What You Need to Know About Third-Party Risk Management

Working with third-party vendors or suppliers has become increasingly common in today's business world. However, it also poses a potential threat to companies' security, operations, and overall reputation.

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Organizations can monitor and evaluate the risk posed by third parties to determine whether it surpasses the bar set by the business by using third party risk management (TPRM). In today’s article, let’s explore what you should know about third-party risk management.

Third-Party Risk Management: An Introduction

The phrase "third-party risk management" is sometimes used synonymously with other widely used phrases in the business, such as vendor risk management, or supply chain risk management. However, TPRM is frequently seen as the all-encompassing discipline that covers all different kinds of risks and third parties.

This is a type of risk control, which is used to identify and minimize risks associated with the use of third parties such as suppliers, service providers, or contractors. The management is intended to help businesses comprehend the third parties they work with, how they work with them, and the security measures those parties have in place.

The organization determines the TPRM program's requirements and scope, which can be very different based on the sector, legal constraints, and other aspects. However, a lot of third-party risk management best practices are general and may be used by any company or organization.

How Important Is Third-Party Risk Management?

To ensure that the businesses you are affiliated with maintain pertinent laws, regulations, and industry standards, third-party risk management is essential. Usually, third-party risk management handles risks associated with data security, IT, or financial stability. Reputational and compliance risks, however, are equally crucial. When unethical behavior at a third party is exposed, customers can be harsh, and your business is likely to suffer as a result.

Governments have expanded their laws as third-party connections grow. Your third-party risk management procedure should incorporate elements of sophisticated supply chain risk management to help you handle the complexity.

A third-party risk management framework and a collection of cooperative plans for dealing with third-party risk occurrences are required to evaluate the criticality of risk objects. The three major steps of risk management include:
  • Risk identification: identify critical parameters and know what to watch for
  • Impact assessment: Assess prospective losses and criticality
  • Risk mitigation: Involves creating proactive and defensive strategies

Benefits of Investing in Third-Party Risk Management

Investing in TPRM has many benefits for organizations, including:

Cost reduction: While implementing TPRM may require an initial investment, it ultimately saves money. With a successful TPRM plan in place, the likelihood of data breaches is significantly reduced.

Compliance with regulations: Many regulations, including FISMA, HITECH, GLBA, CPS, and the NIST, require third-party management. To evade being held accountable for security issues, organizations may be legally compelled to evaluate their third-party ecosystem depending on their industry and the type of data they manage. Non-compliance is not accepted by most industries.

Risk reduction: Conducting due diligence during the vendor onboarding process and continuously monitoring suppliers during their lifetimes helps reduce the possibility of data leaks and third-party security breaches.

Understanding and assurance: TPRM improves policymaking at all stages, from the primary assessment procedure through off-boarding, by increasing knowledge and visibility of the third-party providers.

Third-Party Risk Management Process

Establishing a strong risk management process with the following stages will help you create an efficient third-party risk management framework that can feed into your overall business risk management.

Analyze: To check whether the vendor's external security posture satisfies a minimum required score, it is becoming more and more common to employ security ratings. Determine the dangers you would be adding to your company and the level of due diligence needed before onboarding a third party.

Involvement: If the vendor has a high enough security rating, the next step is to request or have the company complete a security questionnaire that offers information about their security measures that are hidden from the public.

Cleanup: You can decide that you don't want to cooperate with the vendor until they address the security flaws you have discovered if the provider poses unacceptable risks. This is where a remediation tool comes in handy because, without one, it's simple to overlook crucial problems in Excel spreadsheets and email inboxes.

Acceptance: Based on your risk tolerance, the importance of the vendor, and any compliance needs you may have, your business can determine whether to onboard the vendor or not, depending on the results of remediation.

Observation: It's crucial to continue checking on a vendor's security even after they have been accepted. The fact that they now have access to your internal systems, and sensitive data, and are involved in your business activities makes monitoring them even more crucial.


In today's interconnected world, third-party risk management is essential for every organization that works with external parties. A successful TPRM program can help reduce the likelihood of data breaches, ensure compliance with regulations, and improve decision-making
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