Your organization needs to take distinct cybersecurity measures for first-party and third-party risks. Learn the difference and manage both types of cybersecurity risks to ensure data protection, smooth operations, and improve customer satisfaction.

What are first-party risks?

First-party risks are potential attacks that could directly harm your business and interrupt your operations. A few examples of first-party risks include:

  • Malware infections on your servers.
  • Hackers accessing your devices.
  • Denial-of-service attacks.
  • Phishing scams that target your team members.
  • Hardware or software malfunctions.
  • Data breaches.

First-party risk management solutions

Your organization can create a strong cybersecurity posture to mitigate first-party risks by:

  • Installing anti-malware software.
  • Providing cybersecurity training to your team.
  • Working with expert security analysts to monitor your systems.
  • Developing an incident response plan.
  • Using machine learning to navigate phishing attacks.
  • Updating IT resources periodically.
  • Backing up data.

What are third-party risks?

Third-party risks involve any potential damage you could receive from relying on a third-party group. Third parties can include many groups:

  • Vendors
  • Suppliers
  • Partners
  • Subcontractors
  • Service providers

These third parties have varying access to your systems and data, making them significant risks when considering your cybersecurity. Any security issues your vendors experience could significantly impact your business through:

  • Operational disruption: Many companies rely on third parties to keep operations running smoothly, so any interruption with a third party could result in downtime and missed revenue opportunities for both companies.
  • Reputational damage: Any interruption to your business operations due to a malfunctioning service from a third party could adversely affect customer trust and satisfaction.
  • Compliance issues: A third party’s security failure could lead to regulatory issues for your own company, putting your compliance status at risk.
  • Data breaches: Leaked or corrupted sensitive data on your network or your third party’s network could lead to significant damage and loss of trust.

How to manage third-party risks

To protect your data and ensure strong cybersecurity, you need to understand and mitigate your third-party risks. To manage third-party risks, follow these steps:

  1. Identify risks associated with your third parties.
  2. Prioritize third parties based on which ones could cause a significant impact.
  3. Create safeguards to protect your systems if your third party experiences a breach.
  4. Develop a plan for minimizing disruptions.
  5. Leverage automation to keep third parties in check.

Manage risks with Agio

We provide assessments to ensure your third-party groups are following cybersecurity best practices. We’ll deliver the reports you need to keep track of vendors and maintain compliance. Learn more about our third-party cybersecurity risk management services today.

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