About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Vendor Classifications

By Vigilize | Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - Leave a Comment

Vendor Management Step One:  The Threshold Analysis


ServIcons_ITAudit_01

“We don’t do diligence on that vendor because we have mitigating controls in place.”

A common problem in most organizations is that nobody is on the same page about the way vendors are classified.  Purchasers are classifying them by ease-of-use, CFO’s by value, Compliance Officers by residual risk, and information security professionals are just now getting a handle on the issue.

We have found that the easiest manner of classification considers the following factors:

  1.  Access to Information: If they host (possess, take-with-them, provide-in-the-cloud-services) information that is considered to be confidential or critical in nature (see data classification articles) then they should be considered to be Critical Vendors.  If they have access to information temporarily, and that information is not large volumes of customer information (NPI), then they should be considered High Risk.  We have a handly “threshold analysis” that helps sort through these questions.
  2. Business Impact: If the vendor provides a product or service that, if suddenly unavailable, would cause a critical business impact, that vendor should be considered a Critical or High Risk Vendor, depending upon available mitigating controls or compensating factors.  Again, we have a template “threshold analysis” that helps sort through these questions.

A good threshold analysis helps lay a paper-trail not only for those vendors whom you perform due diligence upon, but more importantly, for those vendors you do NOT scrutinize.  The analysis should be quantitative, and it should be applied to all vendors at least once.

We actually suggest a quantitative analysis be run on all active vendors periodically (for our program, it’s every three years.)  New vendors are analyzed, of course, prior to engagement.  But to make sure nobody falls through the cracks . . . . and they do . . . . and to also be sure that changes in service-sets do not change vendor profiles enough to change their classification . . . we run a full analysis on all active vendors every three years.  Some of our bank clients do this annually, others bi-annually. 

The minimum-effective-dosage approach to vendor management would warrant that at least once, all active vendors undergo a full analysis.  The analysis would consider various risk-factors such as type of information, type of access to the information, volume, how easy it is to replace the vendor, and other questions along side the standard financial statement and security controls review.

It is important to remember that the initial threshold analysis is about inherent risk, rather than residual risk.  The controls we can apply should not factor into determining whether we should consider the controls we can apply.  (Re-read that sentence, it is correctly stated.)  Very often we will hear statements like, “we didn’t put them through the threshold analysis because we do background checks on their employees for them.”


A templated threshold analysis is available as a stand-alone document and is also available in our Vendor Management Kit.  Of course, Clients are welcome to any of our boilerplates at no charge, just e-mail us.


 

same_strip_012513


The threshold analysis is where we sort vendors by Inherent Risk.

Posted in Infotex News

Latest News
    Dan’s Semi-Retirement . . . Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . If you follow my blog, you may have already surmised that I am starting to get ready for retirement.  This is actually a result of a long process we have been […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BUSINESS NEWS Dateline: Lafayette, IN, December 5th, 2022 infotex, the Managed Security Service Provider, announces that Dan Hadaway, Founder and Managing Partner of the company for the last Twenty-two years, plans to semi-retire at the end of 2023. Prior to founding infotex in 2000 to serve community banks, Dan Hadaway […]
    A new study highlights the benefits of looking at your network from the other side… An article review. If you were trying to attack your organization’s network, how would you start?  That’s a question you may not have asked yourself, but experts say it’s something that can help you strengthen your security.  That’s according to […]
    Google Ads, Gitlab and OneDrive have been used to distribute the BATLOADER malware… An article review. We’ve always believed that “watch where you click” has always been good advice when it comes to security online, however Microsoft is tracking the spread of malware that has been using legitimate websites to help facilitate its spread, counting […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape) You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your […]
    A new way of helping people “read” new guidance… Look for more in the future! To save you time, we are proud to present “Adam Reads” . . . recorded versions of our Guidance Summaries! Below you can find an embedded player for the audio file. If you are having issues with that working, you […]
    Thanks for being interested in our Technology Planning Webinars! The 2022 annual webinar update on technology planning includes a review of the previous years’ movies that are available, as well as alternative tactics that have arisen from recent conferences, forums, and industry experience. Feel free to invite your entire technology committee! Click the Button to […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! In the spirit of October and Halloween we have put together a gallery of our “spooky” Awareness Posters at halloween.infotex.com. Use them to help decorate for the holiday! Check […]
    Microsoft, Cisco and Uber are among the companies hit by this new threat… An article review.  As more organizations adopt multi-factor authentication to help safeguard their systems hackers have adapted, and several major corporations have been among those hit by this new style of attack.  This new technique, called MFA Fatigue or Push Spamming, involves […]
    A Webinar Movie This presentation is intended for those who are planning to participate in an infotex incident response test. Please let us know what questions you have, when we have our Plan Walkthrough and Test Plan Approval meeting!