Vendor Security: How To Use Industry Control Sets

Are your assessors burdened with manual work and need a clear path to streamlining vendor security? A significant component of vendor security is performing vendor risk assessments. Control sets are essential to evaluating vendors’ security posture and compliance when performing vendor assessments. At the start of the vendor assessment process, you must tailor control sets to your vendor’s business or industry. Industry control sets help to balance various industry-specific risks and ease the workload for assessors.

Hundreds of control sets are out there, so where do people start? Whether companies care about ISO or NIST or have internal standards they assess against, Start can organize and appropriately map those controls to vendors.

Streamline Vendor Security With Industry Control Sets

Most vendor assessments have criteria associated with predefined industries or service-specific regulatory frameworks, such as HIPAA or PCI compliance. In addition to these, assessors may also rely on internal security standards. Within Start, you can create various control sets regardless of origin.

If assessors require particular security controls for a service area, you can create derivative controls within Start. Rather than manually updating that criterion every time a service-related organization gets evaluated, Start enables a control set that can be used repeatedly for vendors in the same service area or industry. This saves valuable time and improves efficiency during the assessment process. Over time, as the security landscape changes, you can easily update control sets to add or remove criteria.

Tagging Within Industry Control Sets

Scope creep with select vendors is one of the biggest frustrations for assessors, as every vendor functions uniquely. After all, you want to avoid applying printing standards to a catering company and vice versa. For that reason, having tailored control sets is crucial. Otherwise, you will likely end up with a long list of control sets for any given assessment; this is where tags come in handy.

Granular tagging is a foundational aspect of Start. Start uses tagging functionality in assessments and questionnaires to help assessors pre-determine which control sets apply to which vendor industries. Assessors can select custom vendor tags based on service or industry with associated control sets. Our industry or service area approach to assessments creates a dynamic control set for each vendor so the assessors don’t have to manually figure out the applicable criteria. With this consideration, assessors bypass the constant need for review and focus on whether criteria meet vendor security standards.

Assessment Reports at the Click of a Button

Assessment reports are typically where the vendor assessment process becomes drawn out. Once the assessment is completed, assessors must compile their findings and recommendations into a report for the vendor to take action on remediations. They also have to create a report for every assessment. Traditionally, it can take several weeks for assessors to complete their reports due to the manual nature of transferring their findings to a document. This bottleneck can be frustrating for all parties involved.

With Start, all of the assessment information, including assessor notes and remediation actions, is entered directly into the platform during the assessment process, either on the web platform or the offline mobile application. Once completed, you can click a button to instantly format a dynamic PDF assessment report that uses the tailored control sets. The assessment report and remediations are kept in the vendor’s record for reference, and future assessments will always be derived from the latest controls in scope. Vendors and business stakeholders can view the report and their remediation actions directly in the Start platform so it gets noticed and remembered in an email inbox.

Streamline Vendor Security Assessments with Start

Industry and service area control sets play a vital role in an efficient vendor assessment process, enabling organizations to evaluate their vendors’ security posture and compliance more quickly and effectively. By customizing control sets to align with their organization’s requirements or a vendor’s specific service or industry, companies can achieve thorough risk mitigation while alleviating the workload and assessment time for assessors. Allowing for highly tailored control sets is just one of the many ways Start’s vendor risk management solution enables a streamlined vendor assessment process. To learn more about Start, watch this quick video or reach out to book a demo with our team.

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