Paramount Software Solutions Inc

Have you reviewed the cybersecurity practices of your vendors?

Like a chain, cybersecurity protection is only as strong as its weakest link. However, finding the said link isn’t as easy, since it could be anything from a misconfigured router you’ve long since forgotten about, to something one of your vendors is (or isn’t) doing.

The problem with vendor security

Let’s go back to 2013 for a moment to see how a single problematic vendor relationship can break the security chain and precipitate a major incident. The Target data breach that year was a watershed moment in cybersecurity history, because of its scope – it affected more than 100 million records– as well as how it happened, with a set of stolen vendor credentials.

One of the retailer’s HVAC vendors had suffered a malware infection via email, but did not discover it until it was too late; the company had only been running a free anti-malware scanner without real-time protection. After breaking through, the cyberattackers had access to a Target portal they then used to spread their own malware to point-of-sale systems in stores.

The entire incident was a vivid lesson in how one company can pay the price for another’s missteps. “But I did everything right!” you might say, yet sometimes the practices that have successfully protected your internal systems aren’t enough to keep vendor-specific threats at bay. In these cases, a multi-front approach is needed.

Vendor vulnerabilities can put your data at risk.

How to limit your exposure to vendor cybersecurity issues

The best place to start is to perform due diligence on your own cybersecurity solutions and processes, just to make sure all i’s are dotted and t’s crossed. That means checking for the presence of:

  • Multi-factor authentication.
  • Access controls.
  • Data encryption.
  • Anti-phishing training.
  • Patch management.

Once you’ve performed this basic review, it’s time to get the word out. Cybersecurity isn’t always an easy sell to the C-suite, despite its central role in ensuring the long-term viability of your organization. Tight budgets might not leave much room for the necessary technological investments or for choosing top-tier vendors that follow industry best practices.

All the same, it’s worth pitching leadership on the importance of vendor selection to cybersecurity strategy, even if you are an SMB. The 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that SMBs accounted for more than 60 percent of breaches that year , underscoring the stakes for vetting your vendors and checking every last security-related box.

When you bring any new vendor on board, it’s crucial to continuously monitor and assess their practices, even if you are predisposed to trusting them. A least privileged security model can pay off here by limiting what vendors have access to. For example, if a vendor doesn’t need a connection to your customer data, don’t give it to them. Only share what is absolutely essential to making the business relationship work.

Finally, it might be advisable to get a service-level agreement (SLA) set up. An SLA is usually a legally binding document requiring the signatories to agree on a shared set of policies. For cybersecurity purposes, it might require them to follow guidelines recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology or SANS.

Don’t go it alone in shoring up cybersecurity

These steps form a good blueprint for closing vendor-related vulnerabilities, but they might be difficult to follow for many organizations that lack sufficient personnel to tackle all the required due diligence and solution implementation. This is where Paramount steps in.

We’ll collaborate with you on a custom IT staffing strategy so that you get the personnel you need to strengthen your defenses. Learn more by contacting us today.

Share this on

Have you reviewed the cybersecurity practices of your vendors?

Stay In Touch

The future of businesses is ever-changing. Keeping up with the demands and dynamics of the technology industry is the most challenging now than ever.

ADR Mediation Scheduler Application Development

Drupal 8 Management, Maintenance, Support

Web Re-design & Re-hosting

Book A Demo

Employee retention is undeniably crucial for every organization and we have thought it through. Our retention focused employee benefits are designed to appeal to the best talent across industries. With an incredible 5-7 years retention span, we keep allocating the right cultural and operational fits that would not jeopardize an existing project implementation.

With a unique blend of traditional and contemporary management systems introduced, decision-making at Paramount is fast and effective. To help government agencies continue and also boost operational activity,  we ensure the quickest possible turnaround time. Instead of long traditional onboarding practices, we take pride in achieving a much shorter process to eliminate possible delays.

Our state – of the – art system enables our team to match solutions, and resources, for our government clients to bring in the latest and the most digitally advanced technical expertise – be it talents or technology solutions. We go through a matrix system that will match needs with solutions, keeping in mind parameters like cost, existing technical environment, and any other government prerequisites. Providing a solution that will match all the core needs is of utmost importance for Paramount – we go to absolutely all lengths to deliver precisely that.