The Evolving Third-Party Data Breach Landscape: What's Going On and How to Protect Your Data With Vendor Risk Management Software

Blog post Zachary Jarvinen 2021-03-29

Supply chain attacks have increased to an unprecedented level during the last four years. Data breaches that involved supply chains witnessed a 78 percent increase from 2017 to 2018 alone. And ⅔ of all cybersecurity attacks happen due to third-party or supply chain security loopholes.

Though the extent of the recent SolarWinds breach made global headlines, supply chain data breaches are nothing new. Lone wolf hackers, organized cybercrime groups, and state-sponsored malicious actors are now using new techniques and technologies to play havoc with the worldwide supply chain.

Your supplier ecosystem is critical to your organization because it keeps your business functional, productive, and competitive. But do you know that 82 percent of companies fell victim to a data breach last year due to third-party vulnerabilities? This indicates why third-party data protection must be at the core of your cybersecurity strategy.

It is shocking to learn that notwithstanding the threats posed by third-party security weaknesses, the majority of companies don’t know whether hackers have got access to their supply chains. That means they may have no idea if they are victims of an attack until the damage has been done.

Consider the 2017 NotPetya attack that affected organizations on a global scale. It was later revealed that the attackers had exploited a vulnerability in an accounting software’s update system.

How is The Third-Party Data Breach Landscape Changing

With the fast-paced digitization of third-party supply chains, organizations are falling short of mechanisms to ensure that they have essential protections in place against threat actors. Every new day we learn about new companies falling victim to third-party data breaches.

The threat landscape is quickly evolving as cybercriminals use more sophisticated approaches to launch attacks. The existing defenses of most organizations have become obsolete to mitigate the modern forms of attacks.

For example, criminals have lately resorted to automated tools and bots to penetrate organizations through their third-party suppliers. Also, while artificial intelligence and machine learning are blessings in the fight against data breaches, malicious actors use these technologies to coordinate wide-scale attacks on supply chains.

Hackers also capitalize on stolen digital identities of employees to gain access to third-party networks and systems, which means they can quickly compromise your data. The bad news is that because the threat actors are using employees' stolen identities, it becomes difficult to identify any unusual activity.

The most sophisticated data breach in 2020 came from advanced persistent threats (APT) groups. These are typically state-backed groups with modern technologies, sharp skills, and dedicated resources to conduct long-term intrusions into government and corporate networks and systems.

We have already seen APT attacks on auto manufacturers, pharma companies, and even airlines in 2020. In 2021 and beyond, criminals are expected to use APT attacks to target more industries and launch comprehensive supply chain attacks.

Other types of third-party attacks are simple but more elusive. These include hackers using malware and phishing emails to hijack accounts, which they then use in third-party data breach campaigns.

Given the evolving third-party threat landscape, organizations have no choice but to replace their outdated defenses with ones powered by modern technologies. Better communication and coordination between enterprises are also crucial to prevent attacks. And third-party cybersecurity must be a board-level priority of all companies.

Effective vendor risk management is the cornerstone of supply chain security. But since cybercriminals are coming up with newer techniques, your old, manual risk management methods will not work any longer. Your organization needs a robust, technology-backed vendor risk management solution to mitigate third-party data breaches.

Read on to learn how vendor risk management software can protect your important data.

Protect Your Data With Vendor Risk Management Software

Third-party risk management software collects and manages vendor risk data to defend organizations from problems like data breaches and non-compliance. Most softwares allow you to assess, monitor and mitigate all threats that can negatively impact the relationship between your organization and your suppliers.

But remember that not all third-party vendor risk management solutions are created equal. A good software will allow you to:

  • Create an inventory of all your vendors
  • Catalog the threats your vendors can expose your company to
  • Evaluate and categorize the risks
  • Concentrate on activities and data crucial to your organization
  • Perform rule-based due diligence testing to identify your vendors with the highest risk
  • Create risk profiles
  • Assess crucial activities to set a base for vendor risk management

But since the third-party data breach landscape continuously changes, you need a solution that takes the new threats into account and incorporates continuous improvements. That means you’re not safe with a software the provides the standard features. Your company needs the next-generation solution with intelligent third-party risk mitigation.

The most advanced software will allow you to create questionnaires to gather data and automate parts of risk monitoring and assessment. A versatile platform will aggregate your third-party data, providing you complete control over the risk management process.

A software with a unified, centralized directory will make the vendor onboarding and management process simple and secure. It will streamline your vendor evaluation process, so you can quickly identify risks and take actions for remediation. On top of that, a reliable software will provide you insights and analytics to keep an eye on third-party risk trends.

With these features and benefits built into your supply chain risk management software, you can rest assured that your company has robust defenses in place to protect your valuable data.

Why Choose Vendor360

CENTRL’s Vendor360 is an advanced, next-gen vendor risk management software that puts you in charge of monitoring and managing the threats posed to your organization by your third-party vendors. This software is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate and streamline the risk management process.

Our software incorporates all the features and benefits explained above, besides having additional new features for all-around vendor security.

You can quickly deploy this flexible and scalable platform using our head start templates, built-in connectors, and cloud-based open API framework. The risk insights and actionable intelligence will boost your efficiency by more than 50 percent.

Learn more about Vendor360 or request a live demo.

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