Cybersecurity is the Wild West; everybody wants to sell it. It's like in the early days of the Internet, companies promised to increase our sales tenfold because they had a shopping cart solution. Today we are being offered cybersecurity because there is an obvious need, but how do we make the right choice and understand what we are buying?
This article offers some quick-check items to bridge the gap between what you think you signed up for as a service and what the vendor actually sold you.
Let's focus on the following two foundational elements: supplier reputation and contract clauses to keep track of.
Just because a vendor has a good reputation in an area doesn't mean it will be effective in cybersecurity. There are several measures for assessing a supplier's cybersecurity reputation. Here are two measures that are considered most effective:
1. Security certification check: it is important to check if the vendor has received recognized security certifications such as ISO 27001, SOC 2 or PCI DSS. These certifications are issued after a thorough review of the vendor's security practices and ensure that its systems and processes are adequately protected.
2. security transparency assessment: it is important to verify that the provider is transparent about security issues, including providing details about its security and data protection policies and practices.
By using these measures to assess a provider's cybersecurity reputation, you can better understand the risks and make informed decisions about the security of your data and your business.
Contract terms and conditions
By agreeing on definitions and terms in contracts with vendors, you can improve data protection and minimize the risks associated with
Third-party processing. It is important to work with lawyers to ensure that these clauses are valid and effectively protect the company's interests.
1. duties and responsibilities: it is important to agree on the terms of the cybersecurity contract, in particular the duties and responsibilities. In short, who does what? These negotiations should cover infrastructure protection, data protection, security copies, emergency notification, cyber incident response protocol, and provisions for managing cybersecurity issues. It is also important to determine who will be responsible for updates and monitoring.
2. a commitment to privacy: Your data is valuable. As you've seen in the media lately, there are interested buyers, and your suppliers may be tempted to monetize them. The contract should at least include a vendor's commitment not to share or use the company's confidential information unless you give explicit permission.
3. Notification in the event of a personal data security breach: No one is immune from a cybersecurity incident. Your vendors may also become victims. The contract should include provisions for notification in the event of a data security breach, such as obligations to notify the company, obligations to notify the appropriate authorities, and obligations to cooperate to resolve the problem.
4. Data Security and Infrastructure Protection: this paragraph outlines the requirements and expectations for data security. It should be established how the provider must comply with them. For example: encryption protocols, vulnerability management policies, access control and logging. In addition, you can require them to have cyber risk insurance. This can help your provider respond more quickly to a major incident.
5. Understand your dependence on your IT provider and act accordingly: some companies choose to outsource their IT completely to a vendor. While this can be a great business decision, it comes with certain risks. Your vendor may not be able to provide a sufficient level of service, which can lead to service outages and therefore problems for your business. For example, your provider has suffered a serious cyber-attack and you may not be able to receive subscribed services for several weeks. In such a situation, it is important to clearly define a business continuity strategy. Does the vendor guarantee to back up your data in a time frame that you are happy with, or do you need to have a plan B?
6. Right to audit and accountability: it is also recommended that you establish management metrics that will allow you to see if your vendor is actually doing the required work. These metrics will allow you to quickly clear up misunderstandings and make sure that the services you contracted for are developing and meeting your needs. It is also important to make sure that your supplier is audited on a regular basis. This can include penetration testing, regular compliance checks, and security checks of the vendor's personnel.
7. Build long-term relationships with suppliers: Cybersecurity has become a major concern for businesses in an increasingly interconnected world. Cyberattacks can result in significant losses in the form of sensitive data, money and reputation. That's why it's critical to take adequate security measures before entering into a contract with a third-party vendor. These contracts are a little more complicated than a simple purchase order for a printer. The stakes are higher. That's why it's important to establish a long-term relationship of trust, clearly stated in the contract.
In conclusion, managing the cybersecurity risks associated with IT vendors is a critical issue for companies. Cyberattacks can have serious consequences for a company's operations and reputation. Therefore, it is important to have an effective risk management strategy that includes strict selection of IT vendors, clear contracts with strong security clauses, and continuous monitoring of activities.