Adapting to the changing landscape of third party risk management

18 Apr 2017 | News | SYNERGi

With new regulations on the horizon targeting how third parties handle, process and retain your data – and more third party partners to manage than ever before – the time has come to transform how you manage third party risk.

Multiple factors have conspired to profoundly change today’s third party risk landscape. The rise of cloud services has meant a significant increase in the number of third parties entrusted with sensitive data for millions of businesses. And new regulations such as EU GDPR have increased pressure on businesses to closely manage and monitor how, where and when third parties are using their data.

The stakes have never been higher, and the risks associated with not properly auditing or recognising where third party data risks exist have never been greater. But, one major thing hasn’t changed – the best way to protect yourself, your business and your data against third party risk is still thorough auditing.

Auditing is essential for:

  • Understanding how third parties are using your data
  • Where your data is being stored and managed physically
  • Checking whether third parties are compliant with all relevant regulations
  • Seeing whether or not you should be working with a third party at all, based on how they’re using and managing your data

But, with today’s risk landscape evolving so rapidly, traditional approaches to auditing are no longer able to cut it for many businesses. For auditing to be successful today, your processes need to be:

  • Extremely timely
  • Complete, covering every single third party you work with
  • Closely linked to contracting, so that data handling requirements can be built into contracts and updated frequently
  • Relevant to the parties they’re auditing, for example, a cloud partner would likely need to be asked very different auditing questions to a cleaning contractor

Ticking all of those boxes is difficult when you rely on manual auditing and risk management processes. Thankfully, there is a better way – automation.

With the help of sophisticated new technology and platforms, thousands of businesses have automated third party auditing and risk management, enabling them to:

  • Send out and receive audit questionnaires automatically, without human effort
  • Update audits as often as they need to
  • Ask the right questions of each third party they deal with
  • Integrate risk management and auditing with contracting for maximum legal protection in the event that a third party breaches the terms they agree to

It’s an appealing prospect for businesses of all sizes, and something that many companies are keen to explore. But, what exactly do you need to do to automate third party risk management and auditing?

To help, we’ve created a simple guide telling you everything you need to know to get started. Automation can look very different across different businesses, but our guide can help you find the perfect solution for your company, based on your needs.

Our guide to third party risk management automation is available to download by clicking here. Take a look today and discover a new approach to risk management, built for today’s rapidly-changing third party landscape.