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Six Types of Vendor Risks That are Important to Monitor

Updated: Sep 8


vendor risk management: Outsourcing operations to third-party suppliers has been a common business approach since it helps companies save money while also improving their operational efficiency. The importance of having vendor management systems in place grows as the involvement of third-party providers rises. Because vendors have access to vital systems and consumer data, your company must keep an eye on its cybersecurity risk to avoid any possible risks.

When it comes to vendor management, using a risk-based strategy necessitates a thorough grasp of the many forms of vendor risk. Knowing this helps businesses correctly assess third-party risk and classify providers according to the level of hazard they offer. Following that, security teams may devise remediation plans to guarantee that all threats are addressed.

Six types of vendor risks that are necessary to monitor for effective vendor risk management

When assessing third-party providers, be mindful of the six main categories of vendor risk listed below.

  1. Violations of laws, rules, and internal processes that your firm must follow to conduct business pose a compliance risk. The rules that apply to each business will differ by industry; however, some requirements, such as GDPR and PCI DSS, apply to all sectors. Noncompliance with these rules generally entails hefty fines, so be sure that your vendor's cybersecurity compliance activities are in line with regulatory requirements.

  2. When vendors fail to satisfy your organisation’s financial performance criteria, a third-party financial risk emerges. Excessive expenses and lost income are the two primary sources of financial risk for suppliers. Excessive expenditures can stymie corporate growth and lead to excessive debt if they are not handled. You should perform frequent audits to ensure that vendor expenditure complies with the terms of your contract to avoid incurring unnecessary charges. Managing lost income begins with determining which vendors have a direct influence on your company's revenue-generating operations. A third-party system that tracks and records sales activity for your company is an example of this. Any issues with these suppliers and systems might result in lost or delayed income, so it's critical to have processes in place to keep track of them.

  3. With the sophistication and speed with which cyber threats evolve, it is more critical than ever to keep an eye on your vendor's cybersecurity posture. To calculate vendor cybersecurity risk, you must first determine your organisation’s risk tolerance. Then, after you've established acceptable risk thresholds, you can start evaluating third-party security performance and making changes as needed. Focus on compromised systems within vendor network settings while assessing performance. While data losses are not always the consequence of system breaches, they give insight into how providers detect and mitigate assaults.

  4. When vendor procedures are shut down, there is a risk of operational risk. Because third-party operations are linked with organisational operations, organisations are often unable to carry out their regular operations when suppliers fail to deliver on their promises. To reduce operational risk, your company should develop a business continuity strategy to ensure that you can continue to operate even if a vendor goes out of business.

  5. The public perception of your organisation is referred to as reputational risk. Third-party merchants can damage your reputation in a variety of ways, including:

  • Interactions that are not in line with the company's policies.

  • Customer information is lost or disclosed as a result of human error or a data breach.

  • Laws and regulations have been broken.

6. When vendors make business decisions that aren't in line with your company's strategic goals, you're taking a strategic risk. Strategic risk impacts compliance and reputational risk and is frequently a deciding element in a company's total value. Organisations may efficiently monitor strategic risk by establishing key performance indicators (KRIs), providing essential information into vendor operations and procedures.

vendor risk management

How to ensure effective vendor risk management?

After you've determined what kind of risk a vendor poses to your company, you'll need to set up procedures to monitor and manage the risk. The following are three procedures you may use to keep track of third-party risk at your company:

  • Vendor questionnaires are used in third-party risk assessments to assist businesses to identify the amount of risk that particular vendors provide to their business. However, organisations must connect their evaluation criteria with their risk threshold for risk assessments to be successful. As a result, you'll be able to create well-informed surveys that more properly analyse vendor risk about your company. When preparing assessments, it's also a good idea to use threat intelligence since it gives you more visibility into your third-party ecosystem and helps you prioritise concerns.

  • Risk monitoring should be done regularly as part of any third-party vendor risk management programme. Organisations may enhance their capacity to identify vendor risk before it becomes an issue by identifying the proper security metrics to monitor. This also aids companies in streamlining cleanup operations and developing vendor-specific incident response strategies.

  • The process of detecting and resolving third-party cyber threats is known as due diligence. Throughout the merger and acquisition process, it’s usually done to ensure that the acquirer is aware of any cyber threats that vendors may pass on to them. In addition, organisations may utilise security data to get insight into their vendors' cybersecurity systems and IT infrastructure as part of their due diligence. Due diligence should be done so that businesses may respond to vendor risks as they arise.


A vendor relationship management (VRM) software solution can assist you in automating your vendor management process and strengthening your VRM programme. With sophisticated capabilities like vendor risk assessment, automatic vendor monitoring, fourth-party vendor tracking, concentration risk analysis, and more, a genuinely, therefore, best-in-class VRM system puts you in charge.

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