Log4j: How Organizations Address Cybersecurity with Third Party Risk Management

5 minute read

December 2021

The discovery of the Log4j vulnerability is the latest incident to send organizations into panic about their cybersecurity posture – including that of their third parties. The vulnerability presents an opportunity for malicious actors to remotely take over an organization’s website or application by exploiting a flaw in the Log4j software. Countless organizations and their third parties that rely on the software face serious risks to their data privacy and operational resiliency. 

In the wake of the discovery, many organizations are scrambling to assess weaknesses throughout their supply chain. Reaction time is critical in the aftermath of discoveries like these to assess risk from all angles. 

ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management allowed users to mount a rapid response and identify threats throughout their vendor base. As the discovery came to light, ProcessUnity users relied heavily on the platform to distribute bulk assessments to their third parties.  

We saw usage increase by over 30% in the days immediately following the discovery of the vulnerability. Several enterprise customers across multiple regions drove 300-400% increases per day in direct conjuncture with their rapid Log4j assessment work. These numbers are a testament to how vital a third party risk management platform is in times of crisis.  

Learn more how companies of all sizes leveraged ProcessUnity to assess potential third party vulnerabilities more efficiently in the sections below.  

How Did ProcessUnity Help Organizations Respond to Log4j?

For companies across the world, the key to managing the ripple effects of the Log4j vulnerability is cybersecurity preparedness. ProcessUnity helped organizations take a proactive approach to their third party cyber risks by enabling them to:  

Produce & Distribute Vendor Bulk Assessments: One of the biggest challenges organizations face in the wake of a cybersecurity incident is identifying threats in their vendor population. Organizations may be managing hundreds – even thousands – of vendors, all with different cybersecurity postures and varying degrees of criticality. ProcessUnity helped organizations assess the threats in their vendor population by allowing them to distribute a relevant assessment set to their third parties. The solution automatically flagged responses for the organization to address.  

Log4j Vendor Bulk Assessments
ProcessUnity seamlessly generates bulk assessments to assess third party vulnerabilities related to Log4j.

Analyze Vendor Responses and Identify RisksProcessUnity helped organizations to develop bulk assessments with questions relevant to the incident. The platform automatically flagged non-preferred responses to highlight issue areas as vendors responded to the questionnaire. This allowed organizations to quickly identify and respond to issue areas on a vendor-by-vendor basis. Vendor issues can be recorded and stored within the platform to inform risk ratings and ongoing monitoring processes. Lastly, the assessment was quickly configured for rapid distribution and saved in the platform as a template for future emergency assessments. The template enables organizations to cut down on their incident response time and get insight into risk much more quickly than manual processes allow. With ProcessUnity, organizations are better prepared to take a proactive approach to future threats like the Log4j vulnerability.  

Log4j Vendor Assessment Analysis
ProcessUnity automatically flags non-preferred vendor responses to help prioritize third party Log4j risks.

Improve Ongoing Monitoring: The Log4j incident is an evolving cyber threat that continues to present new challenges as it develops. Organizations need to monitor the threat within their internal systems and third parties to stay ahead of risks as they emergeProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management enables organizations to keep an eye on the vulnerability by integrating the threat profile into ongoing monitoring workflows. Organizations leverage external content from ProcessUnity’s partners to gain insight into a third party’s risk profile over time. At the onset of the Log4j discovery, BitSightSecurityScorecard and RiskRecon scanned the internet to help organizations identify third parties using the software. The ProcessUnity platform integrated with these tools to strengthen risk monitoring capabilities and identify critical vendors.  

Log4j Ongoing Monitoring with BitSight
External content from BitSight seamlessly integrates with the ProcessUnity platform for enhanced third party screening capabilities.

Why Are Organizations Worried About Their Third Party Risks With The Log4j Vulnerability?

Many organizations are rightfully worried that even if they validate their internal cybersecurity, they could still feel the effects of a cybersecurity breach through a third party vulnerability. Cyber attackers are apt to take advantage of this “back door” to target an institutions data or applications. It can’t be assumed that third parties have the same cybersecurity practices, policies and controls in place as your organization – it must be validated. 

The situation calls attention to an organization’s preparedness for addressing cyber events with third party vendors. When discoveries like Log4j arise, your organization needs to get a pulse on threats fast, so that you are not caught blindsided by a compromised vendor.  

Manual processes make it difficult for organizations to assess their cyber risk landscape accurately in light of a discovery. They lack a reliable system for creating, distributing and tracking responses – especially across a wide vendor population. 

ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management helps organizations take a proactive approach to mitigating cybersecurity threats throughout the extended enterprise by giving them the agility to determine third party vulnerabilities.  

Gain Visibility Into Third Party Cyber Risks With ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management

When vulnerabilities are discovered in critical software like Log4j, your organization needs to be prepared to tackle threats from all angles. Build resiliency into your organization’s cybersecurity posture with ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management (VRM) to help you quickly identify and respond to security incidents within your vendor population. ProcessUnity prepares organizations with the third party risk tools to standardize their processes and gather information fast to make informed decisions about risk.  

Improve your cybersecurity preparedness by gaining insight into risks throughout the vendor lifecycle with ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management. Your organization can leverage the solution to assess third party cyber risk from initial onboarding to ongoing monitoring and due diligence. To learn more about how your organization can develop resiliency with ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management, schedule a demo today. 

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About Us

ProcessUnity is a leading provider of cloud-based applications for risk and compliance management. The company’s software as a service (SaaS) platform gives organizations the control to assess, measure, and mitigate risk and to ensure the optimal performance of key business processes. ProcessUnity’s flagship solution, ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management, protects companies and their brands by reducing risks from third-party vendors and suppliers. ProcessUnity helps customers effectively and efficiently assess and monitor both new and existing vendors – from initial due diligence and onboarding through termination. Headquartered outside of Boston, Massachusetts, ProcessUnity is used by the world’s leading financial service firms and commercial enterprises. For more information, visit www.processunity.com.