Over the past five years, digital supply chains have evolved significantly, spurred by post-pandemic corrections, technological advancements, and globalization. This evolution has made the average organization more efficient and better suited to handle the demands of their unique operation.
However, these same supply chain advancements have also introduced a host of new cybersecurity concerns and dramatically expanded the attack surface of most organizations. Now more than ever, organizations must develop robust cybersecurity programs and improve their overall cyber hygiene by implementing SaaS solutions for vendor risk management (VRM) and attack surface management (ASM).
Organizations currently selecting a cybersecurity product should consider several factors to ensure they find the perfect solution to suit their unique needs. Overall, organizations should compare and contrast various SaaS solutions based on industry needs and challenges, the number of vendors they rely on for critical business operations, and specific use cases where they will implement the product.
This article will analyze the effectiveness of one cybersecurity solution: Black Kite. Keep reading to discover more about Black Kite’s most prominent features and learn how the product stacks up against competitors and alternatives that also offer third-party risk management (TPRM), VRM, and ASM solutions.
Black Kite Overview & Features
Black Kite is an information security organization based out of Boston, Massachusetts. The organization specializes in vendor risk management and third-party cyber risk monitoring. Black Kite enables businesses to monitor their security posture and overall supply chain risk through technical cyber ratings, risk quantification workflows, and several other features.
Black Kite’s most prominent features include:
- Technical cybersecurity ratings: Letter grades that allow organizations to visualize their overall supply chain risk
- Risk quantification: Calculations that use the Open FAIR™ model to analyze the probable impact of a potential third-party breach
- Compliance correlation: Parsing technology that uses automation to measure the external compliance standing of an organization
- Ransomware susceptibility: Reports that use common indicators to predict the likelihood of a ransomware attack
Top 8 Black Kite Alternatives
The following providers are leading Black Kite competitors that offer similar features and cybersecurity solutions.
UpGuard is a leading cybersecurity solution that specializes in TPRM and ASM. The provider’s two main products are UpGuard Vendor Risk and UpGuard BreachSight, both used by hundreds of organizations around the globe. Overall, UpGuard empowers organizations to prevent data breaches, monitor and assess their third-party ecosystem, mitigate cyber risks, evaluate and improve their security posture, and manage first and third-party compliance.
- Instant, data-driven, and objective security ratings
- Assess, remediate, and waive vendor risks all in the same place
- Comprehensive risk management workflows
- Internal and external attack surface monitoring
- Real-time updates and notifications
- Flexible security questionnaires
- Fast and accurate vendor risk assessments
- 24/7 vendor monitoring
- 5000+ app integrations
- Transparent pricing models
- Detailed executive summary reports
- Limited custom API
- Expensive for startups
- UpGuard operates based on a fully public and transparent pricing model.
- Four pricing levels based on organizational need: starter, professional, corporate, enterprise
- Prospective users can field pricing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
UpGuard Vs. Black Kite
On the surface, UpGuard and Black Kite may appear very similar since both produce products that provide VRM support. However, after conducting a more profound assessment, it’s clear that these products differ in various ways, including their overall capability, usability and learning curve, community support, and pricing.
Overall, UpGuard Vendor Risk scans over 2 Million organizations daily, searching for new vulnerabilities and potential data breaches and providing updated supply chain information. Black Kite assesses ten risk categories, but the number of organizations it scans or the frequency at which it checks is unknown.
In addition, UpGuard features intuitive dashboards and easy-to-use workflows that offer a shallow learning curve and are simple to master. Black Kite’s user workflow can be unintuitive and intimidating for first-time users.
Regarding community support, both companies publish articles on their respective blogs. However, UpGuard publishes new articles across important cybersecurity topics such as compliance, third-party risk management, data breaches, attack surface management, and more every week. UpGuard also hosts the UpGuard Summit, which brings together leading voices in the cybersecurity industry to discuss new strategies, industry developments, and the future of cybersecurity around the globe.
In terms of pricing, the two companies also differ. Black Kite’s pricing is not publically available, whereas UpGuard’s is and includes convenient packages designed to offer organizations of all sizes the best combination of value and support.
Other differences between Black Kite and UpGuard include:
- UpGuard provides support across internal and external attack surfaces, whereas Black Kite is solely focused on VRM
- UpGuard Vendor Risk possesses a G2 rating of 4.5 (93 reviews), whereas Black Kite has not received a G2 rating
SecurityScorecard is a New York-based platform that provides security ratings that compile different risk categories into a single score, allowing organizations to compare and contrast third-party vendors and service providers. The platform uses publicly accessible data to evaluate vendors and manage cyber risk. SecurityScoreCard also monitors "hacker chatter" and other data feeds to predict cyber attacks better.
- Detailed security ratings
- Free account access
- Consistent new feature rollout
- Utilized by major customers
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Customizable dashboard options
- User academy (training, blog, etc.)
- High frequency of false positives (data leaks specific)
- Very expensive pricing model (based on reports)
- Slow security scanning and risk visibility updates (up to one week)
- Slow security rating updates (up to 90 days)
- Risk assessments don’t integrate with the SSC system
- SecurityScorecard’s pricing model is not public
- Several reports indicate that pricing starts at $16,500 for standard self-assessment and five vendors
- Reports indicate that each additional vendor costs between $1,500 and $2,000 annually
SecurityScorecard Vs. Black Kite
According to several reviews, Black Kite's overall capability outpaces SecurityScorecard. On Gartner (an organization that publishes peer insights), Black Kite’s vendor assessment, technical support, and flexible pricing have all received high praise.
SecurityScorecard is also known for a high frequency of false positives, which makes its data leak functionality inconsistent and troublesome to utilize. SecurityScorecard does roll out new features consistently, which gives the platform a leg up over Black Kite. However, the level of technical support available during these rollouts could be better, sometimes leading to more headaches than advantages.
The main disadvantages of choosing Black Kite are the platform’s limited integration capabilities and lack of publicly available pricing.
BitSight Technologies is a cybersecurity software organization based out of Cambridge, MA. The company uses publicly accessible data to quantify the external cybersecurity posture of the organizations it monitors. Users utilize BitSight’s security ratings for various use cases, including vendor due diligence research, overall VRM support, attack surface analytics, and the assessment of fourth-party risk.
- High-level summation of vendor risk
- Provides FICO-like security ratings between 250-900
- 170,000 supported organizations
- Ability to extend security ratings through a developer API
- Offers integrations with CyberGRX, OneTrust Vendorpedia, and more
- Relies heavily on IP reputation
- Doesn’t augment point-in-time risk assessments to ensure information is up to date
- Only predicts breaches based on malware installations
- Expensive pricing model
- Public pricing information is not available
- Reports estimate that packages start at $20,000
- Reports estimate that each additional vendor costs between $2,000 and $2,500 per year
BitSight Vs. Black Kite
Overall, BitSight and Black Kite both attempt to provide extensive VRM support. However, according to user reviews, the two products differ in several categories. Overall, Black Kite offers comprehensive technical support and training compared to BitSight. Black Kite’s pricing flexibility also allows the platform to appeal to various organizations.
BitSight’s vendor risk classification, which operates on a low to high-risk model, is more convenient and easy to use than Black Kite’s letter grade scoring system. BitSight’s advanced integration capabilities also offer users increased customization.
OneTrust is a US-incorporated organization headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and London. The organization offers several products, including OneTrust Vendorpedia. This platform helps customers manage third-party cyber risk across their digital supply chain and leverages security questionnaires and remediation workflows to improve due diligence and relationships throughout the vendor lifecycle.
- Fully cloud-based system
- Easy-to-use navigation interface
- Workflow customization
- Automated security questionnaire process
- Offers live and recorded webinars
- Transparent pricing
- Does not provide remediation tracking for all security risks
- Leaves several critical breach vectors unmonitored
- Moderate learning curve
- Supply chain visibility is limited
- Data leakages across corporate identities and brand fraud are currently unsupported
- Transparent, publically-available pricing
- Offers standard and advanced packages ranging from $6,000 to $18,000 annually
OneTrust Vendorpedia Vs. Black Kite
OneTrust Vendorpedia and Black Kite operate on very different selling points. On the one hand, OneTrust Vendorpedia supports an extensive library of compliance reporting frameworks, but the platform lacks a standardized vendor risk management process. On the other hand, Black Kite’s primary focus is VRM, but the platform lacks the advanced compliance tools that OneTrust Vendorpedia contains.
Organizations evaluating OneTrust Vendorpedia and Black Kite will likely decide based on their use cases since the two products differ significantly in scope and capability.
RiskRecon is based in Salt Lake City, UT, and maintains a presence in Boston, MA, and several international cities. The company aims to make gaining cybersecurity insights simple and intuitive. The company’s threat intelligence platform utilizes continuous monitoring and machine learning to provide third-party risk management support and monitor 11 security domains and 41 security criteria. MasterCard acquired RiskRecon in 2020.
- Minimal installation needed
- Deep reporting capabilities across numerous data points
- Offers customer user academy
- Offers regular webinars
- Mainly focused only on security ratings
- Does not share product release dates
- Workflow presents a steep learning curve to master
- Limited third-party risk mitigation strategies
- Pricing information is not publically available
- Reports indicate that packages start at $10,000 annually and increase per number of additional vendors monitored
RiskRecon Vs. Black Kite
RiskRecon and Black Kite overlap in several areas, including VRM and a firm reliance on security ratings. Both platforms utilize a simple letter-grade scoring model for their security ratings, while RiskRecon also assigns these letter grades a corresponding score of 0-10.
Organizations looking for deep insight into their vendors' security posture may find both platforms lacking the capabilities they desire. Compared with UpGuard, which provides detailed security scores from 0-950 and communicates the risks affecting each vendor’s score, the technology utilized by RiskRecon and Black Kite may seem underdeveloped.
RiskRecon’s user academy does offer better community support than Black Kite. However, Black Kite’s user interface is more intuitive and easier for beginner users.
Panorays is a US-incorporated company headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Panorays platform leverages third-party security ratings, questionnaires, and remediation workflows to help organizations understand and improve cybersecurity risk exposure and elevate their third-party risk management programs.
- Easy-to-use navigation system
- Reviews important breach vectors to assess supply chain attack surface
- Community support includes live and recorded webinars
- Good customer support
- Limited visibility into supply chain data leakages
- Does not document release notes
- Limited out-of-the-box integrations
- Majority of customers operate within mid-market
- Public-facing pricing is not available
- Customers must engage with a Panorays representative to receive pricing information and to request a formal quote based on their needs
Panorays Vs. Black Kite
Panorays and Black Kite leverage security ratings to provide vendor risk management support. However, both companies monitor an unknown number of vendors. Compared to other cybersecurity products like UpGuard, which monitors more than 2 million vendors daily, Panorays and Black Kite provide slower updates. This lack of speed and accuracy could make users susceptible to new vulnerabilities and risks not detected by a single point-in-time assessment.
According to user reviews across Gartner and other sites, Black Kite is more intuitive and easier to use than Panorays. Panorays does review important breach vectors to assess a user’s supply chain attack surface. Black Kite, on the other hand, relies heavily on security ratings.
CyberGRX is a Denver, CO-based cyber risk management company founded in 2015. The company manages and provides solutions to improve its user’s vendor risk management strategies. The company utilizes questionnaires, cyber risk assessments, and an information exchange platform to improve risk intelligence and reduce the demands of vendor due diligence.
- Extensive community support
- Fully functional bidirectional API
- Continuous monitoring of inherent risk
- Poor customer service
- Lack of risk management functionality (Gartner)
- Poor remediation workflows
- Relies heavily on point-in-time assessments
- Public pricing model lists that typical packages start around $120,000
- This pricing model includes validated assessment data and unlimited access to the CyberGRX exchange
CyberGRX Vs. Black Kite
CyberGRX and Black Kite take very different approaches regarding security ratings. CyberGRX utilizes shared point-in-time risk assessments to quantify a vendor’s security posture. CyberGRX also uses this shared methodology to mitigate the burden of vendor due diligence.
Regarding pricing, Black Kite is less expensive, though exact pricing information is not publicly available. CyberGRX also has a reputation for poor customer service and limited technical support. However, the platform does provide more community resources than Black Kite. Both organizations lack the technical support that UpGuard provides and leave something to be desired regarding end-user training and assistance.
Prevalent is based out of Phoenix, AZ, and is focused on helping users with third-party risk management, vendor risk management, information technology security, and overall cyber hygiene. The company’s platform provides 360-degree TPRM visibility and cybersecurity risk rating solutions that allow organizations to manage third-party and fourth-party risks across their supply chains.
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Utilizes a combination of risk assessments and security ratings
- Integrates with ServiceNow
- Provides an overview of third-party and fourth-party risk
- Provides a risk rating between 0 and 100
- Scope of monitoring is unknown
- Limited community support
- Poor service ticket resolution
- Poor user privilege and role management
- Limited end-user training
- Public pricing information is not currently available
Prevalent Vs. Black Kite
While Black Kite relies heavily on point-in-time security ratings to address a vendor’s security posture, Prevalent utilizes a combination of ongoing risk assessments and overall security ratings. Prevalent’s risk ratings also operate on a scale of 0 to 100, while Black Kite only provides letter grades.
According to several public reviews, Prevalent’s reputation for ticket resolution is relatively poor. Prevalent also maintains a limited library of community resources and provides little end-user training.
Getting Started With UpGuard
Choosing the right vendor risk management solution can be overwhelming, especially with the variety of options and platforms that are available on the market. UpGuard is committed to helping users find the right platform to suit their needs.
Organizations looking to elevate their TPRM programs and gain better insight into the security posture of their external and internal attack surfaces can book an UpGuard demo right now.
During your UpGuard demo, one of our experienced security experts will guide you through the platform and address your questions and needs. UpGuard Vendor Risk and UpGuard BreachSight can help your organization take complete control of its cyber hygiene.