Law firms have a responsibility to their clients to maintain the highest levels of security for the sensitive information in their care. This basic concept holds true whether you are an AM Law Top 50 firm or one with much smaller annual revenue targets. Private client data and it needs to be protected. While most law firms look to improve their security posture by building up perimeter defenses, an increase in outsourcing non-core functions to vendors has moved the focus to third-party risk management. Fueled by the growing threat of data breaches and scrutiny from clients in highly-regulated industries, law firms of all sizes need a third-party risk management solution that matches their risk appetite -- and their wallets.
Not All Law Firms Are Created Equal
When it comes to IT security spending, resources and budget allocations for third-party risk management varies widely from firm to firm, as does the maturity level of one’s program. Some law firms have established programs with managing partners paying close attention to vendor risk and allocating increased spending in this area, while others know they need a program yet are strapped for funding. Many are looking for an entry point into third-party risk management risk to fulfill client regulatory requirements and strengthen IT security controls. It’s an expensive and time consuming process, yet clients are expecting a law firm’s third-party risk management program to be as robust as theirs. And it all starts with vendor risk assessments.
Not All Vendors Are Created Equal
Let’s face it, law firms may have 100s or 1000s of vendors and it’s not feasible to think that the same level of oversight could be applied to each one. After all, why would that be warranted? The vendor who comes to a law firm to fill the vending machines won’t require the same level of scrutiny as the eDiscovery specialists used on a daily basis. One is handling sensitive data while the other provides necessary hydration and helps to satisfy those afternoon sugar fixes. But seriously, this example highlights the fact that security and risk professionals will likely categorize vendors by risk tier and criticality in order to effectively prioritize the depth to which a third party should be assessed.
Collecting the Necessary Data to Drive Risk-Based Decisions
Once tiering is complete, collecting the right information to analyze the security posture of a law firm’s vendors is key to an effective third-party risk management program. Sure, you want to prevent data overload, but more importantly, your aim is to match the level of oversight to the priority you have placed against any given vendor. For some law firms, especially those that are just starting a program, gaining a preview of simple risk scores based on standard assessment content collection may be enough. Other legal firms may want to dig a little deeper by accessing pre-configured risk summary reports on a subset of vendors to highlight the top risks for further examination. Still others may want more. This class of law firms wants to perform internal, controls-based assessments to manage risk. Whatever the case may be, law firms need a solution that offers flexible options to accommodate the required level of vendor oversight.
Introducing New Options for Prevalent’s Legal Vendor Network
Prevalent’s Legal Vendor Network delivers an efficient, scalable third-party risk management platform to satisfy client compliance requirements and reduce risk. Members gain access to a vendor repository to view vendor information, see previously submitted assessment results, and populate new vendor information into the repository. On average, law firms find that more than 40% of their vendors are already in the network, saving time and achieving a faster return on investments.
Today, Prevalent announced new membership tiers into the Legal Vendor Network. Each offering enables law firms to focus on the risk that matters most.
See for Yourself, Schedule A Demo Today
If you’re a law firm of any size looking to establish a third-party risk management program, let us show you how we can provide the following benefits:
And last but not least: