Outsourcing, digitization, and globalization are three of the largest trends in the last 30 years. They've brought new products and services, increased specialization, lower costs, and improved access.
But they've also introduced significant cyber risk. Particularly the risk of data breaches and data leaks. For perspective, a recent study by the Ponemon Institute put the average cost of a data breach at $3.92 million.
The unfortunate truth is third-parties cause a lot of data breaches. That's why cybersecurity and vendor risk management are a top priority for CISOs and senior management alike, even at the Board level.
Governments around the world are enacting laws and regulations to promote and often require third-party cyber risk management programs to identify, assess, mitigate and oversee risks created by vendors, fourth-parties, and customers.
While third-party risk management is business-as-usual for financial services, healthcare, energy, military, and government organizations, the introduction of general data protection laws with extraterritorial application means what were once loosely regulated industries must now develop vendor risk management practices.
In addition, the introduction of mandatory data breach notification requirements means the reputational impact of inadequate vendor and cybersecurity risk management practices is greater.
Today, security teams are expected to be able to translate technical details like security postures, cybersecurity risk assessments, vendor questionnaires, and information security policies into terms their most important non-technical stakeholders can understand, e.g. Board members and regulators.
The good news is there are third-party risk management tools that can help you do exactly that. The issue is it's hard to decide on which ones to assess, let alone what criteria to assess them against.
That's why we wrote this post to provide you with a clear comparison between BitSight, Whistic, and UpGuard, so you can make an informed decision and choose the tool that is right for you.
BitSight Technologies Overview
BitSight Technologies is a Cambridge-based company that aims to quantify the external cybersecurity posture of organizations using publicly accessible data. Its FICO-like BitSight security rating is used by underwriters for pricing cyber insurance, 3rd party research for third-party risk teams, and due diligence research for private equity and M&A activities, and more.
Additionally, security ratings can be used for security performance management and the assessment of third and fourth-party risk.
Whistic is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and aims to help companies hold each other accountable for protecting their shared data. Whistic's CEO is Nick Sorensen.
Whistic helps its customers conduct and respond to security reviews.
Their platform has tools to help you onboard, assess, and track vendors, allowing you to compare third-parties against a set of predefined criteria based on vendor questionnaires, documentation, and metadata.
Vendors can assess themselves against one of the top vendor questionnaires and publish it to their profile, along with supporting documentation including audits and certifications.