Vendor Risk Management: Solid Strategy to Protect Your Organization and Your Patients Today

Posted by Ken Reiher

In today’s busy world it’s not uncommon for organizations to outsource work to third-party vendors. This can be a great benefit for many reasons: less pressure on the internal team, more time for other pressing tasks, expertise in areas that require more guidance and operational control, and efficiency, to name a few.

However, did you know that 53 percent of organizations have experienced one or more data breaches caused by a third-party? A recent study found that the risk of organizations experiencing a breach with a third-party vendor is on the rise, and remediation costs average around $7.5 million.

Having a plan in place to assess your vendors and ensure they meet industry standards is a necessary practice to protect your organization from being a victim of the next cybersecurity attack. ComplyAssistant approaches Vendor Risk Management with you in mind—to help alleviate the stress of managing contracts, audits, and other responsibilities that come with outsourcing work.

What Is Vendor Risk Management (VRM)?

At its most basic level, VRM is the process by which organizations assess and manage security risks of any third-party vendor. Gartner states that “Vendor Risk Management is the process of ensuring that the use of service providers and IT suppliers does not create an unacceptable potential for business disruption or a negative impact on business performance.”

VRM in a healthcare setting is extremely crucial. Third-party vendors have access to large amounts of patient health information (PHI), and without the proper controls in place this data could easily be compromised. A VRM strategy can protect organizations and patients from a major breach.

How ComplyAssistant Can Help

Our team of experts has two options for organizations looking to implement VRM.

  • The first option is access to our VRM software. This approach works well for mid to large size organizations with an internal staff that is able to manage the strategy in house.
  • The second option is hiring our staff to implement the VRM strategy for your organization. If you work in a smaller organization with limited resources, or even in a larger company but just don’t have the bandwidth to execute, this is the option for you. Our team has a six-step approach to VRM that we will carry out from start-to-finish.

Common Challenges Associated with Vendor Risk Management

Identifying the need for your organization’s VRM strategy is the place to begin, but establishing and maintaining it can be daunting. Be aware of the following challenges:

  • High volume and limited resources. A single organization, even a small hospital, can have over 100 vendors. This makes it difficult to manage an in-house VRM strategy.
  • Inadequate traditional tools. If you are currently managing your vendors through Excel documents or more traditional tools, you will likely experience frustrations. These manual methods often lack the ability to handle the volume, analysis, document storage and project management required.
  • Insufficient knowledge or expertise. Not every organization has the in-house resources to maintain your VRM plan. Even if that expertise is available, VRM is often at the bottom of the priority list.
  • Competing priorities. Compliance and IT departments are typically combined. However, best practice is to separate VRM from IT to minimize conflicts of interest.

Let’s Get Started

Ready to pull the trigger on your organization’s VRM strategy? The best time to start is today! Visit our website to hear what our customers are saying about working with us, and fill out a contact form to schedule your VRM software consultation. For more resources, follow the links below: