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Chris Gomes
Blog
Chris Gomes
November 13, 2019

Streamlining Your Vendor Management

For companies trying to improve their security posture and build trust with their customers, it can be difficult to balance effective security processes with efficient ones. Vendors in particular can pose serious challenges for security management programs: their risks are your risks, and it can be onerous to perform proper diligence on them. Major frameworks like ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, HITRUST, and NIST CSF often have clear but burdensome requirements around Vendor Management, involving:

  • Screening Vendors

  • Onboarding Vendors

  • Monitoring Vendors

  • Terminating/Offboarding Vendors

For most teams, the processes involved in these steps are performed manually, often tracked in spreadsheets, and require a significant commitment of employee resources to complete. Each activity requires outreach, follow-up, and documentation, distracting from other high-priority security initiatives.

The good news is that Vendor Management doesn’t have to be like this. Aptible’s Trust Center and Vendor Management solutions automate the collection and monitoring of vendor security data, replacing the spreadsheet-based vendor inventory with a smart inventory that provides you with up-to-date security and compliance data for each of your vendors. Using Aptible’s solutions, your company can not only make decisions about vendors more quickly, but you can also improve your security and reduce your team’s workload.

Aptible’s Trust Center and Vendor Management tools streamline Vendor Management in three major ways:

  1. Consolidating Vendor Screening - Aptible’s Trust Center does the footwork of collecting and parsing the relevant security information your team needs, compiling it into a single, searchable portal. You can search through a database of vendors with up-to-date security information enabling your team to quickly compare vendors and greatly reduce the time spent screening vendors prior to engagement. You no longer need to: a. Track down a vendor’s security page. b. Ask the sales person for information on their company’s security posture. c. Create, issue, review, and document a Vendor Security Assessment Previously, these processes consumed dozens of man hours and would extend the decision process by days, if not weeks. With Aptible’s Trust Center, you can move quicker while improving your security and reducing the burden on your team.

  2. Automated Monitoring and Reviewing of Vendors - Once you’ve screened your vendors using Aptible’s Trust Center, you’ll need a way to track and document changes in their security and compliance on an ongoing basis. (Major security frameworks are increasingly focusing on this requirement - for example, in 2018, NIST CSF issued guidance that strongly recommended that organizations identify their most high-risk vendors and regularly assess and monitor their cybersecurity posture.) Fortunately, you can create a vendor inventory to track the vendors you screened in Aptible’s Trust Center using Aptible’s Vendor Management tool. The Vendor Management tool automatically schedules and delegates vendor reviews, issuing reminders and building an audit log of evidence in the process. Best of all, the Vendor Management tool is integrated with Aptible’s Trust Center, so your vendors’ latest security and compliance data is automatically pulled for you. Everything needed to review and monitor your vendors is consolidated in a single place.

  3. Requesting and Storing Vendors’ Documents - Aptible’s Vendor Management tool also serves as a document repository for legal documents (such as HIPAA BAAs orGDPR Data Processing Addendums), compliance certifications, and more, helping you consolidate everything relating to a vendor in one place. Publicly accessible documents, such as ISO 27001 certifications, are available directly from your vendors’ Trust Center pages, and you can even request documents protected under NDA (such as SOC 2 certifications) directly from your vendors using the Vendor Management tool. This allows you to consolidate your requests into a single place, sparing you the pain of manual outreach, follow-up, and tracking of requests.

For most companies, Vendor Management is a repetitive, time-intensive series of manual tasks carried out by multiple people. Engaging with Aptible’s Trust Center and Vendor Management solutions offers significant savings in time, effort, and resources by automating these processes and consolidating them into an inventory that is integrated with your larger Security Management program.

To see how Aptible Comply can automate and streamline your Vendor Management while improving your Security Management, Try it now!