Vendor Risk Management: Why What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Posted by James Schroeder

A Vendor Risk Management (VRM) program is a crucial component of your organization’s cybersecurity and disaster recovery business continuity (DRBC) plan. While many organizations understand the value of protecting themselves from third-party risk, very few have the parameters in place to protect themselves should the unexpected happen.  

In this article, we explore the framework for ComplyAssistant’s VRM capabilities and how it works to help businesses of every size identify and mitigate third-party risk.

Step #1: Know Your Risk Level

The first and most important step to creating a successful VRM plan is to know the risk that is threatening your organization. Successful organization leaders take a proactive approach to third-party risk and don’t wait until the worst-case scenario occurs. Our VRM plan is designed to work with you to identify the threat on the scale of:

  • Low
  • Medium
  • High

ComplyAssistant’s VRM tool helps to identify the exact location of the risk involved and primary contact’s information, so you can go straight to the source and see a side-by-side comparison of all your vendors and the inherent risk level associated with each.

Step #2: Analyze and Assess All Third-Party Vendors

Once you know the level of inherent risk you’re up against (low, medium, or high), ComplyAssistant will work with you to assess each vendor in your organization. It is best practice to start with the highest-risk vendors first and work from there.

Each vendor will be assigned a series of questions designed to help identify problem areas and come up with solutions to solve them. Vendors are encouraged to upload corresponding documentation, i.e., spreadsheets, word documents, and screenshots. All of this is taken into account in determining the Vendor Control Risk Level Score. Should there be gaps, ComplyAssistant will work with the vendor(s) to identify appropriate next steps.

Step #3: Quantify and Modify  

The final but arguably most vital step of the VRM process is to review the findings with the client management team and advise the vendor(s) on modifications that are needed to improve the Vendor Control Risk Level Score. The goal is to create an ongoing dialogue to ensure steps are being taken on a consistent basis to remedy the risk gaps.

It’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day—VRM is an ongoing journey and with ComplyAssistant’s help, your organization will be on its way to a safer future. 

Don’t Delay, Start Today!

Have more third-party vendors than you can count? Not sure where to start? Have no fear—ComplyAssistant is here to help you! Visit to set up a free demo today and start the path toward compliance.