Schrödinger uses computational chemistry to model the way molecules interact with one another. Their physics-based computational platform leverages a deep understanding of physics, chemistry, and predictive modeling to accelerate innovation.
Schrödinger’s platform enables collaborators to discover high-quality, novel molecules more rapidly, at lower cost, and they believe with a higher likelihood of success compared to traditional methods. They are also harnessing this platform for their internal drug discovery programs.
Jason Walton is the Senior Director of Information Security at Schrödinger. He oversees all security data-related processes.
Schrödinger was performing vendor security assessments the old-fashioned way – with spreadsheets. Jason found this manual system of managing vendor security was inefficient and highly frustrating. “I was quickly overwhelmed by the manual process. I need a system that could streamline third-party vendor security and while improving our quality of work,” Jason said.
Jason and his team also had trouble remembering when each vendor’s yearly security assessment was due. “With the excel spreadsheet model, either you are keeping track of a crazy calendar, or you are doing everything at once,” said Jason.
An essential need for Jason and his team was to have security questions that could be readily sent to vendors. “I needed questionnaires that aligned with our cybersecurity framework. We needed to automate the security questionnaire process,” said Jason.
How did you discover UpGuard?
Jason started researching vendor security solutions but wasn’t happy with the available conventional options. “We began to look into some of your competitors, but we weren’t happy with any of them, so we just kept searching,” explained Jason.
During his research, Jason discovered UpGuard and booked a trial of the product. To his relief, he had finally found a solution that could enhance Schrodinger’s security posture and vendor security processes.
“UpGuard exceeded my expectations, and we instantly moved forward with it.”
During the trial process, Jason saw some of the exciting new updates added to the platform every two weeks. This regular product update helped seal the deal as it demonstrated UpGuard’s commitment to continuous improvement of the product.
“I could tell by UpGuard’s rapid rate of development that I’d be getting a product that was continuously evolving and improving.”
Onboarding and implementation
When searching for a solution, an essential requirement was a solution that could be rapidly implemented. “I didn’t want to invest a lot of time into developing integrations with our systems. My entire purpose of embarking on my search was to find a solution that would save my team time,” explained Jason.
The onboarding process was quick, and UpGuard integrated with Schrödinger’s existing systems - ticking off their strict requirement.
“Onboarding was speedy. It only took a few hours, and it integrated with Okta, which was very important for us,” added Jason.
Results with UpGuard
After implementing UpGuard, the workflow of Schrödinger’s security team was completely transformed. Jason and his team transitioned from multiple messy spreadsheets to a single clean platform.
“Before UpGuard, we’d need to sort through multiple spreadsheets to check if we evaluated a vendor. Now, we can instantly confirm through the UpGuard platform.”
Besides tracking security assessments, UpGuard’s vendor security ratings instantly confirm the effectiveness of all third-party security remediations, giving Jason the peace of mind of knowing his vendor landscape is secure.
“We’re not just asking our vendors security questions. We’re also performing scans to confirm there are no security concerns. This helps us automate the security questionnaire process.”
Visibility into their security
Since replacing all of their spreadsheets, Jason and his team can now offer stakeholders instant visibility to an up-to-date summary of Schrödinger’s entire security posture - a level of transparency that was never possible before.
“I can now give executive leadership, or any stakeholder, access to the UpGuard system, and they’ll instantly see a summary of our security efforts.”
UpGuard’s vendor summaries have eliminated back and forth communications between Schrödinger and its vendors, now Jason and his team can see all the details they need straight from the UpGuard platform.
“I think the vendor summaries are cool,” Isha Patel, Information Security Analyst at Schrödinger said. “You see relevant information about a vendor in one place, including their location, security score.”
UpGuard has helped Schrödinger establish a clear minimal baseline of security each of its vendors has to meet. This has helped the company significantly decrease the chances of third-party breaches. “We’ve established a baseline security score all of our vendors have to meet.”
Jason uses UpGuard’s custom questionnaire builder for a deeper evaluation of their security posture for vendors that fail to meet their required standards. “With spreadsheets, our risk assessments were a simple pass or fail. With UpGuard’s custom questionnaire builder, we are developing our custom questionnaires for some of our more specialized vendors with unique requirements,” explained Jason.
Before UpGuard, Schrödinger was using outdated processes with almost no confidence in its third-party security efforts. Now, the company is in confident control of both its internal and external threat landscape.
“If we didn’t have a tool like UpGuard, I don’t know how we could have ever achieved this level of maturity in terms of third-party risk. We’d probably still be struggling with spreadsheets.”
Senior Director of Information Security, Schrödinger