Why do I need to conduct a vendor audit?
Has your organisation validated the third-party suppliers needed for the processing of personal data? Whether you're looking to strike a partnership with a new supplier, or whether you're looking to validate the credentials of a current supplier; a vendor audit will help to ensure that you're working with the most secure people when transferring customer or employee data.
Internally, you're sure that you run a tight ship, but it's the processes and procedures of third-party suppliers who handle confidential customer or employee data that are often more difficult to control and manage. Completing a vendor audit will allow your teams to ensure the right questions are asked and will provide everyone involved with a means of selecting the most appropriate suppliers to work with.
What areas should the vendor audit cover?
There is a definite need to establish with your suppliers who exactly will be processing the data: are any third-party Sub-Processors involved? It's easy to assume that a chosen third-party vendor will be the only organisation handling your data, but who's really involved in the process?
Within the audit it's also important to cover topics surrounding cyber security and how suppliers are actively reducing their risks of data breaches. Asking them for a copy of their business continuity plan, also enables you to ensure the plan matches your high standards and that they have the right procedures in place to always protect your data.
There are many frameworks out there that offer an overview of what your vendor audit should look like, yet ultimately, the audit questions should stem from agreed company objectives. Our Chief Information Security Officer has given organisations a head start in conducting their vendor audits with this free white paper.
The white paper allows CISO of Datagraphic, Mike Green, to provide a deeper insight into the standards and procedures you should expect your vendor(s) to follow.
Watch Mike Green's talk about Vendor Validation
Mike kindly recorded a series of 60 second videos sharing questions you'll want to ask when validating your vendors. The snapshot videos provide more of a summary to the white paper and an easy resource for you to share amongst your teams.
Vendor audits are a critical part of a customer-supplier partnership. Supplier management is an essential business practice for companies that outsource business activities to their partners. The company has every right to understand the procedures used by a vendor and ensure that these are of the highest standard. The process safeguards that suppliers are achieving results at or above the levels outlined in their agreements. A well-designed vendor assessment can be cost-effective, efficient and enhance the quality of an organisation’s operation.
These resources are meant for guidance to support you along the way and, ultimately, help lead you to better data security.
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