Thank you for joining me today for our Third Party Thursday podcast. I’m Lisa-Mae Hill, an Information Security Specialist for Venminder. Today’s topic is data breaches and some of the vendor risk management best practices to take away from the experience.
Unfortunately, data breaches are a reality we are living in. We all certainly hope to never have to experience a breach at our organization, but if it does happen, there are some best practices you can take away.
- Evaluate the communication strategy you had in place at the time of the breach - was it sufficient? It’s crucial to have a detailed communication plan in place, so if gaps were identified, it’s important that they are closed. Ensure everyone involved in third party risk management knows who to call and when. Not only is it crucial to have an internal communication plan developed, but you should also evaluate the external communication plan in place. Understand and document what needs to be said to vendors, customers, regulators or, potentially, the media,] and the timing expectations for each.
- Consider if more education is needed. Did your employees follow your Incident Response plan? Do your employees need better training on the breach process, data security or confidentiality? Consider a "Lunch & Learn" session to go through the basics of what everyone needs to know and, if necessary, appoint a point person in each business unit.
- Make sure to document the lessons learned and put a plan in place to re-mediate any areas that didn’t go the way you planned or that could use improvement. Put a remediation plan in place and document each lesson learned and its resolution. This will help ensure that things that didn’t go smoothly this time, won’t happen again.
- Look forward. Make sure that with new critical and high-risk vendor relationships that contracts include language that requires a vendor to notify you as soon as a breach occurs. It may even be worth reviewing older agreements to determine if you need to revisit the contract language and include a clause like this at the renewal. If you’re learning about a breach in the news or from a customer, your reputation risk has already been impacted and you’re really a step behind.
I hope you found this podcast helpful. Again, I’m Lisa-Mae Hill at Venminder. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to our Third Party Thursday series.