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3 Ways the 18 CIS Critical Security Controls Can Streamline Third-Party Risk Management

It is impossible to be too prepared for a threat to your organization’s cybersecurity. While working with third-party vendors brings much-needed support, resources, and cost-effectiveness to the table, trusting external parties with your most sensitive data carries inherent risks.

In an effort to mitigate these risks, the Center for Internet Security (CIS) created the CIS Critical Security Controls (CIS Controls), a list of 18 of the most important measures organizations can utilize to maximize cybersecurity. Checking against these controls is a simple and effective way to assess your own organization and your third-party vendors to ensure transparency and security over the life of your working relationships.

Here are three ways the CIS Controls can make your third-party risk management process run smoother, faster, and more effectively.

1. Identify areas of weakness

The CIS Contols list prioritizes 18 controls for effective cybersecurity management across industries. A key benefit of using CIS Controls for third-party risk management is the ease of identifying vendor security gaps. A clear list of necessary measures for safeguarding cybersecurity makes it so your organization can immediately locate and address red flags, rather than spending hours searching through tedious reports manually.

Not only will you spend less time looking for problem areas, but you can trust that nothing has slipped through the cracks unnoticed, leaving your organization vulnerable to cyber attacks. CIS Controls bring added security and efficiency to the process of evaluating potential vendors, without wasting any extra time sifting through assessments.

2. Understand where vendors falls on one of three levels of controls

CIS Controls are organized into three levels: basic, foundational, and organizational. Built on the understanding that organizations have different security needs, the CIS recommends basic and foundational controls be applied in every business, while organizational controls are needed only in more advanced operations.

When evaluating risk, CIS Controls provide valuable guidance on needed security measures for your organization and for your third-party vendors. Utilizing the 18 controls simplifies the process of ensuring your vendors have a comprehensive and compatible understanding of cybersecurity protections.

3. Benefit from CIS’s constantly evolving understanding of internet security

The Center for Internet Security is a leader in identifying internet security best practices. They understand that the world of cybersecurity is dynamic and ever-changing, meaning that the tools organizations rely on to develop safety protocols must remain up to date.

The CIS has released eight versions of their list, making necessary updates for ease of use and to keep current with the changing landscape of cybersecurity. In their most recent version, the list was consolidated from 20 to 18 items, reflecting the CIS’s belief that controls should be grouped by activity, instead of by managers of physical devices as they were previously.

The changes made to the list reflect the CIS’s consistent dedication to understanding the innerworkings of internet security. Using CIS Controls means that your organization can be certain you are always using the most up-to-date and effective means of assessing third-party risk. CIS Controls changes as cybersecurity trends evolve, so your organization can continue to trust their guidance from year to year.

Evaluating Third-Party CIS Controls with Privva

Managing third-party risk is a critical part of maintaining top-notch cybersecurity. However, juggling the high-stakes task of evaluating vendor assessments can be a time-consuming process for many organizations. Here at Privva, we are experts in streamlining the risk management process — from sending to scoring — for best results.

Reach out today to learn more about how Privva can help.

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