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Out-Smarting the Vendor Risk Assessment Process

How does an organization become the "survivor" in the complicated, time-consuming and intimidating space of third-party risk?

by Sara Muckstadt, Product Marketing Manager

May 13th, 2019

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You’ve all seen the reality TV show “Survivor”, where a group of strangers are placed on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, fighting to be the last one standing. While it’s interesting to see alliances form, competitions won, and battle lines drawn, the psychology behind the game is the actual lure.  

Adapt or be voted off  

Sure, it seems easy enough to do, but being able to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast your competitors involves the art of efficiency, collaboration, and strategy. In other words, conserve energy, work together, and always stay two steps ahead of the competition.

The same could be said for those faced with completing a vendor security questionnaire.  If you’re a vendor, you’re thinking about one word… survival. There are hundreds of questions, many that don’t seem to make sense. You have no idea which colleagues own which answers, but one thing is clear; you know you’ve got a lot of digging to do to meet the security requirements of your new client. Moreover, if all of this isn’t daunting enough, this survey request isn’t coming from just one client, but rather, every client with which you have a business relationship.

If you were on Survivor, how would you efficiently handle this task? Who would you team up with to get this work done? What’s your strategy to live to fight another day?

The path to survival

Rest assured, if you are a vendor that conducts business with law firms, the answer is simple: Join the Prevalent Legal Vendor Network. That’s exactly what Cornerstone Information Technologies (Cornerstone.IT) did, earning a Prevalent Business Partner badge in recognition of the company’s excellence in protecting its own data, and by extension, securing the sensitive data of its client Law Firms. As co-founder of the IT Business Solutions and Managed Services Provider Jim Moreo explains, “Being part of the Prevalent community further demonstrates Cornerstone’s commitment to the legal industry. We understand that keeping our network secure is paramount to keeping our clients’ networks secure.”

How does the Prevalent Legal Vendor Network benefit vendors?  

Prevalent’s Legal Vendor Network automates the end-to-end process of collecting and analyzing vendor surveys, minimizing the time and cost of assessing vendors while ensuring that necessary vendor risks are properly scrutinized. The benefits to vendors include:

  • Economies of scale:  Vendors can alleviate the burden of cost and labor hours responding to countless proprietary third-party assurance requests by using Prevalent’s secure repository to store company comprehensive risk posture responses and associated artifacts. Completed questionnaires can then be shared with other Prevalent legal customers. It’s an efficient, “complete once and share with many” model.
  • Assessment Survey Validation: Responses to vendor questionnaires will be reviewed and validated by a team of Prevalent Third-Party Analysts, providing expert operational feedback on response requirements.
  • Increased Revenue Opportunity: Vendors participating in the Prevalent Legal Vendor Network provide products and services of interest to legal organizations, and thus will be exposed to network members as security and risk-conscious options when the members need new products or services.
  • Secure Repository for Evidence Sharing: Vendors can upload evidence and make it easily accessible through Prevalent’s secure cloud portal. They choose what to share and who to share it with. 

The tribe has spoken

Vendors who join this sharing network are survivors. Intimidated no more, completing vendor security assessments comes down to efficiency, collaboration, and strategy.  

To learn more about the Legal Vendor Network, download the datasheet today. 

To read more about how Cornerstone.IT achieved a Prevalent Business Partner badge, see their latest press release.