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3 Actions You Can Do to Avoid Vendor Breaches

Jan 23, 2019 by Lisa-Mae Hill, CTPRP

Unfortunately, a reality that we’re living in is that it’s likely that a breach will happen at some point. So, it’s important to prevent and be prepared.

There are some practical steps you can take to be proactive and increase your chances of avoiding a data breach, or at least experiencing a data breach that will have a significant impact on your organization.

3 Actions to Avoid Vendor Breaches

Here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Plan, plan and plan some more ahead of time.
  2. Be sure to review your critical third party’s information security procedures and look at their network penetration testing. This is a great first step in the right direction.
  3. Ensure you’ll be notified when and as soon as a breach occurs. Often times, you can request a critical third party contractually agree to this request. This will help prevent any damage to your reputation risk as you will have more time to prepare your response and next steps.

4 Ways to Prepare for a Vendor Breach

Should a breach happen, be sure to keep these things in mind in order to be ready for next steps:

  1. Plan responses. Review your plan of action that should be documented for potential breach situations that could happen should it be aimed at your organization, at your third party or even at a fourth party.

  2. Have a communication strategy in place. This is crucial. Make sure the individuals who should be involved are aware and understand who to call, in what order and when should a breach occur. Don’t limit the communication plan to internally, think externally too. Customers will want to know information and reach out with questions, so notify them and be ready.

  3. Appoint a team to assist with responding. Usually, this is the information security team working closely with vendor managers, lines of business and other communication teams to share the basic facts.

  4. Follow through with what you’ve set out to do. By following through with what you’ve promised, you’ll keep your reputation intact.

By taking precautions internally, you’re implementing the steps to mitigate a potential breach before it even happens at your organization. By having plans and responses in place for when a breach occurs at a third party, or even fourth party, you’re setting your organization up to have the least amount of reputational and operational impact as possible.

Are you prepared to address a vendor breach if/when it happens? Download this infographic  to find out.
10 best practices when handling a vendor data breach

Lisa-Mae Hill, CTPRP

Written by Lisa-Mae Hill, CTPRP

Lisa-Mae is an experienced cybersecurity analyst with experience in both the private and public sectors. She has held the role of Subject Matter Expert and Information System Security Officer for a government based contractor and has extensive experience in Certification & Accreditation, CIS Critical Control Implementation and Auditing, Security Assessments and cybersecurity Policy. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Management from State University of New York Delhi paired with many hours of additional cybersecurity and industry related training. She is also a Certified Third Party Risk Professional (CTPRP).

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