Limitations of Self-Assessment Questionnaires in Vendor Security Management

In today's interconnected business landscape, Vendor Security Management (VSM) plays a crucial role in ensuring the security of sensitive data and protecting against #cyberthreats.

One standard method used in Vendor Security Management is the Self-Assessment Questionnaire or SAQ. While SAQs provide a baseline understanding of vendor security practices., they have limitations as they rely on self-reported information from vendors, making it difficult to verify the accuracy and completeness of their responses. Additionally, SAQs often follow a one-size-fits-all approach and fail to consider the specific requirements and nuances of different industries or organizations. This generic nature makes it challenging for organizations to comprehensively understand their vendors' actual security posture.

Similarly, clubbing Passive risk assessment methods and SAQs have gained traction in recent years as an alternative approach to evaluating vendor security. These methods involve monitoring vendors and assessing potential risks based on passive or semi-active analysis of vendor security posture rather than relying solely on self-reported information.

However, SAQ and Passive risk assessment fail to consider the inherent risks raised from the vendor landscape to the customer environment as it is not active in nature and lacks continuous monitoring of the vendor landscape to identify new threats.

For instance, if a business uses a third-party SDK in its mobile app and if that SDK becomes vulnerable at any point, the risk it can bring to the customer app can't be identified by the traditional vendor risk management solution that leverages SAQs and passive assessments.

Recognizing the limitations of SAQs and passive risk assessment methods, NST Cyber - Your Trusted Enterprise CTEM Partner developed the next gen Vendor Security Management (VSM) solution to aid enterprises proactively in identifying and addressing potential security risks stemming from external entities in an active manner.

Our Active assessment model focuses on practical, proactive, and timely vendor risk identification and mitigation, enabling organizations to take preventive measures before risks materialize and cause damage. Also, NST Assure VSM leverages AI/ML technologies for discovery, validation, and features like breach, ransomware, and APT attack prediction to streamline the risk assessment process. This reduces the burden on individuals to manually complete questionnaires and allows organizations to enhance their risk management practices more efficiently with continuous active vendor risk monitoring.