Every day third-party data breaches and data leaks inundated our news cycle. And for good reason, the average cost of a data breach is nearly $4 million globally.
This has led to organizations looking for ways to reduce cyber risk and prevent data breaches. Vendor risk management (VRM) is now a top priority for CISOs and other members of senior management, even at the Board level.
Beyond financial costs, data breaches have increased regulatory and reputational impact due to the introduction of general data protection laws.
For example, in the United States, California has introduced CCPA, and Florida has introduced FIPA to protect the personally identifiable information of its constituents. Outside of the United States, GDPR, LGPD, and PIPEDA are three extraterritorial laws from the European Union, Brazil, and Canada, respectively. Alongside the protection of PII and PHI, many of these laws have introduced mandatory data breach notification requirements, which have significantly increased the reputational impact of inadequate vendor and cybersecurity risk management practices.
Vendor risk management is business as usual for financial services and healthcare organizations, but many other organizations need to learn about vendor risk management best practices.
To add to this, security teams have more expected to not only manage and improve security postures and information security policies but to translate technical details from cybersecurity risk assessments and vendor questionnaires into terms that non-technical stakeholders can understand.
The excellent news is third-party risk management tools can help you do exactly that. The issue is it's hard to decide on which ones to assess, let alone what criteria to evaluate them.
That's why we wrote this post to provide you with a clear comparison between Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard, so you can make an informed decision and choose the tool that is right for you.
Table of contents
- Prevalent overview
- RiskRecon overview
- UpGuard overview
- Prevalent vs. RiskRecon vs. UpGuard in-depth comparison
- Scoreboard and summary
- Other third-party risk management platform comparisons
Prevalent is a Phoenix-based company that enables you to reveal and reduce vendor risk with its 360-degree third-party risk management platform.
Prevalent's cybersecurity risk rating solution helps organizations manage and monitor the security threats and risks associated with third and fourth-party vendors.
Prevalent UI. Source: prevalent.net
RiskRecon's headquarters is in Salt Lake City, UT, with a presence in Boston, MA, and representatives around the world. RiskRecon was founded in 2015 by Kelly White to make it easy to gain deep, risk contextualized insight into the cybersecurity risk performance of all third-parties by using continuous monitoring and machine learning across 11 security domains and 41 security criteria.
Like Prevalent, third-party risk management, enterprise risk management, and mergers & acquisitions use RiskRecon's tools. RiskRecon was recently acquired by MasterCard.
Riskrecon UI. Source: riskrecon.com
UpGuard was founded in 2012 in Sydney, Australia, by technologists from Australia's largest banks. Using their first-hand experience, they built a platform to fill an essential need in the DevOps market, reducing the risk of incidents through proactive documentation and configuration management for on-premise and cloud security.
With proprietary, patented data visualization and risk analysis algorithms, UpGuard gave Operations and Security teams the ability to discover and understand their risk exposure within data centers and cloud services to reduce cybersecurity risk.
We then took this expertise and applied it to external security performance assessment. UpGuard Vendor Risk allows you to instantly assess the external security performance of any organization and produce a security rating from 0 to 950.
Additionally, UpGuard BreachSight will enable you to immediately assess your own organization's external security posture while continuously monitoring for data leaks and exposed credentials.
Prevalent vs. RiskRecon vs. UpGuard in-depth comparison
Learn about how Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard compare across ten categories, including capabilities, usability, community support, release rate, API and extensibility, third-party integrations, customers, predictive capabilities, and security ratings.
Prevalent can help you continuously monitor vendor controls by correlating assessments with monitoring for cyber threats, which produces a security rating. They help automate risk assessments and have an exchange where completed vendor risk reports can be shared.
RiskRecon provides security ratings that aggregate different risks into a single risk rating that allows for immediate and easy comparison of organizations, third-party vendors, business units, and service providers.
Like Prevalent, UpGuard uses risk assessments and security ratings to provide a holistic overview of an organization's security risk. As you likely know, it can be hard to get a time-poor vendor to complete a questionnaire, and when they do, the results are subjective and are rendered inaccurate over time as new security issues emerge.
They do, however, provide valuable information that security ratings cannot generally offer, that is, internal security issues and controls.
Additionally, security ratings provide a data-driven, instantaneous, and always up-to-date measurement of an organization's external security posture. Together, they offer an excellent overview of an organization's internal and external security performance.
According to Gartner, cybersecurity ratings will become as important as credit ratings when assessing the risk of existing and new business relationships…these services will become a precondition for business relationships and part of the standard of due care for providers and procurers of services. Additionally, the services will have expanded their scope to assess other areas, such as cyber insurance, due diligence for M&A, and even as a raw metric for internal security programs.
And Forrester expects cybersecurity ratings to become a de facto standard in the boardroom by 2025. Investors and traditional debt ratings agencies will include cybersecurity as a risk factor for rating the ability to repay company debt (influenced in part by the cybersecurity ratings market).
- Prevalent: Provides a risk rating between 0 and 100.
- RiskRecon: RiskRecon distills its assessment criteria into a single score from 0-10.
- UpGuard: Provides a score between 0 and 950 along with the following letter grades, A: 801-950, B: 601-800, C: 401-600, D: 201-400, F: 0-200. You can request your free security rating by clicking here.
Risk assessment methodology
Each service relies on a different risk assessment methodology to assess the potential risk of an IT vendor. RiskRecon relies on misconfiguration scanning. Misconfiguration scanning means they look at an organization's Internet footprint to determine how it compares to best practices and what security gaps could lead to successful cyberattacks on an organization's confidentiality, integrity, or availability.
The standardization of security assessment practices against recognized security frameworks, and making attestations easily shareable helps all business save time, resources, and increases trust in the supply chain.
That's why Prevalent and UpGuard have introduced ways for customers to save time and money by publishing completed security assessments and supporting documentation in their platforms.
Additionally, both platforms use security ratings to provide real-time critical risk monitoring capabilities, integrated vendor processes, and accessibility to provide businesses with a complete solution.
- Prevalent: Augments point-in-time risk assessments with security ratings to provide an overview of third and fourth-party risk.
- RiskRecon: Assesses an organization against 11 security domains and 41 security criteria.
- UpGuard: Augments point-in-time risk assessments with security ratings to ensure information is always up-to-date. Our security ratings algorithm runs hundreds of individual checks including email security and email spoofing risks (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC), website security (SSL, HSTS, header exposure), phishing and malware risk, explicit checks for 200 services across thousands of ports (mail, app, user auth, file sharing, voice, administration, database, unidentified, and open ports), domain hijacking risk (DNSSEC and domain registry issues), reputational risks (CEO rating and employee rating), credential management (exposure to known data breaches and data leaks detected by our data leak detection engine). We give each identified issue a risk prioritization category, so you know what to focus on first.
As you know, even small vendors can lead to significant data breaches, e.g., the HVAC vendor that eventually led to Target's exposure of credit card and personal data on more than 110 million consumers.
Not every solution provides the same level of coverage. If your organization employs small specialist vendors, ensure the solution covers them. As you know, it is best practice to monitor any vendor that handles sensitive data continuously.
- Prevalent: Unknown
- RiskRecon: Unknown
- UpGuard: 2,000,000 organizations scanned daily, and customers can automatically add new vendors.
2. Usability and the learning curve
The usability and design of a product play a large part in how quickly you can get up to speed and start getting your money's worth.
Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard offer their services via SaaS and are accessible from web-based platforms that can help you find, assess, and monitor vendors.
- Prevalent: Risks detailed on each point-in-time vendor assessment, as well as cybersecurity risk ratings.
- RiskRecon: Provides risk prioritization based on your configured policy.
- UpGuard: High-level summation of risk with the ability to drill down into precise technical details. Each risk is prioritized based on extensive research conducted by our in-house security team, and where possible, we provide remediation and protection suggestions. Additionally, we have a library of pre-built questionnaires that can be sent and managed with the UpGuard platform, including a pandemic (e.g., COVID-19), ISO 27001, PCI DSS, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, CCPA, and Modern Slavery questionnaires. Read our full guide on the top security questionnaires here.
|Usability and the learning curve||4/5||4/5||5/5|
3. Community support
Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard all invest in their community and try to make it as easy as possible for customers and prospects to get up to speed, reduce operational overhead, and decide on the right product for them.
Each company has its blog that is a useful source of information for cybersecurity awareness training, as well as vendor risk management best practices.
- Prevalent: Company and product blog.
- RiskRecon: Company and product blog.
- UpGuard: The UpGuard cybersecurity and risk management blog is updated four times a week, and our breach research blog has uncovered and secured some of the largest data breaches.
4. Release rate
Information security needs to constantly adapt and change to keep up with changes with the information and technology it protects and vendor risk management best practices are constantly changing too.
You need to be able to rely on your security tooling, and that means they need to be able to incorporate changes quickly.
5. Pricing and support
Third-party risk management software is expensive. The industry often uses opaque pricing policies designed to take power away from the purchaser. Vendor risk solutions are typically priced on a per vendor, per year basis except for fixed-price reports.
RiskRecon is more expensive than UpGuard, and Prevalent has no public pricing available. Their high prices can price out small to medium-size businesses and relegate large organizations to managing only their most at-risk vendors.
- Prevalent: Public pricing information is not available.
- RiskRecon: Public pricing information is not available. Pricing is reported to start at $10,000 and increases based on the number of vendors monitored.
- UpGuard: UpGuard has a transparent pricing model for UpGuard Vendor Risk and UpGuard BreachSight, which you can view here. Vendor Risk pricing starts at $179 for a one-time report on a vendor or $29 per month per vendor billed annually. UpGuard BreachSight pricing starts at $299 per month billed annually. If you have any questions, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Pricing and support||1/5||1/5||5/5|
6. API and extensibility
While Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard have their platforms, customers may want to access the resources on a different platform or consolidate reporting into a centralized dashboard.
The good news is all services offer standard APIs to pull data.
|API and extensibility||4/5||4/5||4/5|
7. Third-party integrations
APIs are useful for technical staff, but not all vendor risk management teams have access to developers. Without developers, standard third-party integrations become an important part of decision-making.
- Prevalent: Integrates with ServiceNow.
- RiskRecon: Offers integrations with GRC platforms such as RSA Archer, Sigma Ratings, Whistic, and more.
- UpGuard: Integrates with GRC platforms, ticketing systems like ServiceNow, and more.
The best proof comes from each solution's customers. Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard all have impressive customer lists, none more distinguished than the other.
- Prevalent: Customers include Iron Mountain, Pfizer, London Stock Exchange, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Ford.
- RiskRecon: Customers include Informatica, Tufts Health Plan, University of San Francisco, and Sentara.
- UpGuard: Customers include NASA, the New York Stock Exchange (ICE), Morningstar, Akamai, Bill.com, IAG, and ADP. Read our customer case studies here, and our Gartner reviews here.
Here's what a few UpGuard customers had to say about their experience. You can read more on Gartner reviews.
- "UpGuard has given us a view of our vendor security posture. The ability to launch a questionnaire or ask for a plan of remediation for items that show as vulnerable is also a great added value and a time saver. UpGuard is also very customer focused. They respond quickly to issues and questions and welcome any input that could improve the product. Overall it is one of the best value add tools we have."
- "The simplicity of the product is fantastic. My team and I were able to be up and running in minutes. We monitor risks on over 25 vendors in near real-time and use these statistics to report to the C suite and Board of Directors. Upguard has become part of the critical cybersecurity metrics that we monitor and report upon."
- "The ease of use and simplicity of the product is excellent. We were able to be up and running with 50 vendors within minutes, not hours. The reporting is used for monthly statistics and is reported to our Senior Management. Upguard has become an integral part of our critical cybersecurity metrics that we monitor and report upon."
9. Predictive capabilities
The main reason we all invest in security tools is to prevent incidents from happening in the first place.
A solution's ability to prevent data breaches and other cyber attacks is the most important thing, and this category is where Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard truly differ.
- Prevalent: Relies on point-in-time risk assessments and cybersecurity risk ratings based on monitoring 1,500+ criminal forums; thousands of onion pages, 80+ dark web special access forums; 65+ threat intelligence feeds; and 50+ paste sites for leaked credentials and potentially targeted companies — as well as several security communities, code repositories, and vulnerability databases.
- RiskRecon: focuses on third-party assessment across 11 security domains and 41 security criteria.
- UpGuard: As UpGuard checks for misconfigurations across your Internet footprint, many important breach vectors are covered. Such as phishing, ransomware susceptibility (like WannaCry), man-in-the-middle attacks, DNSSEC, vulnerabilities, email spoofing, domain hijacking, network security, and DNS issues. For example, we were able to detect data exposed in a GitHub repository by an AWS engineer in 30 minutes. We reported it to AWS, and the repo was secured the same day. This repo contained personal identity documents and system credentials, including passwords, AWS key pairs, and private keys. We're able to do this because we actively discover exposed datasets on the open and deep web, scouring open S3 buckets, public Github repositories, and unsecured RSync and FTP servers. Our data leak discovery engine continuously searches for keyword lists provided by our customers. Additionally, it is continually refined by our team of analysts, using the expertise and techniques gleaned from years of breach research. The UpGuard methodology is continuously refined based on the actual data breaches we have discovered and reported to the world in the New York Times, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Forbes, and TechCrunch.
10. Security rating
Finally, let's take a look at how Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard compare when assessed by UpGuard's platform on April 16, 2020. It's important to note that UpGuard adheres to the Principles of Fair and Accurate Security Ratings:
- Transparency: UpGuard believes in providing full and timely transparency not only to our customers but to any organization that wants to understand their security posture, which is why you can request your free security rating here. You can also book a free trial of our platform here.
- Dispute, Correction, and Appeal: UpGuard is committed to working with customers, vendors, and any organization that believes their score is not accurate or outdated.
- Accuracy and Validation: UpGuard's security ratings are empirical, data-driven, and based on independently verifiable and accessible information.
- Model Governance: The datasets and methodologies used to calculate our security ratings can change from time to time to better reflect our understanding of how to mitigate cybersecurity risk. When they do, we provide reasonable notice and explanation to our customers about the impact on their security rating.
- Independence: No commercial agreement or lack thereof, gives an organization the ability to improve its security rating without improving their security posture.
- Confidentiality: Any information disclosed to UpGuard during a challenged rating or dispute is appropriately protected. Nor do we provide third-parties with sensitive or confidential information on rated organizations that could lead to system compromise.
Although all platforms have a good security rating, UpGuard leads the pack by 79 points.
- Prevalent: 741/950 or B letter grade
- RiskRecon: 840/950 or A letter grade
- UpGuard: 919/950 or A letter grade
Scoreboard and summary
|Usability and the learning curve||4/5||4/5||5/5|
|Pricing and support||1/5||1/5||5/5|
|API and extensibility||4/5||4/5||4/5|
The easiest way to decide between Prevalent, RiskRecon, and UpGuard is to use each before deciding. That's why you can book a free tailored 7-day trial on UpGuard's platform here. You'll get access to UpGuard Vendor Risk and UpGuard BreachSight for those seven days.
At UpGuard, we believe security ratings are important, as are point-in-time assessments, but neither of them is a complete solution when used by themselves. That's why UpGuard uses both, examining an organization's Internet footprint across all vectors by which data exposure and service outage can occur, and sending security questionnaires.
Our vendor questionnaire library can help you go beyond security ratings and to the assessment of internal security controls that aren't as easily determined. UpGuard is also the only company to offer a complete 360-degree view of third-party cyber risk exposure and an internal cyber risk management solution, Core, allowing organizations to manage primary risk as well.
UpGuard's easy to use platform is a complete security platform that gives you great insight into your security posture and your vendors', as well as how attackers perceive your organization's security posture from the outside. Giving you and your business partners a clear understanding of how and where to improve your cybersecurity and information security to prevent cyber attacks and reduce cybersecurity threats.
Try UpGuard for free for seven days by clicking here. Before your 7-day trial begins, we'll provide you and your team with a free, personalized 45-minute onboarding call with one of our cybersecurity experts. They'll help you get the most out of the UpGuard platform by showing you how to:
- Continuously monitor your 3rd party vendors
- Detect and remediate any leaked credentials and data exposures
- Instantly assess your external security posture
Other third-party risk management platform comparisons
If you'd like to compare other third-party risk management software, see our other comparison posts:
- BitSight Technologies vs. SecurityScorecard
- SecurityScorecard vs. RiskRecon
- BitSight vs RiskRecon
- RiskRecon vs. UpGuard
- CyberGRX vs. UpGuard
- BitSight vs. CyberGRX
- SecurityScorecard vs. CyberGRX
- CyberGRX vs. RiskRecon
- Whistic vs. UpGuard
- BitSight vs. UpGuard
- SecurityScorecard vs. Whistic
- CyberGRX vs. Whistic
- RiskRecon vs. Whistic
- BitSight vs. Whistic
- SecurityScorecard vs. Prevalent
- BitSight vs. Prevalent
- Prevalent vs. CyberGRX
- Prevalent vs. Whistic
- Prevalent vs. UpGuard
- NormShield vs. SecurityScorecard
- RiskIQ vs. UpGuard
- RiskIQ vs. BitSight
- RiskIQ vs. SecurityScorecard
- NormShield vs. UpGuard
- NormShield vs. BitSight
- NormShield vs. RiskRecon
- SecurityScorecard vs. UpGuard
- Prevalent vs. NormShield