How Internal Audit Brings Value To Your Third-Party Risk Management Program

Third-Party Risk

Organizations have become increasingly reliant on third-parties to deliver core products and services to their customers. About 82% of companies provide third-party vendors with highly privileged roles. This is a major risk to sensitive data leakage and may pose both a security risk, as well as serious privacy risk to an organization and its customers. These businesses must set up multiple lines of defense to protect themselves from any third-party related risk that may arise. Any mature third-party risk management program will have more than one line of defense, and somewhere in that brigade will be a team of internal auditors. Internal audit’s job is to take an unbiased and holistic look at the company to ensure that they are compliant with regulations and are properly equipped to reduce security gaps before risks can slip through and materialize into major disruptions.

To make sure that these programs are mature and running as they should, internal audit teams need to heed some very important guidelines. Here are a few:

Assessment of current third-party risk management program

Internal auditors should assess all current third-parties to an organization and determine whether their current program is suitable based on the information they collect. Third-party risk management programs should be capable of identifying and remediating risks associated with their third-parties while remaining compliant with all regulations.

Suggestions for Improvement

If the internal audit team finds anything that needs improvement, they should provide recommendations to the organization and coach them through the process of maturing their program. The same can be said for general optimizations related to their use of third-parties — not just security risks.

Communication

Internal auditors should not move in silence when it comes to analyzing a program. Keeping in clear and consistent communication with third-party risk management teams is paramount to the success of the program and helps keep everyone on the same page.

Being Audit Ready

Audits are highly necessary to keep our programs in working condition. But it’s important that you don’t rely fully on audit teams to be your only source of truth for the changing risk landscape. With ongoing changes to regulatory requirements, Iceberg can help you prepare for and reduce inefficiencies in compliance by establishing automated cross-functional workflows and reporting across your enterprise — ensuring that you’re always audit ready. And when you’re prepared, you can better focus on improving what audit teams bring to your attention. Be audit ready with the power of ServiceNow and the expertise of our Iceberg team, with over 15 years of experience implementing successful programs.

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