Third Party Risk Management

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Organizations work with many third parties for endless aspects of their business. The need to manage so many extensive, ongoing relationships requires structured vendor management processes, which must take into account every cyber-related vulnerability they might create for the organization.

HolistiCyber’s third party risk management services and methodology will help you assess the cyber risks associated with the critical vendors you are working with and build an effective cybersecurity vendor management policy that can be integrated into your existing policies and processes.

What is Third Party Risk Management?

Third Party Risk Management involves identifying and assessing your third parties to create a program to reduce risk through them. This is an evolving process as new vendors are brought into your environment. 

How far does it extend?

Third Party Risk is everywhere. It can go from your mission critical vendors all the way to a catering company. This vector has exploded thanks to the uptick in SaaS/PaaS platforms. It has always been there, but it’s risen in criticality in the last few years. Organizations manage multitudes of vendors, and each one of them provides their own level of risk to you. It makes the need for a holistic and pragmatic third party risk assessment even more important. The first step to an effective risk program is knowing just how far the reach is.

Our Methodology

We focus all of our services around our Offensive Framework Methodology – focusing on what an attacker would be looking for. Our approach to third-party vendor risk assessment is no different. Regardless of what aspect of risk you are discussing, there has to be a pragmatic, actionable approach to your plan. It is tied to the business drivers and what an attacker would want to gain from your organization.

The Three P's of Third Party Risk Management


Understanding the business purpose to create an effective third party risk management plan. What would an attacker be looking for out of my organization? What is the risk appetite I’m willing to take there?


What SLA’s are we wanting to abide to? What resources are required for this to be successful? These types of questions will help make your plan actionable and not just a compliance exercise.


Continually reevaluating your most critical vendors is a large part of the program’s success. Accurate reporting is also required to ensure the continued refining of the program.

What is wrong with current third party risk assessments?

Thanks to a large number of notable large-scale attacks through the supply chain, such as the SolarWinds MSP breach, we as a community are more aware of it than ever. With that being said, it’s still common to have a more lax approach here. It has become more of a regulatory “check-box” exercise: create vendor risk form, have the vendor fill it out, rinse and repeat every year. But what value is that actually giving you? There are many “third party risk assessment solutions” out there – but what they really are is a software package that helps automate the vendor assessing process. If you don’t have the proper business context tied into this, it is largely a waste of money. Looking for more information on how to up your third party risk management framework? Check out our whitepaper. 

Your threat landscape is as large as your vendors

Third party risk methodologies go well beyond your immediate vendors. Risk is a personal angle in organizations. It’s all tied to the business drivers, and this includes how your third parties are managed.

There have been many notable supply chain cyber attacks that were orchestrated because that was an effective way in for an attacker. A large financial organization is going to be much more difficult to break into than one of the smaller vendors they utilize who don’t have the massive security team. Same can be said for healthcare, utilities, or any other industry as well.

Check out our webinar on the right talking about the personal side of third party vendor risk and how the attacker’s mindset can help reduce your risk register.

The solution includes

Assessment of current cybersecurity third party risk management policy and threat map

Crafting an updated cybersecurity third party risk management policy and manage the integrations needed for the organization to be ready to implement the new policy

Support with new third party onboarding

Ongoing reporting, follow up on changing third party-associated risk levels, and fine-tuning as needed

Related Services

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