Thursday 13th April 2023

BLOG: Mitigating Financial and Reputational Losses Through Third-Party Risk Regulation

In today’s globalised economy, companies often rely on third-party vendors, suppliers, and service providers to deliver goods and services. However, these relationships also come with their own set of risks, including financial and reputational risks. Third-party risk regulation is a process that helps organisations identify, assess, and mitigate these risks to minimise potential losses.

What is Third-Party Risk Regulation?

Third-party risk regulation is a process that helps organisations manage the risks associated with their relationships with third-party vendors, suppliers, contractors, and other external parties. The goal of third-party risk regulation is to identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate or eliminate them before they can cause harm to the organisation.

The Risks of Third-Party Relationships

Third-party relationships can pose a variety of risks to organisations, including financial, operational, legal, and reputational risks. Some common risks include:
• Financial Risks: Third-party vendors and suppliers can impact an organisation’s financial health by failing to meet their contractual obligations, causing delays or disruptions in the supply chain, or engaging in fraudulent activities.
• Operational Risks: Third-party vendors can create operational risks by providing inadequate or substandard products or services, failing to meet performance or quality standards, or failing to meet regulatory requirements.
• Legal Risks: Third-party vendors can expose organisations to legal risks by violating laws or regulations, engaging in unethical or illegal practises, or breaching confidentiality or data protection requirements.
• Reputational Risks: Third-party relationships can impact an organisation’s reputation if the vendor is involved in a scandal, data breach, or other negative events.

Mitigating Financial and Reputational Losses

Third-party risk regulation can help organisations mitigate financial and reputational losses by identifying and addressing potential risks before they can cause harm. Here are some key steps that organisations can take to mitigate third-party risks:

  • Conduct Due Diligence: Organisations should conduct due diligence on all potential third-party vendors and suppliers to ensure that they meet the organisation’s standards for quality, performance, and ethical behaviour. This may include reviewing the vendor’s financial statements, conducting background cheques on key personnel, and verifying that the vendor is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Establish Clear Contracts: Organisations should establish clear contracts that outline the vendor’s obligations, performance metrics, and financial terms. Contracts should also include provisions that address data protection, confidentiality, and intellectual property rights.
  • Monitor Performance: Organisations should monitor the vendor’s performance regularly to ensure that they are meeting their contractual obligations and performance metrics. This may include conducting site visits, reviewing financial reports, and conducting audits.
  • Have a Plan for Contingencies: Organisations should have a plan in place for contingencies in case the vendor fails to meet their contractual obligations. This may include having backup suppliers, creating a plan for transferring critical services to another vendor or having an emergency fund set aside for unexpected events.
  • Stay Up-to-Date with Regulations: Organisations should stay up-to-date with all relevant laws and regulations that impact their third-party relationships. This includes data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity regulations, as well as industry-specific regulations.
  • Third-party risk regulation is a critical process for organisations that want to mitigate the financial and reputational risks associated with their relationships with external parties. By conducting due diligence, establishing clear contracts, monitoring performance, having a plan for contingencies, and staying up-to-date with regulations, organisations can minimise potential losses and ensure that their third-party relationships are safe and sustainable.

How can Orpheus Cyber help?

Orpheus employs a unique approach to Third-Party cyber risk management, using our expertise as a cyber threat intelligence company to assess the attack surface of your Third Parties and deliver a precise cyber risk rating. This method allows for continuous monitoring of Third Parties as both their threats and attack surface evolve over time.

Our platform showcases a heat map displaying the organisations you wish to monitor, clearly identifying those with the highest risk levels. The most crucial vulnerabilities of your Third Parties are also presented, with links to our intelligence reports and Orpheus’ CVE scoring system, highlighting why they are problematic. By providing risk context for attack surface issues observed in your Third Parties, we can facilitate improvements to their security, and in turn, yours. Find out more, here.

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