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Information Security

3 Information Security Principles to Use within Your Vendor Management Program

Sep 25, 2018 by Lisa-Mae Hill, CTPRP

With the increase in cybersecurity breaches, it’s critical to monitor and fully understand your vendor’s information security posture in order to protect the company from unnecessary risk. There are three information security principles to be aware of, also known as the CIA Information Security Triad, which will help you determine if you and your customers are safe. 

cia triad information security

What Does CIA Stand for?

CIA stands for:

Confidentiality – This principle seeks to prevent unauthorized disclosure of information. To guarantee confidentiality under the CIA triad, vendor communications channels must be properly monitored and controlled to prevent unauthorized access. To assist with confidentiality, verify that the terms of your contract include:

  • Company and employee NDA clauses
  • SOC reviews
  • Cybersecurity reviews
  • Employee, Contractor and Vendor Management policies
  • Access management procedures

Integrity – This principle seeks to ensure that data is not modified by unauthorized means. To guarantee integrity under the CIA triad, vendors should be able to demonstrate that they have controls in place to protect information from unauthorized modification. To verify integrity, review the following:

  • SOC reports
  • Access controls and monitoring procedures
  • Backup policies
  • Encryption procedures
  • Data security controls at rest and in transit

Availability – This principle ensures that information is available when needed and only to authorized personnel. Vendors should be able to validate how they prevent and handle downtime and interruptions. Verify availability by including:

3 Additional Best Practices to Help Implement the CIA Principles into Your Third Party Risk Management Program

  1. Educate employees. Provide proper training and ensure they understand the CIA Information Security Triad components.
  2. Update your program. Write information security procedures into your policy and program documentation as needed.
  3. Understand Roles and Responsibilities. Effectively communicate with the vendor and understand what each party (your organization and the vendor) must do to uphold information security expectations.

Cybersecurity is a hot button for everyone, including regulators, so they’re watching you and how you handle these principles of information security with your vendors. In most cases, it’s required that you demonstrate you're taking proactive steps to identify and mitigate potential areas of weakness with your vendors.

The principles of information security and the CIA Information Security Triad are the building blocks you need at the foundation of your cybersecurity program. Download our infographic for a fun way to help you remember the above principles.

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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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