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Four and Four – Questions to Simplify Vendor Management

By Dan Hadaway | Thursday, April 6, 2017 - Leave a Comment

Two sets of questions that can help start your vendor due diligence adventure.


A quick Dan’s New Leaf Post, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . .


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When you’re just starting to address the issue of vendor management, it can seem like a daunting task.  And how do you explain to your vendor owners the myriad of questions you MAY have to ask?  Sometimes, the answers to just a couple short sets of questions can provide your vendor owners with much of the advance-guidance they’ll need!

If a vendor has access to customer information, here’s what your vendor owners should be asking them prior to getting too far into the process:

  1. Have there been any incidents in your organization’s history where you’ve had to inform your customers of a breach? If so, can you elaborate without disclosing customer names?
  2. Do you have any type of third party assurance? A SOC-2 is preferable, but if you don’t have a formal report, we will need to discuss third party auditing of controls declared below.
  3. Do you have data privacy or cybersecurity insurance? If so, please send certificate of insurance listing our company as an endorsee.
  4. Finally, does the contract include the four promises?  These are four fundamental obligations for any vendor entrusted with you or your customer’s information, and include:
  1. The vendor promises to keep data secure and to not disclose ANY information deemed “confidential” by customer.
  2. The vendor promises to inform you whenever we can’t keep Promise 1.
  3. The vendor promises to maintain controls to make promises 1 and 2 possible.
  4. The vendor promises to provide third party assurance of promise 3 including audit reports, affidavits, financial statements, and other documentation.

While your examiners may or may not want you to reduce your vendor due diligence process to the above sets of questions, teaching your vendor owners off these questions will help them remember the cusp of the expectations they’ll need to set with prospective vendors.


Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex

“Dan’s New Leaf” is a “fun blog to inspire thought in the area of IT Governance.”


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