Discover how third-party vendors can influence cyberattacks and their security risks to your business. This article explores top third-party vendor security risks and Isecurdata’s mitigation strategies.

A report by SecureLink and Ponemon Institute revealed the alarming disconnect between an organisation’s apparent third-party access threat and the security measures implemented. 51% of respondents said their organisation are not accessing the third-party’s security and privacy practices before granting them access to confidential information.

It’s almost impossible for a business to avoid using party vendors to support various business activities and operations. The benefit of party vendors ranging from reducing costs, focusing on the primary goal to obtaining service from experts in relevant fields is enough reason to go for party vendors.

However, most organisations rarely consider the security risks that come with third-party vendors and how to mitigate them. Most organisations that have implemented a robust cybersecurity program fail to plan for their party vendors.

Many organisations allow third-party vendors to access their network and sensitive information without accessing their cybersecurity posture and compliance with necessary cybersecurity regulations thereby falling victim to security breaches and incidents.

It’s not enough to ensure that your organisation’s systems, network and enterprise web presence are secured. You should look beyond the perimeter of your organisation to adequately vet the third-party vendors who have access to your data to ensure they are well secured.

How Third-Party Vendors Can Influence Cyberattacks

Direct cyberattacks on organizations get most of the attention compared to indirect attacks via party vendors whereas indirect attacks through third parties are also a major source of cyber risk.

Most organisations today operate based on inclusiveness (can also be referred to as an ecosystem) where other entities that are not directly part of the organisation but are connected in one way or the other have access to the organisation’s resources including data and information.

This connected ecosystem introduces new risks, that is, if any part of the ecosystem is attacked, other entities of the ecosystem are at risk. Hence if a third-party vendor connected to your organisation is not well secured and got hacked, this can pose a cyber risk to your organisation.

Cybercriminals have become wild with sophisticated tactics and techniques when targeting organisations and their users, as they often work tirelessly to identify weak links that will enable access to privileged and highly confidential information.

That weak link might be one of your party vendors with unsecured systems and network infrastructure. This can seriously influence cyberattacks against your organisation.

Top Third-Party Vendor Security Risks to Your Business

  • Remote Access Risk: The expansion of access points through party vendors increases weak links. Attackers are constantly scanning and looking for opportunities to leverage remote access granted to third-party vendors to cause damage or launch a cyber-attack. In 2013, Target experienced a data breach attack that cost them close to $300 million. Target’s network was accessed remotely but due to lack of adequate secure access into Target’s network, attackers intercepted and accessed payment card information.
  • Remote Access Trojan (RAT) Attack: RAT attack is used to gain total control of a target’s system. This attack gives an attacker the privilege to bypass common securities on the target’s system such as firewalls, authentication controls and intrusion detection systems. This attack leverages unsecured remote access to gain full access into a target’s system. Hence, third-party vendor remote access can be very critical and dangerous.
  • Advance Persistent Threat (APT): APT uses sophisticated hacking techniques leveraging systems or channels that are not secured such as non-secured remote access to gain access to a system and remain for a long period. Third-party vendor access through unsecured access points could be very critical and dangerous and could lead to an advanced persistent threat attack.

Conclusively, conducting a vendor or third-party assurance is key. This can take the form of questionnaires, workshops etc. to understanding vendors risk profiles.

Isecurdata with over thirty years of IT Security experience and standardized cybersecurity specialists can help you to mitigate the security risks of third-party vendors to your business with optimum cybersecurity solutions and ongoing support to ensure cybersecurity resilience.

Secure your business – book a consultation call with one of our specialists today.