Third-Party Risk Management: the Key to Building Cyber Resilience

5 minute read

March 2023

 developing cyber resilience

Scroll through social media, and you’ll come across many motivational tips and challenges about physical health and well-being. It’s equally important for companies to consider the health of their third-party risk management (TPRM) program. After all, your TPRM health is essential to building cyber resilience. 

In this article, we’ll cover what cyber resilience involves and what you should look at in your third-party risk management program to ensure your organization is prepared for whatever 2023 throws your way.

Why a TPRM Health Check is Important

Hackers are busy. A new incident is reported daily– it just doesn’t stop. For many organizations, the more daunting problem isn’t protecting their internal infrastructure but securing themselves against the vulnerabilities of third parties and attaining genuine cyber resiliency. Even if your cyber defenses are airtight, a chink in a partner’s network defenses can leave your data vulnerable—as well as your customers.

What is Cyber Resilience?

Cyber resilience refers to an organization’s ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from, and adapt to cyber attacks, disruptions, and other threats. Building cyber resiliency in your organization involves implementing strategies, processes, and technologies to ensure that your organization can continue operating in the face of a cyber incident.

A cyber-resilient organization will have the following:

  • Strong security measures in place to detect and prevent cyber-attacks.
  • A comprehensive incident response plan in place to respond to and recover from a cyber incident.
  • Business continuity plans in place to ensure that critical operations can continue in the event of a cyber attack.
  • Regular testing and training for both technical and non-technical employees to ensure readiness for a cyber incident.
  • A culture of cybersecurity awareness throughout the organization.

Cyber resilience is essential because it helps organizations minimize the impact of a cyber attack and to maintain the continuity of operations. This helps protect your organization’s reputation, strengthen customer trust, and avoid costly downtime and data breaches.

Third-Party Risk and the Impact on Your Cyber Resilience

Third-party providers can significantly impact an organization’s cyber resilience, as they often have access to sensitive information and systems and can introduce new vulnerabilities into an organization’s environment. How can you build your cyber resilience amidst the risks third parties pose?

  • View your third-party ecosystem by examining how a third-party incident can impact your network.
  • Identify your most critical third parties who pose the most significant risk to you should they be breached. 
  • Prioritize remediation efforts, addressing gapped controls and specific areas of concern with your third parties.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your third parties. Regular communication is crucial to ensure that your security concerns are addressed and that any issues are resolved in a timely manner.
  • Monitor your third parties, looking for changes in their security posture. Address them as they arise to protect yourself from future harm.
  • Develop an incident response plan, including the steps to take should a third party experience a breach.

With CyberGRX, you get a comprehensive view of a vendor’s security posture so you can see areas of concern and prioritize your biggest risks. Stop guessing and know how each vendor stacks up according to your preferred industry framework.

How to Build Cyber Resilience

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published several guidelines and frameworks to manage cybersecurity risk. Some key points that NIST emphasizes include:

  • Continuous Monitoring: Organizations should continuously monitor their systems and networks to detect and respond to third-party threats in real time.
  • Incident Response: Organizations should have a plan for responding to cyber incidents, including clear roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and procedures for reporting and documenting incidents.
  • Risk Management: Organizations should implement a third-party risk management program that includes identifying, assessing, and prioritizing cyber risks and implementing appropriate controls to mitigate those risks.
  • Training and Awareness: Organizations should provide training and awareness programs for employees to help them understand their role in protecting the organization and promote a positive cybersecurity culture.
  • Collaboration and Information Sharing: Organizations should collaborate with industry partners and share information about cyber threats and vulnerabilities to better prepare for and respond to incidents. Have you heard about Cyber Risk Nation?

NIST also recommends using its Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) as a guide for building cyber resilience. The CSF includes a set of best practices for identifying, protecting, detecting, responding to, and recovering from cyber incidents.

Tools to Strengthen Your Cyber Resilience 

Cyber resiliency is not just about preventing cyber attacks; cyber resiliency is ensuring you can withstand and recover from them. Having the right tools make your third-party risk management (TPRM) efforts more efficient and bolsters your cyber resiliency. 

Without knowing where your risks are or their magnitude, you can’t address the issues or be confident in your decisions. CyberGRX provides an array of tools that help to streamline the process of assessing, analyzing, and prioritizing your third-party risk, including:

  • Attack Scenario Analytics: Leverage 13 MITRE tactics and 150+ MITRE kill chains to gain greater visibility and context into how well a vendor is prepared to handle common attacks. From there, you can address the areas of biggest concern.
  • Automated Inherent Risk (AIR) technology: Understand inherent risk and identify the third parties most likely to incur a cyber incident– without tedious, manual reviews. 
  • Framework Mapper: Shift from collecting data to understanding the implications. By mapping assessment data to a security control framework, you’ll be able to classify the different levels of risk and prioritize them appropriately.
  • Portfolio Risk Findings: Find your risk needle in your third-party haystack. Portfolio Risk Findings enables you to analyze your entire portfolio against a framework to see which third parties have the most gapped controls, which controls are commonly gapped across your portfolio, and which vendors present the most risk to you.

Gaining Confidence in Your TPRM Program

A comprehensive review of your portfolio and risks is a good start toward building cyber resilience and gaining confidence in your TPRM program.

Hacker greed and ingenuity are unlikely to wane as 2023 ticks away. Cyber attacks will continue to increase in number and sophistication. But when you have the right data and tools to analyze the information, you can feel confident about your decisions and, in turn, make your organization more cyber-resilient. To discuss what TPRM confidence looks like for you, schedule a personalized CyberGRX demo.

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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