The cybersecurity space is changing rapidly, day by day. In this case, third parties are to blame. Recent relevant studies show the same concerning data: More than 51 percent of organizations stumbled upon data breach issues that can be linked directly to a third party.
Despite the risk third parties pose, companies aren’t taking the issue seriously enough. As much as 74 percent of companies gave privileged access to third parties, allowing for a data breach to occur.
When talking about the hospitality industry, preventive measures need to be implemented inside the cybersecurity strategy, as large sensitive information databases could be exposed, subsequently ruining your hotel property for good.
The necessary steps need to be taken to cut off network exposure to third-party non-compliance and security risks. Unsecured vendor relationships revealed weak points thanks to carefully observing the latest breaches. This data can be used to reduce and prevent third-party risks largely. How, you might ask? Constant monitoring. Secure Stay has the complete game plan below.
Developing a comprehensive audit system might be the perfect solution for your business or your hotel. The key is in assigning ownership within your workforce and continuous monitoring.
1. Manage a Third-Party Initial Audit
When considering a potential vendor for a certain need, the one calling the shots in the company should always consider vendor security. You shouldn’t be relying on contractual protections or reputation alone.
Your security expectations should be set prior to signing the contract with the third party. Mitigating your company’s or your hotel’s liability in the event of a breach happening is crucial. Investing in vendor insurance policies is also a good idea, along with the overall third-party security assessment.
Running a risk assessment with a questionnaire that employs established security standards will help with:
- understanding the level of third party risk
- reviewing vendor processes during and after a breach
- determining is the risk worth the reward
This type of information coming from a risk assessment will ultimately help you develop a response plan in the scenario of a third-party breach. Finally, be sure to assess the context of the vendor relationship.
A thorough audit that uses measurable standards will help you determine and prioritize third-party risks. Ultimately, audits can help you determine whether to foster vendor relationships or form new ones.
2. Constant Monitoring
After reviewing the audit and signing the contract, monitoring should not stop. Quite the contrary, it should be constant. It is of utmost importance to monitor third-party compliance with contract binding security obligations. Along with this, ongoing monitoring will also determine whether the third party meets data protection regulatory requirements.
Perhaps creating an inventory of all the third parties that have access to your network can be beneficial. The list should include a special section dedicated to those third parties that hold the most sensitive data.
Finally, implementing a zero-trust policy is a solid step that allows additional security. In turn, you block too much-unneeded access to your network, which may leave your company or hotel vulnerable.
One common mistake for organizations and company’s is the lack of a person in charge of network access and vendor relationships. This also applies to hotels. Secure Stay strongly advises the hotel execs to add an additional member to their team, thus covering and limiting third-party access. Internal collaboration is key to having a comprehensive inventory of third-party vendors.
But the work doesn’t stop there. Having a solid relationship between your team and your third-party vendor counterparts is also important. Pro tip: communication should be defined as a contract binding point, especially for tasks such as the security assessment.
To summarize, third-party risk management can sometimes feel uncertain. Making it an ongoing, constant process will remove the feeling of chasing a moving target and help you achieve your third-party limitation goals.
One of the leading sources of data compromise should be appropriately handled — with constant monitoring. Additionally, if you are always aware of what’s going on, you can quickly adapt to any upcoming threat and keep your company or hotel safe.