Blog  Vendor Risk Assessment Template

Vendor Risk Assessment Template

| Blog, Cyber Risk Rating, Risk Assessment, Vendor management


Outsourcing to third-party vendors is now standard practice for most organizations. At a cost, these suppliers maintain software, protect networks as well as cloud-based information, provide supplies, and offer technical expertise.

However, for these vendors to effectively deliver their services, they need access to some or all of your systems and the data they hold. The use of this access can expose your organization to cybercrime, financial fraud, reputation loss, failure to meet requirements, and risks affecting operations.

Crucially important for information security and data integrity is the need for the cyber protection team at your disposal to make sure there is strong control over suppliers. A critical phase within this framework is the issuance of a supplier risk management matrix used by every sub-contractor.

Implementing a Vendor Risk Assessment Template

The supplier risk assessment template, also called vendor risk questionnaire, is an all-purpose document that makes it easy for third-party entities to understand what you do, needs, and prerequisites from them. It is a resource you can use to ensure you give the right directions to your vendors.

As you and your management team refine these protocols, consider using the following suggestions as a guide:

    • Consult resources throughout your company to understand the full scope of your cyber security and compliance landscape;
    • Consider industry-specific regulatory requirements;
    • Compose a set of questions that touches on all relevant aspects of the various stakeholders. Also, ask some questions that might help you determine how crucial the functions of the supplier are for your business’s operations.
    • Develop an information security scorecard template that rates vendors with a score of low, medium, or high-risk.

Building on this resource, you can develop customized assessments that will help you evaluate individual vendors that conduct specialized tasks.

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Sample Third-Party Risk Assessment Questionnaire

Questionnaires on their own can never serve as the only way of overseeing or ensuring that standards are adhered to; however, they are very helpful in providing top management with an overview of the extent to which the security safeguards installed in third-party firms are effective.

What matters you choose to discover depends in part on your particular business and industry. You may wish to include some of the following:

  • Who handles cybersecurity?
  • What methods are used to prioritize company assets?
  • Have you ever experienced a breach? If so, how did you handle it?
  • What are your existing cybersecurity protocols?
  • Do you outsource any security tasks? If so, to whom, why, and what access do they have?
  • Have you inventoried and securely configured all hardware and software?
  • How do you assess and monitor network, hardware, and software security?
  • Do you have automated threat monitoring systems?
  • What access controls have you implemented?
  • What safeguards do you have in place to protect sensitive data?
  • What steps do you take to plan and monitor for a cyber security incident, and what would you do if one occurred?
  • Do you regularly test for weaknesses via vulnerability scans and penetration testing?
  • Describe how remote mobile access to your network is managed.
  • What communications protocols will you use to transmit information about a data breach should one occur?

TrustNet’s Vendor Cybersecurity Risk Management Services

To maintain your company’s integrity as well as security, managing cybersecurity risks that come from the vendors is a must. TrustNet gives you the means to effectively deal with these challenges.

— Prioritization and Risk Tolerance

We help you develop your organization’s priorities, constraints, and risk tolerances to support informed cyber risk management decisions.

— Process Management

Identify, develop, assess, and manage vendor risk management processes with input from all organizational stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive approach.

— Risk Assessment

Identify, prioritize, and evaluate suppliers and third-party partners of information systems, components, and services within your cyber supply chain.

— Contractual Obligations

Implement measures to meet Information Security and Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management contractual requirements within your supplier and third-party ecosystem.

— Ongoing Assessments

Regularly assess, audit, and review test results to ensure vendors and third parties comply with established security standards.

— Breach Response and Recovery

Manage vendor breach responses and recovery processes efficiently to minimize impact.

— Continuous Monitoring

Automated supplier risk assessments and ongoing cybersecurity monitoring ensure that suppliers continuously meet their contractual obligations.

Ensuring Strong Vendor Relationships and Security Through Effective Risk Management

As you develop your vendor security assessment questionnaire and other risk management protocols, remember that they are flexible and customizable endeavors. As the cybersecurity landscape or your corporate priorities shift, you can tweak the third-party risk assessment template and process accordingly.

Far from being a meaningless exercise, investing time and resources and partnering with experts like TrustNet to construct an effective vendor risk management process can lead to positive relationships with your vendors and enhanced security for your valuable digital assets.

Secure your business with TrustNet’s top-tier compliance services. Talk to an expert today.

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TrustNet has performed hundreds of Assessments and has tremendous experience successfully guiding businesses through the process.