Outsourcing, digitization, and globalization have made vendor risk management a top priority for CISOs and senior management alike.
These forces have led to innovative products and services, increased specialization, lower costs, and increased access for customers and organizations alike.
However, they've also introduced significant cyber risk, particularly the risk of unintended data exposure in the form of a data breach or data leak. In fact, a recent study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM put the average cost of a data breach at $3.92 million.
Our globally dispersed, highly networked economy faces unprecedented cyber threats and resiliency risks that many organizations have ignored.
Governments around the world are enacting laws and regulations that require you to establish a third-party risk cyber risk management program to better identify, assess, mitigate, and oversee risks created by third-party vendors, fourth-parties, and even customers.
This is business as usual for financial services, healthcare, energy companies who know how to operate in a regulated environment. However, the introduction of extraterritorial general data protection laws means that organizations that were loosely regulated must now invest in vendor risk management.
Many of these laws also introduce mandatory data breach notification requirements that have drastically increased the reputational impact of poor vendor and cybersecurity risk management practices.
Additionally, security teams, now more than ever before, are expected to translate technical details like security postures, cybersecurity risk assessments, vendor questionnaires, and information security policies into terms non-technical stakeholders can understand, particularly board members.
The good news is this is exactly what many third-party cyber risk management tools aim to do, the issue is there are so many of them (UpGuard, BitSight, SecurityScorecard, RiskRecon, CyberGRX, MetricStream, Prevalent, OneTrust, and more).
It's hard to know where to start, let alone what criteria to assess each tool against.
As such, this post aims to provide you with a clear assessment of SecurityScorecard, CyberGRX, and UpGuard so you can make an informed decision about which tool is right for you and your organization.
Table of contents
- SecurityScorecard overview
- CyberGRX overview
- UpGuard overview
- SecurityScorecard vs. CyberGRX vs. UpGuard in-depth comparison
- Scoreboard and summary
- Other third-party risk management software comparisons
SecurityScorecard is a New York-based company that uses traffic and other publicly accessible data to build security ratings that can be used to evaluate vendors, price cyber insurance, among other use cases.
They also monitor "hacker chatter", social networks, and public data breach feeds for indicators of compromise.
SecurityScorecard's last funding round was a Series D from Nokia Growth Partners, Moody's, AXA Strategic Ventures, Intel, Google Ventures, Boldstart Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, and Evolution Equity Partners.
The SecurityScorecard UI. Source: securityscorecard.com.
CyberGRX is a Denver-based company that was founded by Fred Kneip in 2015. It provides enterprises and their third-parties with a cost-effective, scalable approach to third-party risk management.
The CyberGRX Exchange collects standardized data and cyber risk assessments and then shares them for others to use. This means assessors can quickly access information about a vendor while reducing operational overhead for the assessed by reducing the number of questionnaires they need to answer.
In December 2019, CyberGRX announced it had raised $40 million in Series D funding led by ICONIQ Capital.
CyberGRX UI. Source: www.cybergrx.com
UpGuard was founded in 2012 in Sydney, Australia by technologists from Australia's largest banks.
They used their first-hand experience to build a platform for the nascent DevOps market, designed to reduce the risk of security incidents through proactive documentation and configuration management.
With proprietary, patented data visualization and risk analysis algorithms, UpGuard gave Operations and Security teams the ability to understand their risk exposure within the data center and cloud.
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 allows you to instantly assess your own organization's external security posture while continuously monitoring for data leaks and exposed credentials.
SecurityScorecard vs. CyberGRX vs. UpGuard in-depth comparison
Learn about how SecurityScorecard, CyberGRX, and UpGuard stack up across ten categories including capabilities, usability, community support, release rate, API and extensibility, third-party integrations, customers, predictive capabilities, and security ratings.
SecurityScorecard and UpGuard use security ratings to aggregate different risks into a single score that allows for immediate and easy comparison of different organizations, third-party vendors, and service providers.
CyberGRX is different, they rely on point-in-time assessments to determine risk, primarily focusing on internal security controls and policies.
- SecurityScorecard: A rating from A to F, like a report card.
- CyberGRX: Relies on a shared library of point-in-time risk assessments.
- UpGuard: Provides an always up-to-date 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.
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.
Risk assessment methodology
Each service relies on a different risk assessment methodology to assess potential risks.
SecurityScorecard relies on IP reputation which attempts to attribute malware traffic based on IP addresses. We've outlined in detail why we believe IP attribution isn't a complete solution for your third-party risk program.
CyberGRX provides a risk exchange based on a storehouse of validated third-party risk assessments. This is designed to remove inefficiencies in both the assessor and assessed's third-party risk management programs, as it aims to let vendors do one assessment and share it with any organization.
Finally, UpGuard scans for misconfiguration and security issues by looking at your organization's Internet footprint. These are then used to determine potential attack vectors and vulnerabilities that can lead to data breaches.
We believe the standardization of security assessment practices against recognized security frameworks, as well as making attestations easily shareable is great and can help organizations save time, resources, and increase trust in their supply chain.
That's why we've also introduced a security assessment exchange that allows our customers to create a security profile that lists out supporting information like their SOC 2 report and completed security questionnaires. Additionally, we add critical risk monitoring capabilities, integrated vendor processes, and accessibility to provide businesses with a complete solution for their risk and compliance needs.
- SecurityScorecard: Primarily IP reputation with some misconfiguration assessment.
- CyberGRX: Relies on point-in-time risk assessments which can become out of date until the next assessment process.
- UpGuard: 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) and results of intelligent security questionnaires.
Each solution has a different level of coverage. If you employ niche or specialist vendors, it's important they are covered by the solution you choose.
Successful cyber attacks on small vendors can lead to large data breaches. Remember, Target's exposure of more than 110 million customers' personal data and credit card information started with an HVAC contractor.
- SecurityScorecard: 1,000,000+ companies rated
- CyberGRX: 63,883 companies on the exchange.
- UpGuard: 2,000,000 organizations scanned daily and new vendors can be automatically added by customers.
2. Usability and learning curve
The better a product's user experience, design, and functionality the quicker you and your team can get up to speed and get what you paid for.
SecurityScorecard, CyberGRX, and UpGuard are all SaaS that require minimal installation or configuration and are easily accessible from their websites.
- SecurityScorecard: Simple interface for quick grade reports and charts.
- CyberGRX: Risks detailed on each point-in-time vendor assessment, which means new risks are only detected during the next assessment process. Remediation requests are not available. Their risk assessments are aligned to NIST and ISO 27001.
- 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 remediation and protection suggestions are provided. Additionally, we have a library of pre-built questionnaires that can be sent and managed with the UpGuard platform including a pandemic (e.g. coronavirus), ISO 27001, PCI DSS, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, CCPA, and Modern Slavery questionnaires. Read our full guide on the top security questionnaires here.
|Usability and learning curve||4/5||4/5||5/5|
3. Community support
Each company has invested in its community to help customers and prospects get up to speed, reduce operational overhead, and drive business results. All three have their own blogs that are useful sources of information for cybersecurity awareness and vendor risk management training.
- SecurityScorecard: Company and product blog.
- CyberGRX: 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 is always changing to keep up with changes in technology. New vulnerabilities are added to CVE on a daily basis, and attackers find new ways to exploit programming errors and invalid security controls constantly. CISOs need to be able to rely on their security tools to stay up to date, incorporating changes to respond to new threats and customer requests.
5. Pricing and support
Third-party risk management software can be expensive. Providers often use opaque pricing policies designed to take power away from the customer and are typically priced on a per vendor, per year basis except in some cases where reports can be generated for a fixed price.
SecurityScorecard is more expensive than UpGuard which can price out small to medium-size businesses and relegate even large organizations to managing only their most at-risk vendors. CyberGRX provides no transparency on their pricing and we weren't able to find any information online either.
With that said, all three have professional services designed to help with setup, ongoing training, and best practices.
- SecurityScorecard: Public pricing information is not available. Pricing is reported to start at $16,500 for self-assessment plus 5 vendors, additional vendors cost $1,500-$2,000 per vendor per year
- CyberGRX: There is no public pricing available for CyberGRX, making it hard to know how much you would pay without talking to them.
- 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
Each service has their own proprietary platform, but you may want to expose the data to an outside service or consolidate reporting into an internal dashboard. The good news is all solutions offer standard APIs to pull data from.
|API and extensibility||4/5||4/5||4/5|
7. Third-party integrations
While an API is useful for technical staff or teams who have access to technical expertise, not everyone does. This is where standard third-party integrations can come in handy.
- SecurityScorecard: Offers integrations with GRC platforms such as RSA Archer.
- CyberGRX: Integrates with BitSight, Optiv, and other platforms.
- UpGuard: Integrates with GRC platforms, ticketing systems like ServiceNow, and more.
Sometimes the best proof is who else is using it. With that said, all three companies have impressive customer lists and none is more distinguished than the other.
- SecurityScorecard: Customers include Symantec, Pepsico, Two Sigma, and Stony Brook University
- CyberGRX: Customers include ADP, Blackstone, aetna, GV, and ClearSky.
- 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 to 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.
This is where SecurityScorecard, CyberGRX, and UpGuard truly differ.
- SecurityScorecard: The IP reputation methodology helps catch active malware installations, but that’s only one possible way a data breach can occur. Yes, they use additional data but lack the transparency to prove the efficacy of their scores.
- CyberGRX: Relies on risk assessments which can quickly become out of date as new zero-day exploits are discovered and new IT infrastructure is used. The truth is that questionnaires, much like penetration testing, can be subjective and become inaccurate over time as new security issues emerge. Additionally, CyberGRX provides no controls for capturing data loss incidents.
- UpGuard: As UpGuard checks for misconfigurations across your Internet footprint, many important breach vectors are covered, including phishing, ransomware susceptibility (like WannaCry), man-in-the-middle attacks, DNSSEC, vulnerabilities, email spoofing, domain hijacking, 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 repos, and unsecured RSync and FTP servers. Our data leak discovery engine continuously searches for keyword lists provided by our customers and 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 all three platforms compare when assessed by UpGuard's platform on March 31, 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 and you can 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: While 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, we provide reasonable notice and explanation to our customers about how their security rating may be impacted.
- 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 the course of 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 24 points.
- SecurityScorecard: 895/950 or A letter grade
- CyberGRX: 837/950 or A letter grade
- UpGuard: 919/950 or A letter grade
Scoreboard and summary
|Usability and 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|
At the end of the day, the easiest way to decide which platform is best for you is to use it before buying it. 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 completely 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 your organization's security posture is perceived 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 7 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 third-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 vs. SecurityScorecard
- SecurityScorecard vs. RiskRecon
- BitSight vs. RiskRecon
- RiskRecon vs. UpGuard
- BitSight vs. UpGuard
- CyberGRX vs. UpGuard
- BitSight vs. CyberGRX
- CyberGRX vs. RiskRecon
- Whistic vs. UpGuard
- Bitsight vs. Whistic
- SecurityScorecard vs. Whistic
- CyberGRX vs. Whistic
- RiskRecon vs. Whistic
- BitSight vs. Prevalent
- SecurityScorecard vs. Prevalent
- Prevalent vs. RiskRecon
- 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