  • Lack Of Culture Of Compliance: Compliance officers should be evaluating how well regular employees recognize the importance of supply chain compliance and processes associated with it. But many are not, which makes it difficult to build an organization-wide compliance culture. The results of these types of initiatives are difficult to quantify, but compliance officers should make an effort nonetheless.

  • No Measurement Of Compliance Effectiveness: You can’t address supply chain compliance risks very well if you don’t measure your effectiveness. Businesses should be systematically tracking compliance incidents and how quickly they respond to them. You don’t want to wait until a major supply chain compliance incident erupts to discover that your compliance strategy is not as effective as you thought it was.


Most of these challenges involve the way businesses approach supply chain compliance internally, as opposed to external risks that complicate supply chain compliance. 

Comprehensive, Real-Time Monitoring To Automate Your Supply Chain With Findings

No matter which specific supply chain compliance challenges you face, Findings can help you conquer them in 2023 and beyond. Findings automates supply chain security, and offers the ONLY end-to-end, continuous monitoring across your entire supply chain to ensure you’re fully covered against all manner of risks.


The Evolving Challenge of Supply Chain Compliance in the Banking Industry

Findings.co helps with supply chain compliance in the banking industry

Not often would one think to tie a bank and a supply chain together, but the supply chain is everywhere – even in the banking industry. 

 

Managing compliance risks in the banking industry has long been central to banking operations. But the nature of those risks has expanded and evolved – and so have the strategies that banks must adopt to stay ahead of both internal and external compliance challenges.

 

For example, banks today must grapple not just with conventional compliance risks, like an obligation to identify money laundering, but also with risks that originate from within the supply chain in the banking industry.

 

Compliance And Banking: The Traditional Approach

In the old days, compliance for banks was relatively simple. It included two key components:

 

  • External Compliance. This involved adhering to compliance rules set by regulators or other external groups. On this front, activities like anti-money laundering were banks’ main priority.

  • Internal Compliance. This meant the establishment of internal systems necessary to identify and adhere to regulatory risks. These internal systems typically weren’t specifically mandated by regulators, but banks implemented them as a means of complying with external regulations.

 

Whether externally or internally, banks’ traditional approach to compliance was essentially reactive. Businesses focused on detecting and responding to risks, rather than preventing them proactively.

 

The Challenges Of Banking Compliance And Supply Chain Management

Those days of traditional compliance for banks are over. Today’s compliance landscape within the banking industry looks quite different.

 

  • Terrorist Financing: As the IMF notes, “the international community has made the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism a priority.” This change has raised the stakes surrounding anti-money laundering compliance for banks and increased the pressure they face from regulators around the world in this area.

  • Bribery & Corruption: Along similar lines, “the past decade has seen the emergence of anti-corruption compliance systems in companies across the globe,” according to the OECD. Here again, banks face heightened pressure to establish compliance processes that can mitigate activities related to corruption.

  • Internal & External Fraud: These risks have seen an increase to the tune of 218 percent during 2022 alone, according to TransUnion.

  • Business Continuity Risks: The need to ensure that banks can remain operational in the face of unexpected disruptions – such as problems within the supply chain in the banking industry – has been a continued challenge for finance compliance officers to master.

  • Information & Cyber Security Risks: Last but not least, cyber security incidents continue to surge, creating a pervasive compliance challenge for banks.

 

For all of these reasons, banks today require compliance strategies that are capable of addressing a much broader range of risks than traditional money laundering. At the same time, they must be able to track and mitigate not just those risks that originate internally, but also risks that arise from within their supply chains – such as insecure software provided to banks to third-party vendors, or lack of compliance adherence by a bank’s partners.

 

Modernizing Compliance And Supply Chain Management In Banking

To meet those challenges, banks must turn to new practices that can supercharge their approach to compliance, such as:

 

  1. RegTech: RegTech refers to a new breed of IT tools – including supply chain risk management solutions like Findings – that can help banks to streamline and automate compliance operations.

  2. Proactive Compliance: Mandates like SEC Rule 30 require banks to think and act more proactively than they did in the past by establishing plans for dealing with risks ahead of time. Reactive compliance no longer cuts it.

  3. Risk Mitigation Playbooks: In a similar vein, banks should establish “playbooks” that spell out how they’ll react to particular compliance risks or incidents. By establishing playbooks ahead of time, banks can remediate problems much more efficiently when they arise.

  4. Next-generation AML: Anti-money laundering remains a pillar of banking compliance, but as noted above, modern AML must be more expansive than in the past. It must extend to domains like preventing terrorist financing and corruption – and not just among clients that banks deal with directly, but also within the banking industry supply chain.

  5. Reporting: Banks must double down on their approach to compliance reporting by ensuring that they have processes in place to disclose vulnerabilities through a VDP and violations promptly in order to comply with mandates like FINRA Rule 4530.

  6. Regulatory Penetration Testing: Regulatory penetration testing can help banks to identify risks proactively, rather than waiting for real-world violations to occur before they take action.

 

Put simply, modern banks must adopt more actionable, efficient and comprehensive compliance strategies, and they must ensure that they can enforce compliance across the entire banking industry supply chain.

 

Compliance solutions like Findings can help. By providing end-to-end visibility into supply chain operations and the compliance status of third-party vendors and suppliers, Findings makes it easy to detect risks in real time, then take action before the risks trigger compliance violations.



  Don’t be a stranger! Sign up at Findings.co today and see how Findings can help you showcase your compliance


ESG: Nice to Have or a Must?

ESG an intro into what it is

Yup, the world has taken a new turn… and I’m not talking about post-COVID-19. Industries, governments, and the environment began adapting to new standards way before the world experienced the effects of COVID-19. 

 

This is what is more commonly known as environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and numerous companies have defined it as a “must have” for supply-chain risk management. 

 

Stakeholders are no longer willing to work with companies who do not take a genuine interest in incorporating ESG measures and let’s just say that investors are following along step by step. In addition, stakeholders and investors want greater transparency of information regarding issues such as carbon emissions and modern slavery.

 

That being said, as ESG standards and regulations are still developing and have not been considered a “concrete” measure like cybersecurity, companies need to understand what needs to be done to adhere to supply-chain compliance.

Let’s break it down.

 

What is ESG?

 

According to Investopedia ESG, “refers to a set of standards for a company’s behavior used by socially conscious investors to screen potential investments.”

 

In other words, numerous investors have this topic on their minds when it comes to making an investment decision. ESG guidelines and principles are expected to be incorporated into an organization’s culture and business strategy. 

 

This is extremely important, but practically speaking, how do companies measure their carbon footprint and outline the specific steps to incorporate ESG into their supply chain and pipeline? For this, we need to have a better understanding of what each one of the pillars is referring to. 

 

How can companies adhere to ESG standards?

 

As ESG is still a developing framework across the world, industry best practices based on experts in the field is usually what is adhered to.

 In the United States, for example, there is not one body that has created a compliance audit for all companies to follow. Setting aside the political hemisphere, incorporating federal government law can reduce the flexibility and progress of the framework, not to mention that industries vary. 

 

In contrast, the EU has a formal body (the EU Commission) that creates ESG regulations, but here comes the issue of trial and error to continuously stay up to date with standards. 

 

In Singapore, a centralized registry exists where companies can upload all their ESG reporting, but this has only been recently implemented and has very little data currently. 

 

Considering all of these alternatives, it seems the best solution for companies and organizations is to reach out to experts who provide software or auditing services that can review their ESG spectrum. 

 

What can Findings do to Help?

 

Findings is a centralized, one-stop shop for enterprises and vendors to automate and scale their ESG assessment(s). We enable you to implement a sophisticated, straightforward, and efficient ESG vendor due diligence process. 

 

Enterprises can use pre-built best practices assessments or can be custom-built according to an enterprise’s needs. Vendors can use our automated response to easily and quickly respond to incoming ESG questionnaires. Fast, automated, and at scale all in one place!



Reach out today

What’s At Stake With Ineffective Third Party Vendor Risk Management

ineffective vendor risk management

Virtually every business today has to outsource work to external vendors. By extension, it needs a plan to handle what Gartner calls vendor risk management, or VRM/TPRM. 

Working with third-party vendors exposes businesses to a variety of risks:

 

  • Reputational harm: Security mistakes made by third party vendors could harm your brand’s reputation. Even if your company wasn’t at fault, customers or partners might hold your business accountable because they believe you made the poor choice of working with a risky third-party vendor.
  • Operational damage: Problems with third-party vendors could disrupt your operations. For example, if a software product you depend on becomes vulnerable, your supply chain may cease to function until you find a replacement. Or your third party vendor may be hacked, leaving the door open to your organization for breaches or system failures.
  • Financial loss: Third party vendor risks that turn into operational disruptions can ultimately lead to revenue loss, exacerbating the operational fallout of the situation and costing your organization money.
  • Compliance challenges: You may be required to prove that your supply chain risk management complies with specific security or data privacy frameworks, and mistakes made by third party vendors could expose you to compliance failures. Like customers and partners, regulators aren’t likely to care whether the root cause of the issue lies with you or your vendor; all that matters to them is that you were non-compliant.

 

To respond to these challenges, especially considering the fact that 89% of businesses experiencing a supplier risk event in the past 5 years more needs to be done to develop an effective third party vendor risk management strategy. Developing that strategy starts with recognizing the mistaken assumptions that businesses often make when attempting to manage vendor risks.

 

Let’s look at those mistakes, why they’re dangerous and what businesses can do to avoid them.

 

1. Assuming All Vendors Are Covered

It can be easy to assume that as long as you have some kind of third party vendor risk management operation in place, it covers all of your vendors and gives you complete visibility into the risks associated with them.

 

The reality is that in many cases, TPRM programs overlook some vendors. The oversights most often result from relying on manual processes to identify and vet vendors, but you can also miss some vendors because your supplier list is always changing and you may not keep it up-to-date. 

Not only that, in many cases, coverage itself is partial. Modern supply chains are complex and because of this, long-tail vendors can be easily overlooked or ignored, exposing your organization and supply chain to huge risk.

The solution to these challenges is to rely on automation to track vendors. When you automate, it becomes much easier to find all third party vendors in your supply chain, and to keep your vendor inventory continuously up-to-date.

 

2. Overlooking Risk Assessment

Simply identifying vendors is only the first step in third-party vendor risk management. Equally important is assessing how much risk each vendor introduces to your supply chain. Risk assessments should reflect factors such as how much harm the vendor could cause to your reputation, operations, finances and so on. However, too often is the risk tolerance or risk appetite in an organization under-assessed so the true effects are unknown in the case of vulnerabilities in your supply chain.

 

Ideally, risk assessment should happen automatically. Whenever you introduce a new vendor into your supply chain, or when your relationship with a vendor changes, you should be able to determine automatically how the vendor impacts your overall risk and make a valid assessment of exactly what level of risk is acceptable to your organization.

 

3. Vendor Risk Management Ends With Onboarding Assessment

While risk assessment is important, it’s not the end of the third party vendor risk management process.

 

Your relationship with vendors may evolve in ways that change the types and extent of the risk that each vendor poses. For that reason, it’s important to be able to reassess risks on a continuous basis. Using automation, you can ensure that your risk assessments are constantly updated and that they remain relevant even as your vendor relationships evolve.

 

Read here: All you’ve ever wanted to know about Vulnerability Disclosure Programs (VDPs)

 

4. Underestimating Vendor Compliance Needs

Sometimes, organizations assume that as long as they’ve met basic third party vendor risk management requirements, they’re covered against compliance mandates related to their supply chain and vendors.

 

In reality, compliance requirements tend to be complex and business-specific. For that reason, generic vendor risk management is not enough to guarantee compliance. Third party vendor risk management is a step toward compliance, but you also need to step back and assess the unique compliance requirements of your company and supply chain, then determine whether additional steps are needed to achieve compliance.



Simplify Third Party Vendor Risk Management With Findings

Findings takes the hard work out of vetting third party vendors. By automating the processes of identifying and assessing vendors across your supply chain, Findings makes it easy to maintain continuously updated visibility into where supply chain risks lie and how each vendor could harm your reputation, operations  finances and more.


See for yourself by requesting a demo at findings.co

Supply Chain Attacks Surged By 42% in 2022. Here’s Why.

Increase in supply chain attacks

There’s been a massive and recent increase in the awareness of supply chain attacks. Significant investment going to tools and strategies to protect supply chains against attack have been poured into business plans, but this isn’t helping. You would think that all of this time and effort would in turn bring a decline to these threats, but you’d be wrong.

 

Quite the contrary actually. According to research from PurpleSec, supply chain attacks rose by 42% in 2022, and 64% of businesses have now been affected by supply chain software attacks.

 

Recent Supply Chain Attacks

In the case of the SolarWinds attack, malicious code inside a popular IT monitoring platform gave hackers a back door into thousands of IT networks. Similar breaches occurred in the Colonial Pipeline attack, where a leaked password caused massive panic, and in the Kaseya and Log4j breaches, which were also examples of supply chain attacks in which breaches in third-party software tools exposed a large number of businesses to attack.
 

The Appeal Of Supply Chain Attacks

Exacerbating matters further is the fact that a single supply chain breach allows attackers to target hundreds or thousands of victims by seizing upon just one vulnerability and one attack technique. From the hacker’s perspective, the ROI on supply chain attacks is exponentially higher than a traditional attack, wherein a single business is placed at risk.

 

As TechTarget explains, “supply chain attacks are difficult to detect, as they rely on software that has already been trusted and can be widely distributed.

 

Why Supply Chain Attacks Continue To Rise

 

Both of these factors – the difficulty of preventing supply chain attacks and the advantages of supply chain attacks from an attackers perspective – help to explain why supply chain attacks remain so pervasive – to the point that supply chain attacks will increase by 400 percent, according to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), which adds that “strong security protection is no longer enough for organizations when attackers have already shifted their attention to suppliers.”

In other words, traditional approaches to defending against cybersecurity risks – such as hardening servers against attack, enforcing strong access controls and deploying malware scanners – aren’t very effective in cases where the bad guys break in by breaching your supply chain. If your IT systems are configured to trust software delivered to them by third-party suppliers, no amount of access controls or virus scanners are going to protect against flaws within those third-party systems. Conventional security controls only protect against threats that originate internally, which means they don’t address supply chain attacks.

 

What You Can Do: How To Stop Supply Chain Attacks

 

Fortunately, there are practices that can help to prevent supply chain attacks, even for organizations with complex supply chains:

 

  1. Implement Zero Trust

Zero trust means configuring IT resources so that they do not trust any other resources –internal or external – by default. They only share data and interact with resources that are explicitly validated to be secure. Zero trust policies can help to mitigate supply chain attacks by ensuring that servers, applications and other resources only trust third-party software if that software has been scanned and vetted to be secure.

 

  1. Gain Asset Visibility

Visibility – specifically, visibility into which supply chain assets exist and which risks impact them – goes a long way toward preventing supply chain attacks. Businesses should be able to identify risky assets, determine the root cause of the risks and remediate risks in a proactive manner.

 


 

 

  1. Work With Suppliers

Effective supply chain security management means not just cutting off suppliers who might place the supply chain at risk, but working with them to identify potential breach points and ensure transparency in the face of risks. Vulnerability Disclosure Programs can help here by providing a systematic means of identifying and responding to supply chain attack risks.

 

 

 Findings can help with all of these initiatives by providing automated visibility into your entire supply chain so that you know when and where risks arise. In addition, Findings helps you assess vendor compliance and manage vulnerability disclosure policies, ensuring that you’re prepared to react quickly when your supply chain becomes vulnerable to attack.

 

 

Learn more about how to prevent supply chain attacks with Findings.

Finally: Practical Guidance for Supply Chain Risk Management

Practical Guide to Supply Chain Risk Management

Businesses are being bombarded with warnings from a variety of sources regarding supply chain risk management – ranging from media organizations like Forbes, to analyst firms like Gartner, and even to the White House, which notes that “foreign governments and criminal syndicates are regularly seeking ways to compromise our digital infrastructure” through supply chain attacks.


However, actual advice for managing supply chain risks is harder to come by. Figuring out where risks lie and working to detect them is an exercise that often falls to individual businesses – which often struggle to put supply chain risk management into practice, given the fact that few organizations were closely focused on supply chain risks until just a couple of years ago, when incidents like the SolarWinds breach brought supply chain risks to the fore.


1. Optimize Supply Chain Visibility

The single most effective step businesses can take to manage supply chain risks is to achieve visibility into their supply chains. You can’t mitigate the risks you can’t see, and if you wait for the risks to impact your own IT environment, it’s too late to prevent them from causing a disruption.


That’s why you need visibility not only into where your software comes from, but also which checks and protections your software suppliers have in place. Believe it or not, vulnerabilities will come from your least expected vendors, and more often than not, your smaller vendors. When you identify vendors who fail to manage risks, you can remove them from your supply chain in order to protect your own organization. This is where continuous monitoring steps in and becomes invaluable to your team by getting ahead of issues before remediation steps are even needed. 


When it comes to supply chain visibility, the more information you have, the better. It’s often impossible to gain complete, definitive visibility into supply chain risks because the “probability and severity of many risks is difficult to ascertain,” as Tucker Bailey, McKinsey Partner notes. But the more information you have about who your suppliers are, how they build out their supply chain and which practices they follow to mitigate security risks, the greater your ability to find and respond to the most serious supply chain vulnerabilities

2. Build Supply Chain Risk Management Into Onboarding

While continuous visibility into the supply chain is one step toward identifying risks, it’s also important to establish a rigorous process for vetting vendors when you onboard them into your supply chain. Identify which specific security controls you expect vendors to have in place, then implement a process that assesses how well they adhere to those practices.


There is always a risk that vendors who meet your requirements during onboarding will become insecure over time, which is why you need to monitor continuously for new supply chain risks. The most common onboarding process would be to do an initial risk scan of the vendor and setting a score. However, the better and more effective method is to set a periodic scan that includes an action plan. 


But even with all these processes, it doesn’t mean you should skimp on vendor validation at onboarding time. Rooting out risky vendors before they even join your supply chain is more effective than identifying risks after the fact.

3. Plan For Supply Chain Changes

Actually removing risky vendors from a supply chain is hard to do if you depend on those vendors and have no alternatives.


That’s why it’s important to ensure that your supply chain is dynamic enough to accommodate sudden changes in vendors. Always have backup suppliers in mind to who you can turn to if you need to stop using one vendor due to cyber security risks.


Supply chains constantly fluctuate. Vendors that seem rock-solid one day may be in the news the next because they are the center of a major breach. You can’t control what your suppliers do, but you can control your ability to pivot to alternative suppliers quickly in order to mitigate supply chain risks.

4. Enforce Continuous Supply Chain Risk Management

Supply chain risk management should never be a one-and-done affair. Nor should you rely on periodic audits to find risks.


Instead, strive to monitor your supply chain continuously. Continuous monitoring means that you can identify vulnerable third-party software, as well as vendors who are no longer conforming to your security requirements, as soon as the risk emerges. That beats waiting until your next audit to identify a risk – or, worse, not identifying it at all because you vetted your suppliers initially and have no mechanism in place for determining when vendors who were once secure no longer are.


Ensure that the protections that your suppliers claim to have in place actually work. For example, as Jay Shaw explained during a recent LSEG event, don’t just take someone’s word for it that backups are in place. Instead, say “you’re going to get a phone call, And that phone call is going to say, ‘Bam, we’re now down, so do the backup plan. We want to see how long it takes you and how well it works.”


It might not be practical to vet every vendor in that way, but for high-stakes suppliers, it’s important to know that promises align with realities when it comes to supply chain security protections.

5. Automate Supply Chain Risk Management With Cyber Solutions

For most businesses, the rigorous, continuous supply chain monitoring and risk management practices described above are impossible to implement manually. They would require too much time, and too much effort on the part of employees who already have overfilled plates.


That’s why it’s critical to leverage cyber solutions that automate supply chain risk management. They can identify multiple types of threat within third-party software – including malware, phishing risks, ransomware and beyond – without requiring manual vetting. And they can do this continuously so that you’re aware immediately when a new risk arises.


Automated cyber solutions have the added benefit of reducing the risk of human error. Your supply chain management tools will operate consistently and reliably, enforcing the same assessment policies over each and every vendor. Humans typically don’t achieve that level of consistency, which means that manual supply chain assessment increases the chances that risks will fall through the cracks.

How Findings can help

As a fully automated platform for identifying and managing risks across your supply chain, Findings makes it easy to put supply chain risk management practices into operation. Findings delivers centralized, continuous visibility into supply chains across any industry, enabling businesses to find and respond to risks before they turn into cyber security incidents.

See for yourself by requesting a demo at Findings.co.

Supply Chain Risk Monitoring as a Service
Join us today
Supply Chain Risk Monitoring as a Service
Join us today

Let's Tackle Compliance Together

Waitlist signup

Welcome to Findings

Let's go over some details to setup your tailor-made account


Please fill your details below and click "Next" to create your account:

Payment

Feature
Startup
Business
Enterprise
Price
$10 / Month
$10 / Month
$25 / Month
VDPaaS
Alerts
Assessments
Integrated Apps
API
Join today and scan ALL YOUR VENDORS for FREE*
* FREE VENDOR SCAN for all of your vendors during your first month.
Feature
Startup
Business
Enterprise
Price
$25 / Month
$200 / Month*
Contact Us
Free vendors scan for 1 month
Findings search engine
Rapid security and compliance profile
Profile/showcase engagements per year
5
40
Unlimited
Multi/unlimited showcase use cases
Showcase compliance badge for your website
Best practice self-assessment
1 Findings or 1 BYOC
Assessment response automation
Personalizable, branded security & compliance showcase page
File/evidence repository
OKTA
DKIM
Out-of-the-box TPRM
20 vendors +
20 rating scans
50 vendors +
50 rating scans
Support
Email
Priority via Phone / Email
Internal Workflows (SO/BO)
Onboarding and customization account setup
*Price for every 40 engagements
Automate assessment response and showcase your cybersecurity posture
Supply Chain Risk Monitoring as a Service
Join us today
.
.
.
.

Thank you for signing up!

Supply Chain Risk Monitoring as a Service
Join us today
.
.
.
.

Thank you for signing up!