Third Party Risk Management

The 9 Best Internal Audit Software in 2024

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In today's fast-changing business environment, internal audit management software has become extremely crucial for organizations looking to simplify their audit processes while ensuring compliance and improving overall audit efficiency. While manual auditing is still a thing, software usage is preferred over manual internal audits because manual audits can prove to be cumbersome and less effective, and they are prone to look over potential weaknesses.

While there are several internal audit software solutions out there, choosing the right one can be overwhelming, as there are several variables to consider. To help you make an informed decision when choosing the best internal audit management software, we've compiled a detailed list of the nine best internal audit software in 2024. 

What is Internal Audit Management Software?

Internal audit management software is a specialized tool designed to help various organizations strategize, execute, and supervise internal audits. These software solutions are indispensable for audit teams because they help simplify internal auditing processes, such as tracking audit progress and ensuring adherence to the organization’s regulations and internal policies. Internal audit software usually features solutions for an organization’s audit planning, risk assessment, document management, issue tracking, and reporting features.

How to Choose the Best Internal Audit Software

When choosing internal audit software for your organization, you must consider a few factors to ensure you have chosen the best software that covers all your needs. Listed below are the factors that you must consider:

  1. Software Features: First and foremost, you must always look for software that offers a detailed set of features that meet your organization’s needs with regards to audit management requirements, such as planning audits, assessing risks, managing documents, and tracking and reporting issues.
  2. Integration of the Software: Always ensure that the software you choose effortlessly integrates with your organization’s existing systems, such as ERP or accounting software, to simplify data transfer and improve efficiency.
  3. Scalability: You must choose software that can aid your organization's growth by allowing you to add users and features as needed.
  4. User-Friendliness of the Software: If the software's task is to simplify your work, it should be easy to use and intuitive. Consequently, your audit team should be able to adopt it quickly without extensive training, thanks to its user-friendliness.
  5. Compliance with the Software: To ensure the security and integrity of your audit data, you must ensure that the software complies with relevant regulations and standards, such as SOX, GDPR, and ISO.
  6. Support: When choosing software vendors, look for vendors offering excellent training and customer support that will help you resolve any issues or questions that may arise during the implementation and use of the software.
  7. Pricing: Pricing plays a crucial role when choosing your internal audit software. While opting for a low-priced solution can be tempting, they often lack critical functionalities. Therefore, choose a solution that fits your organization’s budget while still containing all essential features. Also, ensure that the proposed pricing includes all necessary features and services because some software solutions offer add-on features at an additional cost.

The Best Internal Audit Software of 2024

Now that we know what internal audit management software is and how to choose one that works best for your organization, let’s dive right in and explore nine of the best internal audit software in 2024:

Cyber Sierra

Cyber Sierra’s is an end-to-end GRC automation platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools tailored to streamline security compliance easy for enterprises.  With continuous control monitoring and effective risk management modules the platform facilitates internal audits seamlessly.  Providing a real-time intuitive dashboard with centralized controls repository, and audit ready programs, the software offers clear visibility into your security controls and conducts entity level checks to identify areas of non compliance during internal audits.

Automated workflows for repetitive GRC tasks with prebuilt customizable templates.The platform is built for enterprises, and hence may be slightly expensive for start-ups. 
Extensive customization and scalability  for improved productivity and efficiency.  
Seamless integration and easy to use interface.
Automated evidence collection 
Along with GRC the platform also offer threat intelligence and TPRM programs

Key Features of Cyber Sierra’s Internal Audit Software:

  • Robust risk identification, evaluation and mitigation features to effectively manage poentential risk and threat across the enterprise.
  • The software offers real-time monitoring caoablities with advanced reporting features providing data driven insights to support internal audits.
  • Compliance automation modules for frameworks such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC and supports financial regulations including  MAS-TRM, SEBI, CIRMP and more.
  • The platform continuously updates it alogorims and adapts as per the evolving regulatory frameworks.
  • Streamlines creating, monitoring and tracking of data management and policy repository including reviews and updates.
  • It also offers smart GRC, third-party risk management, continuous control monitoring, threat intelligence, employee security training and cyber insurance - all from a single unified platform. 

Cyber Sierra's AI-enabled platform has a Governance module to digitize compliance programs. It utilizes a multi-LLM approach to map vulnerabilities to controls, assets, and compliance programs. This facilitates continuous control monitoring and continuous third party risk management. Such capabilities are critical for enterprises that, on average, contend with over 500 technical controls daily, emphasizing the need for automation capabilities.


Auditboard is a compliance management platform that offers intelligent cloud-based audit management software with a wide range of features to help various enterprises manage their internal audits. It includes modules for collaborative audit planning, risk assessment, issue tracking, reporting, and closing security gaps.

They offer a user-friendly interfaceThe customer support isn’t as responsive
The platform has strong reporting capabilitiesThey have limited customization options
The software can seamlessly integrate with other systemsDecreased cross-integration with other platforms/software
It is the best for maintaining an audit trail

Key Features of Auditboard’s Internal Audit Software:

  • Offers a simple cloud-based audit management system
  • Audit planning and execution
  • Excellent risk assessment and relief
  • Good at issue tracking and resolution
  • Easy to integrate with other systems
  • Has an enhanced control program

Additionally, Auditboard is known for its strong reporting capabilities. That way, the software centralizes visibility and minimizes redundancies, allowing organizations to create simple customized reports that meet their needs. The software also offers a user-friendly interface, making it easy for audit teams to explore and use.


Like Auditboard, Workiva is a cloud-based platform that offers a suite of audit, risk, and compliance management solutions. These include integrated governance, audit planning, risk assessment, document management, and reporting features.

The software’s user interface is easy to useMight face lag when switching between pages
It has a fairly flexible customization optionAverage customer support
It has excellent collaboration featuresIt might lack advanced features that are usually offered by other software
The price might be high for new organizations

Key Features of Workiva’s Internal Audit Software:

  • Offers a simple cloud-based platform
  • Internal audits via Workiva save time
  • Allows the audit team to focus on the analytical activities
  • Its reporting is customizable
  • Effortlessly integrates with other systems

Additionally, Workiva is known for its assured integrated reporting and strong collaboration features, which allow audit teams to collaborate in real-time on various projects that are being audited. The software also offers flexible customization options, allowing organizations to tailor it to meet their needs.

SAP Audit Management

SAP Audit Management is a solution offered by the SAP suite of products. The SAP audit management software offers features aligning your organization’s business with audit planning, execution, and reporting. It integrates seamlessly with other SAP modules and offers strong analytical capabilities.

This software can seamlessly integrate with the organization along with all the other solutions SAP offers.It might be pricey for small, up-and-coming organizations
This software has advanced analytics capabilitiesBeginners can find it hard to learn the various processes
It can optimize staff utilization and resource planning
It has a strong reporting feature

Key Features of SAP’s Internal Audit Software:

  • Amazing and seamless integrated audit management within the SAP suite
  • Risk assessment and management

What makes SAP Audit Management one of the best internal audit management software is that it can seamlessly integrate with other SAP modules, allowing organizations to streamline their audit processes. The software also offers advanced analytics capabilities, allowing organizations to gain insights from their audit data.


TeamMate+ is an audit management software that aims to assist audit teams and effectively move through the audit workflow by offering features for planning audits, executing internal audits, and reporting discrepancies. It includes modules for risk assessment, issue tracking, and document management.

End-to-end audit management and workflow solution.The software has limited integration options with other systems
It has an intuitive user interfacePossibility of lacking a few advanced features that are offered by the other software.
Strong and comprehensive reporting capabilitiesDocument requests can only be sent one person at a time
The software is best when it comes to collaborative features

Key Features of TeamMate+’s Internal Audit Software:

  • It is one of the best document management software
  • The internal audit’s planning and execution are always risk-focused.
  • Has real-time collaboration
  • The reporting is customizable
  • Can easily integrate with other systems

TeamMate+ is a platform that gives you cloud-hosted options and is best known for its intuitive user interface, which makes it easy for audit teams to explore, navigate, and use the software. The software’s strong collaboration features allow audit teams to work seamlessly on audit projects.


Diligent One Platform is an integrated risk management platform that offers audit, risk, and compliance management features for all digital organizations. The offers of Diligent include various modules for audit planning, risk assessment, issue tracking, and reporting.

Diligent has a comprehensive suite of features that many organizations can useThe price can be a little high for organizations that are just starting.
It can integrate easily with the organization’s softwareIt takes quite some time to learn how to use the software
It has flexible customization options

Key Features of Diligent’s Internal Audit Software:

  • One of the best-integrated risk management platform
  • Seamless integration with other systems
  • Comes with three apps: a projects app, a results app, and a reports app that shows automation workflow

Diligent is known for its comprehensive suite of features that allow organizations to manage all aspects of their audit, risk, and compliance processes using a singular platform. The software’s strong integration capabilities allow organizations to integrate with other systems to simplify their processes.

Archer Audit Management

Archer Audit Management is a component of the Archer suite of products that aims to transform the efficiency of your internal audit function and offers features for audit planning, quality, and issue management. The various modules include risk assessment, issue tracking, and document management.

You can seamlessly integrate the software with the organization’s system while also integrating with all the other Archer softwareIt can be a little expensive
Powerful reporting capabilitiesRequires specialized training for optimal use
The software has strong customization options

Key Features of Archer’s Internal Audit Software:

  • The Archer Audit Management software is a component of the Archer suite of products
  • The software is great at document management, audit planning, and scheduling.
  • Seamless integration with other Archer modules

Archer Audit Management is best known for its seamless integration with other Archer modules. This allows organizations to manage all audit processes in one platform and assess audit entities risk-wise.


Hyperproof is compliance and risk management software that offers audit, risk, and compliance management features. It includes modules for compliance operations, audit planning, risk assessment, issue tracking, and reporting.

It has a user-friendly interfaceIt has limited customization options
Excellent collaborative featuresIt might lack some of the advanced features the other software produce
It has the capability to send reports comprehensively

Key Features of Hyperproof’s Internal Audit Software:

  • Allows you to collaborate with your auditors easily
  • The software gives you seamless control over the controls and audit requests
  • You can know the status of your audit
  • Effortlessly integrates with other systems

Hyperproof is best known for its easy-to-use, user-friendly interface. This makes it one of the best internal audit management software for audit teams, as they can navigate and use it effortlessly. The software also offers excellent collaboration features, allowing audit teams to work together seamlessly on audit projects.


CURA is a governance, risk, and compliance software offering audit, risk, and compliance  management features. The features offered by CURA include modules for audit planning, enterprise risk management, business risk management, risk assessment, issue tracking, and reporting.

It has flexible customization optionsThe price of the software can be a little high
Its integration capabilities are exemplaryIt takes time to master the software
It has a thorough reporting feature

Key Features of CURA’s Internal Audit Software:

  • CURA is one of the best governance, risk, and compliance management software
  • The software’s strength lies in its issue-tracking and resolution capabilities
  • It is flexible and user-friendly.

CURA is best known for its flexible customization options and user-friendliness. The platform allows organizations to tailor the software to their liking and needs. The software is also very particular about risk management and has modules that range from enterprise risk management and operational risk management to incident management and policy management.

Ready to Successfully Navigate Audits?

With organizations worldwide grappling with increasing regulatory pressures and escalating cybersecurity threats, the demand for an advanced solution that can effectively help you navigate these challenges has skyrocketed. An internal audit solution is the first step to adding to cyber resilience. Therefore, choosing the right solution is paramount to ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization's internal audit processes.

The nine software solutions highlighted in this article offer a comprehensive range of features tailored to meet diverse organizational needs. Whether you require robust audit planning capabilities, seamless integration options, or comprehensive reporting features, there is a solution that can address your specific requirements and streamline your audit operations.

Here's how Cyber Sierra can facilitate your audit process

Cyber Sierra’s GRC program offers a robust suite of features such as advanced risk analytics, customizable compliance frameworks, and with the integration with technologies like AI the platform easily integrates with your existing tech infrastructure and maps to your GRC controls, and provides complete visibility into your security and compliance posture. To summarize, it puts your GRC program on autopilot and empowers your audit team to effortlessly manage and optimize audits, ensuring compliance while mitigating risks. 

Schedule a demo today and discover how Cyber Sierra can transform your organization's audit landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What is the difference between internal and external audit software?

Internal audit software: This software is designed for organizations to conduct internal audits. Internal audits usually focus on the organization’s internal operations, processes, and compliance.

External audit software: This software, on the other hand, is used by external audit firms to conduct audits on their clients. External audits usually focus on financial statements and regulatory compliance.

Can internal audit software integrate with other systems used by the organization?

Yes, internal audit software integrates with other systems used by most organizations. Often, internal audit software solutions offer integration capabilities with systems like ERP, accounting, and document management systems. This integration allows for simple yet seamless data transfer, collaboration, and improved efficiency in the audit process.

Is internal audit software suitable for small organizations?

Yes, internal audit software solutions are suitable for small organizations. In fact, they are also specifically designed for small organizations. More often than not, these solutions offer features with price plans that accommodate the needs and budgets of small organizations. .

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Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik is a seasoned content marketer and the Head of Marketing at Cyber Sierra. With a firm belief in the power of storytelling, she brings years of experience to create engaging narratives that captivate audiences. She also brings valuable insights from her work in the field of cybersecurity and compliance, possessing a deep understanding of the challenges and pain points faced by customers in these domains.

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Third Party Risk Management

Enterprise TPRM Buyer’s Guide for CISOs

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You deserve a pat on the back.


In case you’re wondering why, here goes. Taking the time to explore enterprise TPRM software buyer’s guide before buying one reminds me of this famous Abraham Lincoln-attributed quote:


Abraham Lincoln-attributed quote


All things being equal, a sharpened ax will chop down a tree more effectively and efficiently. But you need some time to sharpen it, as Lincoln wisely opined. Similarly, the right third-party risk management (TPRM) tool is like having processes pre-sharpened to be more effective and efficient at tackling all 3rd party risks. But due to the ever-changing cyber threat landscape, choosing the right one requires investing some time to know what works best today.


And the first step is to…


Understand Today’s TPRM Lifecycle


To stay competitive, Gartner’s research found that up to 60% of organizations now partner with over 1,000 3rd party vendors. This number, the study noted, will only increase, giving security teams like yours more work to do. But the most worrying part is what the same research also found: A whopping 83% of organizations identify third-party risks long after performing initial due diligence.


This insight is instructive for chief information security officers (CISOs) and tech executives like you. It calls for a need to rethink the old way of assessing and managing vendor risks. Specifically, it means you must go beyond initial due diligence and perform ongoing categorization, swift remediation, and ongoing monitoring of third party vendors partnering with your company to be able to deal with risks promptly.


That’s what today’s TPRM lifecycle entails:


tprm life cycle stage


A great way to address each stage and step of the TPRM lifecycle illustrated above is through a unified platform with holistic vendors’ directory management capabilities. With that, at every step of the process, your security team can implement and maintain an effective and efficient TPRM program without losing context of other steps.


Which brings us to…


What to Look Out for in an Enterprise TPRM Solution


Irrespective of your organization’s unique situation, there are must-haves to look out for in an enterprise TPRM platform given today’s precarious threat landscape. The rest of this guide explores those crucial features, so you can make a more informed decision as you embark on buying and adopting an enterprise TPRM solution.


1. Holistic Vendor Directory


Imagine waking up to the news that a severe cyberattack has breached the data of many tech companies located in Singapore. Knowing your company partners with third-party vendors located in Singapore, you’d want to ensure they aren’t among those affected.


Doing that would be a stretch without a TPRM platform with holistic vendor directory capabilities. If the tool you choose lacks this feature, your vendor risk management team will rely on a mishmash of spreadsheets —with disconnected and disorganized pieces of information about the vendors your company is working with.


And it’d be difficult for you, the security leader or tech executive, to quickly filter and find specific lists of vendors any time the need arises. A holistic vendor directory solves that in three ways:


  • All vendors’ info management: From documents, to risk profiles, and policies in a centralized cloud-based platform.


  • Automatic segmentation: Leverages attributes like vendor location, vendor tiers, and others to automatically segment third-parties in your overall vendor ecosystem.


  • Easy searchability: Ability to quickly filter and find vendors that match whatever criteria relevant to you at any given time.


Based on what’s itemized above, here’s how to view a holistic vendor directory. It is a central place where all details of past and existing third-party vendors working with your organization can be easily filtered and retrieved by authorized persons.


2. Selection & Onboarding


Each time a new 3rd party is allowed into your vendor ecosystem, varying degrees of new cyber risks are introduced. The extent to which your team can know which vendors are likely to introduce more risks depends so much on how well you select and onboard them.


This is why vendor selection and onboarding is the first stage of the TPRM lifecycle. It sets your cybersecurity team up to manage each third-party allowed into your vendor ecosystem successfully:


Selection & Onboarding


As shown, the two steps in this stage, categorization and risk assessment and due diligence, helps your team tier vendors to be prioritized for ongoing risk monitoring. So vendor selection and onboarding capabilities a TPRM platform should have are:


  • Pre-onboarding risk analysis: Streamline the risk-profiling process for new vendors through security assessment surveys.


  • Customizing assessments: Enable leveraging standard vendor assessment templates like NIST and ISO, and the ability to customize them per your organization and vendor needs.


  • Pre-contract due diligence: Automate the cybersecurity due diligence processes before vendor contracts are approved.


  • Multiple vendor tiering: Automatically segmenting vendors into multiple tiers such as those with inherent or critical risks.


An easy way to simplify achieving the steps above is to start with standard cybersecurity assessment frameworks like NIST and ISO. Once you can customize any of these to your company’s specific needs, the other things can easily fall into place.


3. Risk Management & Remediation


To win your company’s business, third-party vendors will do everything within their power to pass initial security assessments. But once most are in, they become lackluster about security. This is why you shouldn’t rely on the first, positive impressions of vendors.


It’s also why your cybersecurity team needs processes in place for managing and remediating vendor risks should they emerge. This TPRM lifecycle stage ensures that, and its importance is shown in the fact that it has the most steps compared to other two stages:


Risk Management & Remediation


So after guiding vendors through onboarding and performing due diligence, seek a TPRM platform that also helps your team to:


  • Track security assessment progress: Streamline the process of tracking the due dates and review statuses of sent security assessment questionnaires across all vendors.


  • Re-populate questionnaires: Use answers previously submitted by vendors to re-populate questionnaires for what has changed.


  • Auto-score assessment responses: Automatically score responses and evidence provided by vendors to security assessment questions to understand possible risks.


  • Get swift incident response insights: Access actionable, in-context insight for responding to and remediating risks.


  • Adjust vendor contracts: Append changing risk profiles of vendors to relevant sections of their contracts and streamline the processes of using the same to request contract adjustments.


Even with all these in place, in most cases, managing and remediating risks requires vendors to make adjustments to their internal systems that are outside your team’s control. This requires collaborating with vendors whenever the need arises. And to be effective, communicating with them should be streamlined and in-context of specific risks. As you’d see below, the TPRM comments’ feature on Cyber Sierra enables that.


4. Continuous Vendors’ Monitoring


As the cyber threat landscape evolves, so would 3rd parties in your company’s vendor ecosystem need to adjust to changing regulatory requirements. But the onus is on your security team to ensure vendors are staying compliant with those changing compliance regulations. Failure to do this can result in collateral data breach damages and the hefty regulatory fines that come with them.


Avoiding such requires continuous vendor monitoring. First to ensure adherence to evolving compliance requirements. And second to reap the added advantage of identifying and proactively remediating risks from all vendor relationships before it’s too late.


This stage of the TPRM lifecycle addresses both:


Continuous Vendors’ Monitoring


TPRM capabilities needed here are:


  • Real-time vendor monitoring: Track vendors’ posture against compliance failures and cybersecurity risks in real-time.


  • Continuous risk trends’ visibility: Gain comprehensive, continuous visibility into vendors’ statuses against evolving risk trends and regulatory compliance requirements.


  • Auto-risk flagging and scoring: Flag all risks and automatically assign scores to each, enabling your team to prioritize.


  • Actionable remediation insights: Provide useful insights your team can use to prevent data breaches and compliance failures.


These continuous vendor risk monitoring capabilities are pre-built into Cyber Sierra’s TPRM suite. And it’s one of the reasons a global bank headquartered in Singapore relies on us for its TPRM needs.


More on that below.


Choosing the Right TPRM Tool


Even with everything above checked, are there other things to consider before choosing an enterprise TPRM platform?


There are, so let’s discuss them.


1. Adaptability


This one goes both ways.


As much as vendors need your organization’s business, your organization also needs vendors to stay competitive. The implication of this is that a TPRM platform must be adaptable to both parties.


On the one hand, it should streamline your team’s processes of managing risks posed by vendors. On the other hand, it should also streamline the steps vendors need to answer security assessment questions and provide necessary compliance evidence.


No party should feel like it’s extra work.


2. Interoperability


Third-party risk management is crucial. But it is one piece of risk management in the overall enterprise governance, risk management, and regulatory compliance (GRC) pie:


Choosing the Right TPRM Tool


Consider this when choosing a TPRM solution. Because if you choose a point TPRM tool, you’d also need to spend hard-earned resources on other tools for cybersecurity governance and compliance. In addition to wasted spend, point cybersecurity solutions have other downsides.


Says Matt Kapko of CybersecurityDive:


Matt Kapko of CybersecurityDive


To avoid these issues, seek a platform where your team can tackle vendor risks in the context of your company’s security governance, overall risk management, and regulatory compliance, all in one place.


This is why interoperability is crucial and should be prioritized.


3. Value


While price is a major consideration with any enterprise software purchase, what you really want to focus on is the value you’d get. And staying with the need for interoperability over a point tool, it makes sense to prioritize a TPRM solution with full-fledged capabilities for tackling interrelated, enterprise cybersecurity needs.


Some things to look out for are:


  • Beyond TPRM, does it provide a centralized solution suite for addressing other cybersecurity concerns from one place?


  • Is there unlimited access, so your core security team and employees can collaborate in tackling cybersecurity?


  • Can you integrate all tools and services across your organization for continuous scanning for threats and cyber risks?


  • Can you customize the platform, per your organization’s specific cybersecurity needs?


  • Is the platform enterprise-ready and built to scale as teams across your organization, cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, and vendor risk management needs grow?


The correct answers to these questions varies from one company to another and will ultimately depend on a company’s unique needs. So to get the most value out of a TPRM solution, it’s best to reach out and see if it can be tailored to your needs before talking about pricing.


Try Cyber Sierra, the Interoperable TPRM Platform


All TPRM solutions aren’t created equal.


Most are built to be pure-play or point TPRM tools. As stressed in this guide, the downside is that your team can end up with more vulnerabilities if a tool doesn’t work well with other tools in your tech stack. This is why to get the most value, consider a comprehensive, interoperable cybersecurity platform with full-fledged enterprise TPRM capabilities.


If that sounds inviting, here are just two reasons to try Cyber Sierra.


First, our TPRM suite has a holistic vendor inventory directory that automatically updates once a new 3rd party enters your vendors’ ecosystem. This capability enables authorized persons in your team and across the company to filter specific vendors at any time, using various filtering options like location, vendor type, status, and so on:


Try Cyber Sierra, the Interoperable TPRM Platform


Second, and this is crucial, is how our platform removes lots of back and forth when managing and remediating vendor risks. Automating the various processes involved in selecting and onboarding vendors is usually pre-built into most TPRM tools. But even with this, most tools still require you to send back and forth emails, requiring vendors to do their bit in staying compliant or remediating threats and cybersecurity risks.


Not with Cyber Sierra.


In many, if not all, cases, managing and remediating risks requires vendors to adjust internal systems outside your team’s control. This requires real-time collaboration whenever the need arises. And to be effective, communication should be streamlined and in-context of specific risk-remediation tasks.


Our TPRM comments’ feature enables that:


Our TPRM comments’ feature


There are other reasons to consider an interoperable, cybersecurity suite with enterprise TPRM capabilities like Cyber Sierra.


But the two reasons shown above is why a global bank in Singapore relies on us for its extensive TPRM needs:


extensive TPRM needs


Read their success story here.


If that sounds inviting, give Cyber Sierra a try:


give Cyber Sierra a try

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Pramodh Rai

Meet Pramodh Rai, a technology aficionado and Cyber Sierra's co-founder, whose zest for innovation is fuelled by a cupboard stacked with zero-sugar Redbull. With a nimble footwork through the tech tulips across Asia Pacific, he's donned hats at Hmlet (the proptech kind) and Funding Societies | Modalku, building high-performing teams and technologies. A Barclays prodigy with dual degrees from Nanyang Technological University, Pramodh is a treasure trove of wisdom, dad jokes, and everything product/tech. He's the Sherpa in sneakers you need.

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Third Party Risk Management

Top 7 Enterprise Risk Management Software in 2024

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Organizations constantly face unique risk challenges while adapting to industry demands. 76% of organizations prioritize their enterprise risk management programs, showcasing the increasing recognition of ERM’s role in ensuring the organization’s success.


However, resource constraints, siloed operations, and ineffective tools often hinder security and risk management teams, jeopardizing timely threat detection and response. Choosing the right ERM solution can dramatically improve efficiency and response times, empowering organizations to address potential threats proactively.


This blog post will explore the top 7 Enterprise Risk Management software solutions. Each solution is designed to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and align risk management with overall business objectives, ultimately driving organizational success.


What is Enterprise Risk Management software?


Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) software is a specialized tool that enables organizations to comprehensively identify, evaluate, and manage operational risks across its operations. It provides a centralized, holistic view of an organization’s exposure to a wide range of risks – strategic, financial, operational, compliance-related, and more – and how these different organizational risk factors intersect and impact one another. This integrated approach allows companies to align their overarching risk management strategies with their core business goals and objectives.


ERM software streamlines collecting and analyzing risk data, conducting risk assessments, generating reports to aid in decision-making, and monitoring adherence to pertinent regulatory mandates. The value proposition is clear – 52% of risk management leaders agree that organizations embracing an integrated methodology for identifying, evaluating, and responding to potential incidents will experience reduced overall risk exposure and superior outcomes.


Seven Best Enterprise Risk Management Tools in 2024


Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) tools offer data analytics, customizable process workflows, and insights into user activity across the organization to monitor vulnerabilities and potential risks in near real-time.


Core capabilities common to enterprise risk management systems include reporting functionalities, advanced analytics, risk prioritization, audit management, threat visibility and monitoring, risk profile assessment, and compliance management.


The following enterprise risk management (ERM) software solutions stand out as the top choices in the market based on comprehensive user reviews, in-depth feature evaluations, and a rigorous assessment of their key capabilities. These powerful tools empower risk management professionals to tackle compliance requirements head-on, identify strategic risks with precision, and conduct thorough analyses of their potential business impacts:


Here is a list of the top ERM software that have been stringently evaluated based on user reviews, feature evaluations, and an assessment of their key capabilities. These solutions empower risk professionals to not only meet the compliance requirements but also proactively identify strategic risks and analyze their potential business impacts:


Cyber Sierra



Cyber Sierra is an enterprise-grade cybersecurity platform engineered to empower security professionals by streamlining security controls, risk assessments, and vendor relationship management. By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, Cyber Sierra delivers comprehensive insights into risks, vulnerabilities, and compliance postures, enabling proactive, data-driven decision-making.


Cyber Sierra tackles the complexities of cyber risk, simplifying security for businesses. Their intelligent platform delivers actionable insights into risks, vulnerabilities, and compliance. With their platform, you’ll rapidly identify critical threats, allowing you to protect your organization proactively.

Key Features

Unified GovernanceFacilitate compliance with globally recognized standards such as ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, MAS Outsourcing, HKMA, and PDPA.
Threat IntelligenceAn all-encompassing security solution offering to improve the organization's cybersecurity. It is conducive to receiving key insights about security conditions, scanning for vulnerabilities in internal networks, and managing them.
Cybersecurity Risk ManagementIdentify and contextualize security risks about your organization's assets.
Employee Awareness ProgramsProvides the latest knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to identify and prevent potential attacks. This includes interactive quizzes, simulated campaigns, and continuous updates.
Third-Party Risk ManagementStreamline the process of vendor security assessments and enable continuous risk monitoring in a unified platform.
Two-factor authentication (2FA)Incorporates 2FA verification beyond just the password to access applications.


Unified & Interoperable PlatformCombines governance, risk, cybersecurity compliance, cyber insurance, threat intelligence, and employee training capabilities in a single platform.
Continuous Control MonitoringProvides near real-time monitoring of controls, enables risk assessments, and supports proactive threat management.  
Seamless Third-Party Risk ManagementStreamlines management of third-party vendors' risks with continuous monitoring.
Improved Compliance and Controls ManagementReceive a deep monitoring and evaluation of the potential challenges that may impact your company. Additionally, get the proper measures to reduce the effect of the recognized problems.

Best For:


Cyber Sierra is best suited for established enterprises and mid-to-late-stage startups grappling with regulatory compliance requirements, data security challenges, and compliance issues.


The platform is also immensely effective for enterprises seeking to consolidate their cybersecurity, governance, and insurance processes from multiple vendors into one intelligent platform. Book a free demo here.


Duo Security



Duo Security, incorporated into Cisco, is a cloud-based security platform that safeguards users, data, and applications from emerging threats. It verifies users’ identities and assesses the security posture of their devices before allowing application access, aligning with stringent business unit security and compliance mandates.


Key Features

Two-factor authentication (2FA)By providing a secondary form of verification beyond just the password, Duo improves the security of accessing networks and applications.
Device TrustDevice Trust scrutinizes every device attempting to access applications, ensuring it adheres to predefined security benchmarks before access is permitted.
Adaptive AuthenticationBy utilizing adaptive policies and machine learning, Duo tailors access security based on nuanced user behavior and device-specific insights.
Secure Single Sign-On (SSO)Duo's SSO provides users with a streamlined, secure pathway to multiple applications, enhancing the user experience without compromising security.


User-FriendlyKnown for its intuitive interface and ease of deployment, Duo simplifies the user experience.
Robust SecurityThe platform’s reliance on two-factor authentication effectively minimizes the likelihood of unauthorized access.
Extensive Integration CapabilitiesDuo integrates with various VPNs, cloud services, and network infrastructures.
Responsive Customer SupportUsers frequently commend Duo for its proactive and helpful customer support team.

Best For


Companies with various applications and devices will particularly benefit from Duo’s security framework.





Wiz is a Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) platform that scans your cloud stack to uncover hidden vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and emerging threats.


Key Features

Comprehensive VisibilityGain a complete, centralized understanding of security risks across your multi-cloud landscape.
Actionable RemediationReceive clear guidance to address vulnerabilities and strengthen your security posture proactively.
Team CollaborationEmpower seamless cooperation between DevOps, security, and cloud infrastructure teams.
Real-time Insights and MonitoringDetect new threats and misconfigurations as they arise for rapid response.


Holistic SecurityBenefit from a unified assessment across all major cloud platforms.
Powerful AutomationStreamline security processes with intelligent automation and intuitive dashboards.
Rapid DeploymentExperience fast setup and minimal configuration for quick time-to-value.

Best For


Wiz is the choice for organizations operating in multi-cloud environments seeking a comprehensive cloud security solution.





Vanta is a security and compliance management platform designed to streamline SOC 2 compliance. By continuously monitoring your technology stack, Vanta automates many tedious tasks in achieving and maintaining SOC 2 certification, saving you time and resources.


Key Features

Continuous MonitoringEnsures ongoing compliance with SOC 2 standards through real-time vigilance.
AutomationSimplifies and speeds up compliance processes, accelerating your path to SOC 2 certification.
Seamless IntegrationsConnects effortlessly with cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, and Azure for a centralized view of your environment.


Rapid ComplianceReduces the time and effort needed to achieve and maintain SOC 2 compliance.
Easy IntegrationWorks seamlessly with your existing tech stack for straightforward implementation.

Best For:


Vanta can be considered for mid-sized to large businesses, especially those in tech, healthcare, or finance, where strict security compliance is paramount.





AuditBoard is a platform that streamlines the entire audit process, from planning and execution to reporting. It allows teams to manage compliance confidently, reduce risk, and minimize costly incidents across your organization.


Key Features:

Centralized ControlA single dashboard provides a real-time, comprehensive view of auditable entities, risks, and key metrics.
Efficient Risk AssessmentConduct risk assessments and pinpoint potential gaps in compliance coverage.
Seamless Issue ManagementTrack issues, assign ownership for remediation, and generate reports quickly and efficiently.
Standardized WorkflowsCreate audit templates and automate processes to ensure consistency and timely completion.


Better engagement and responseEquips risk owners with insights to power up risk management across the company.
Scale Risk ManagementReceive information about the risk environment from your organization's front line. Recognize operational weaknesses before challenges arise.

Best For


Mid and large-scale companies looking for a solution to mitigate risks.





LogicGate is a solution that allows businesses to manage risk by streamlining and automating compliance processes proactively. Its centralized platform consolidates risk management, controls, and evidence collection, eliminating redundancy and boosting efficiency.

Key Features:

Eliminate SilosConnect internal controls across multiple frameworks to uncover gaps and overlapping compliance requirements, reducing wasted effort.
Automate Evidence ManagementAutomate control evaluations, notify relevant stakeholders, and securely link cloud-based evidence for streamlined documentation and reporting.
Increased CollaborationFacilitate stakeholder engagement and demonstrate audit readiness by sharing progress and corrective action plans.
Audit PreparationContinuously evaluate and optimize your governance, risk, and control programs to ensure a smooth audit cycle.


Automate tedious tasksEliminate manual tracking and streamline compliance workflows.
Stay up-to-date on regulationsReceive alerts and updates on the latest compliance changes.
Reduce errorMinimize the risk of mistakes that lead to non-compliance.

Best for


It is suitable for various industries, including software, telecommunications, banking, insurance, and investment services.





This cloud-based platform is a governance, compliance, and risk management toolkit, helping organizations to mitigate risks seamlessly throughout their operational ecosystem.


Key Features:

Proactive Notification SystemNotification triggers and flags for non-compliant actions direct to risk owners, providing deep insights into risk specifics, recommended actions, urgency, focal areas, and tailored data.
Integrated Risk AssessmentA function that delivers exhaustive risk data across the ecosystem, aiding teams in documenting acknowledged, transferred, and mitigated risks.
Risk OverviewA comprehensive risk overview for establishing compliance protocols, risk mitigation workflows, and ensuring thorough compliance.
Dynamic Risk Library UsageUtilization of an extensive risk library for crafting a risk register, enabling the addition or removal of risks, application of numerous checks, and selection of tailored risk treatment strategies.


Audit readiness support
Gather all the compliance directly from the platform and share it easily with the team. You can also include the auditor in the dashboard and share it for review.
Zero trust security Offers to simplify and implement security compliant with the current security frameworks. 

Best for


It is a cloud-based solution, making it a good fit for organizations requiring a similar enterprise risk management system deployed into their tech stack.


How to Choose the Right ERM for Your Business?


When choosing the right ERM for your business, you must consider the following critical attributes:


  • Evaluate your requirements
  • Explore niche solutions
  • Access the security
  • Request for references
  • User interface – Is it easy and intuitive to use?
  • Scope for customization
  • Integration capabilities


Selecting the right ERM solution for your business is critical for creating a successful risk management strategy. Additionally, with diverse enterprise risk management (ERM) software tools available in the market, choosing the right one can be challenging.


Now let’s take a detailed look at the critical attributes that you need to look for while deciding upon the right software –


Evaluate your requirements – Before looking for the right solution, you must be clear about your organization’s fundamental needs. Start with an extensive study or survey of all the requirements considering the organization’s different teams and their challenges and experiences. This would be beneficial in finding the right software that adheres to your organization’s particular needs.


Explore niche solutions – There is a wide range of risk management solutions available in the market. However, some tools cater to specific industries such as banking, energy, the construction sector, and so on. That’s why you must look for solutions that complement your niche, as they can offer focused features that might be helpful in managing the risks that your organization faces on a frequent basis.


Assess the security – Risk management often involves dealing with sensitive information, so choosing a secure solution that proactively protects your organization’s data privacy is non-negotiable. Always ensure the tool you select has robust security measures.


Request for references and opt for a trial – Before deciding upon the right tool, it’s a good idea to get references and have your organization experience it. This means be sure to go for a vendor that provides a trial period or demo to learn more about the tool. You can also ask the vendors for references from previous clients who have utilized the tool to learn about their experiences.


Apart from all the above-mentioned factors, you also need to ensure the solution has the following traits, which can help in making an informed decision –


  • User-friendliness and intuitive user interface – Simple navigation in the ERM solution is crucial as it aids in a successful user experience for the entire organization.


  • Scope for customization – The solution should adapt quickly to your company’s specific risk management needs and requirements.


  • Integration – The solution should seamlessly integrate with other existing systems and processes in the company.


How can Cyber Sierra help you?


Cyber Sierra is a unified and interoperable risk management platform that integrates smart GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance), third-party risk management, continuous control monitoring, and cyber insurance capabilities. It combines features such as automated security alerts, threat intelligence feeds, vulnerability scanning, expert guidance, and employee security training, equipping organizations with the necessary resources to fortify their security posture.


The platform flags control breaks, control gaps, deviations, and non-compliant actions to risk owners, offering suggestions for risk mitigation and transfer through cyber insurance. Automated evidence collection, documentation, and detailed audit logs streamline risk management processes for mid to large-sized enterprises using Cyber Sierra.


Explore how Cyber Sierra can alleviate your security challenges by scheduling a demo call today.




Here are some of the most common FAQs on the topic of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Software:


What is Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Software?


Enterprise Risk Management Software is a specialized software solution designed to help organizations identify, assess, monitor, and mitigate various business risks across the entire enterprise. It provides a centralized platform for managing strategic, operational, financial, regulatory compliance, and other external risks in an integrated and holistic manner.


What are the critical features of ERM Software?


Standard features of ERM software include risk level identification and assessment tools, risk reporting and analytics, risk monitoring and tracking, compliance management, incident management, risk mitigation planning, and risk data aggregation from various sources. Advanced ERM solutions may also incorporate features like risk modeling, scenario analysis, and automated risk control testing.


What are the benefits of using ERM Software?


Key benefits of using ERM software include improved risk visibility across the organization, enhanced risk-based decision-making, better compliance with regulatory requirements, improved risk monitoring and early warning systems, centralized risk data management, and streamlined risk reporting. ERM software can also help organizations optimize risk management processes and resource allocation.


Who typically uses ERM Software?


Organizations across various major industries, including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, and more, use ERM software. It is commonly adopted by large enterprises with complex risk landscapes but can also benefit smaller organizations. Key users within an organization include risk managers, compliance officers, internal auditors, and senior executives responsible for risk oversight.


How is ERM Software deployed?


ERM software can be deployed in various ways, including on-premises (installed on the organization’s servers), cloud-based (hosted by the software vendor), or as a hybrid solution. Cloud-based deployments are becoming increasingly popular due to their scalability, accessibility, and reduced IT overhead. The deployment method chosen often depends on the organization’s IT infrastructure, data security requirements, and budgetary considerations.

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Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik is a seasoned content marketer and the Head of Marketing at Cyber Sierra. With a firm belief in the power of storytelling, she brings years of experience to create engaging narratives that captivate audiences. She also brings valuable insights from her work in the field of cybersecurity and compliance, possessing a deep understanding of the challenges and pain points faced by customers in these domains.

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Third Party Risk Management

MAS Outsourcing Guidelines - What CISO Should Know in 2024 ?

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11th December 2024.


That’s the grace period the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has allowed before its new Notices on Outsourcing (658 and 1121) takes effect. Announced on 11th December 2023, the 12-month grace period also repeals the Outsourcing guidelines outlined in Notices 634 and 1108.


This means even if your organization was compliant with Notices 634 and 1108 last updated in 2018, you still have work to do. You’re probably here because you know that. So without much ado, in this article, I’ll:


  • Highlight who the latest MAS Outsourcing guidelines apply to
  • Discuss the key areas in the new MAS Outsourcing guidelines
  • Show you how to automate parts of the process of becoming (and staying) compliant with MAS’ updated regulations.


Who the Latest MAS Outsourcing Guidelines Apply to


According to the regulator’s official statements, Notices 658 and 1121 spells out compliance requirements for banks and merchant banks outsourcing relevant services to third-parties, respectively.


As illustrated below:


Who the Latest MAS Outsourcing Guidelines Apply to


Both outsourcing guideline Notices are issued pursuant to section 47A(2), (4), (6), (7) and (12), as applied by section 55ZJ(1), of the Singaporean Banking Act 1970 (the “Act”) and applies to all banks and merchant banks.


The stated information confirms who the new MAS Outsourcing guidelines apply to: Banks and merchant banks. However, the responsibility of becoming compliant rests on the senior management, CISOs, and executives at such financial institutions (FIs).


You’ll see that as we proceed.


But before we proceed:


CS cta


Key Areas in the New MAS Outsourcing Guidelines


Although there are dozens of requirements, key areas FIs must adhere to, to become compliant with the new MAS Outsourcing guidelines are:


  • Having a register of all outsourced service providers
  • Third-party risk governance and management oversight
  • Ongoing evaluation of 3rd (and 4th) party vendors
  • Continuous independent audits of third-parties


Register of All Outsourced Relevant Services


Under this requirement, MAS mandates all banks and merchant banks to have and keep a register that comprehensively records all:



More importantly, the regulator requires all FIs to update the register promptly and submit the same to the Authority semi-annually and at any time it is requested.


You can have and keep an updated register of outsourced relevant services like the one required by MAS through the good ol’ spreadsheet. But this will take a lot of manual data entry and maintenance efforts. A more optimal way is to leverage Cyber Sierra’s third-party risk management suite:


database for your security team


With our platform, an updated inventory of all third-party vendors and service providers are kept automatically. As shown above, you also get a database for your security team to quickly search and track how critical vendors perform relative to outlined MAS cybersecurity guidelines.


Third-Party Risk Governance & Management Oversight


In the new Outsourcing guidelines, MAS requires the implementation of an appropriate third-party risk management governance framework. They also require FIs to have an executive team to provide oversight of the same.


Two critical must-dos are:


MAS Outsourcing official documentation - In-content highlight design-2


To comply with these requirements, you can create a custom third-party risk management governance framework. A better option that helps in streamlining the compliance process is to adopt and customize globally-accepted governance frameworks like SOC and NIST.


Cyber Sierra helps with that:


pre-built with customizable versions of the SOC and NIST governance frameworks


Our platform is pre-built with customizable versions of the SOC and NIST governance frameworks used to assess 3rd parties worldwide. You also get a single pane to invite all stakeholders needed to collaborate, customize, and oversee any of the governance frameworks your team implements.


Ongoing evaluation of 3rd (and 4th) party vendors


In the updated Outsourcing guidelines, MAS requires FIs to properly evaluate third-parties before and after engaging them. The financial regulator also requires due diligence extended to the subcontractors (fourth-parties) a 3rd party service provider is working with.


This due diligence checks should be ongoing:


MAS Outsourcing official documentation - In-content highlight design-3


To become compliant with the ongoing evaluation of third-and fourth-parties, MAS expects third-parties working with FIs to provide evidence of meeting designated security assessment requirements.


Specifically, the expect that:


MAS Outsourcing official documentation - In-content highlight design-4


You can automate processes involved in collecting such evidence documents with Cyber Sierra. For instance, you can request and have third-parties upload required security assessment evidence from one pane.


Our platform also auto-verifies each uploaded evidence:


automate crucial third-party risk management


The ability to automate crucial third-party risk management processes like this is why financial institutions trust Cyber Sierra. Take one global bank based in Singapore:


CS case study quote


Continuous Independent Audits of Third-Parties


The compliance requirements here is straightforward:


Continuous Independent Audits of Third-Parties


Working with independent auditors has many benefits. One is giving external, more experienced eyes a chance to assess 3rd parties that pose risks and can stop your company from becoming compliant. But because MAS requires that this is done on an ongoing basis, there’s a need to streamline the process for everyone.


For instance, you can give auditors a central place where they can search, easily review, and identify third-parties with unsatisfactory security measures in place.


Again, you can do this with Cyber Sierra:


Take the MAS Outsourcing Notices Seriously


Take the MAS Outsourcing Notices Seriously


Singapore’s threat landscape is always evolving.


To stay one step ahead, Notice 658 and Notice 1121 sets out updated measures necessary for protecting financial institutions from threat actors increasingly trying to strike through outsourced services. By taking the new MAS Outsourcing guidelines seriously and complying with them, you bolster your organization’s cyber resilience.


Another reason to take this seriously is the allowed grace period. MAS expects all financial institutions to become compliant with all new requirements before 11th December 2024. Depending on when you read this, that’s just a few months away.


To facilitate the process for your team, consider streamlining and automating the crucial parts of becoming (and staying) compliant. Of course, this is where a platform like Cyber Sierra comes in:


CS cta

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Pramodh Rai

Meet Pramodh Rai, a technology aficionado and Cyber Sierra's co-founder, whose zest for innovation is fuelled by a cupboard stacked with zero-sugar Redbull. With a nimble footwork through the tech tulips across Asia Pacific, he's donned hats at Hmlet (the proptech kind) and Funding Societies | Modalku, building high-performing teams and technologies. A Barclays prodigy with dual degrees from Nanyang Technological University, Pramodh is a treasure trove of wisdom, dad jokes, and everything product/tech. He's the Sherpa in sneakers you need.

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Third Party Risk Management

Third-Party Risk Management - A Comprehensive Guide 101

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In today’s rapidly changing business environment, success is often a matter of who you know – or in many cases, who you work with. Third-party relationships can be a boon, opening doors and enabling innovation. However, they can also be a complex web, a vast network that can introduce a host of risks, especially cybersecurity risks.


Understanding the gravity of these risks is crucial.The vulnerability of third-party connections presents a formidable challenge for organizations navigating the cybersecurity landscape.This underscores the critical importance of implementing a proactive and strategic Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM).


This TPRM blogpost will help demystify TPRM, explain why it’s important, and provide best practices to fortify your organization against these risks.


What is TPRM?


Third-party risk management (TPRM) is a proactive and strategic approach to identifying and mitigating the varied risks associated with an enterprise’s use of third parties (also known as vendors, suppliers, partners, contractors, or service providers) for its business requirements


TPRM helps organizations understand the third parties they work with, how they are used, and what safeguards the third parties have in place. The scope and requirements of TPRM vary from one organization to another based on industry, regulations, and other factors, but many best practices are universal. TPRM can be thought of as a broader discipline that includes vendor risk management (VRM), supplier risk management, and supply chain risk management. By implementing a robust TPRM program, organizations can reduce the likelihood of disruptions to their operations and protect their reputation, data, and assets.


Importance of TPRM in 2024


In 2024, Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) continues to be critical for organizations across various industries due to the evolving threat landscape, increasing reliance on third-party vendors, and rising regulatory scrutiny. According to Deloitte, last year 62% of global leaders identified cyber information and security risk to be the top third-party risk. At the same time, almost half (42%) of them believe that their third parties play a more important role than ever in driving revenue compared to three years ago. This highlights the significant challenges and responsibilities faced by third-party risk management and security teams in identifying, managing, and mitigating the varied risks associated with integrating them into their IT environment.


Increased regulatory scrutiny:

The increasing focus on data protection and privacy regulations like GDPR, MAS TRM, and CCPA has led to a greater scrutiny of third-party outsourcing. Regulators worldover, like those in the EU and the US, are demanding tighter governance and accountability, particularly in AI and cloud services. Rules like DORA, NYDFS, and NIS2 mandate mapping third-party assets, evaluating criticality, and adopting proactive risk management strategies, including third-party risk assessments. This shift requires organizations to ensure TPRM practices align with evolving regulations.


Evolving threat landscape:

With businesses increasingly leveraging cloud services, the potential attack surface has grown. TPRM is crucial in identifying and mitigating these emerging risks by implementing and monitoring effective cybersecurity measures. However, enterprises must consider the shared responsibility model of cloud infrastructure systems like AWS, which shifts certain responsibilities to SaaS providers. This shift complicates data security and can lead to vulnerabilities, as seen in the 2015 Uber breach. Companies must implement best practices and maintain strong oversight of their cloud services and third-party relationships.


Examples of Third-Party Risks


Examples of Third-Party Risks


Organizations face various third-party security risks, some of which are mentioned below:


Cybersecurity Risk: The association with third parties can result in many kinds of cyber threats, including data breaches or even data loss. Routine evaluation of vendors and tracking of their activities is one of the measures aimed at minimizing this risk.


Operational Risk: Third-party initiatives and disruptions can prevent business operations from going normal. To eliminate this, companies usually implement SLAs (service level agreements) with vendors and prepare backup plans for the sustenance of business continuity.


Compliance Risk: Third-party activities can increase an organization’s risk of noncompliance with established standards or contractual agreements. This area is particularly sensitive for companies that operate in industries with a high degree of regulation, such as banking, telecom, government, and the health sector.


Reputational Risk: Any organization working with third parties faces potential reputational risks from adverse incidents. Such incidents involve security failures, data breaches, or unethical behavior. They can damage customer trust loss, brand reputation, and overall business quality.


Financial Risk: Inadequate management of third-party relationships can also cause financial difficulties for companies. A third party with inadequate security measures may attract fines and legal fees, further damaging the company’s financial stability.


Strategic Risk: Furthermore, third-party risks can be detrimental to an organization’s strategic objectives. If not addressed adequately, they can impede business success.


These risks often converge – for example, a breach can lead to loss of customer data, posing simultaneous risks to operations, brand reputation, finances, and compliance


Third-Party Risk Management Lifecycle

Third-Party Risk Management Lifecycle


1. Recognition and Categorization of Third-Party Risk

Effective third-party risk management starts with understanding and categorizing the risks posed by different third-party relationships. This involves creating a complete inventory of all vendors, suppliers, contractors, partners, and other third-party entities that an organization engages with. Here are several factors to consider when categorizing these relationships:


  • Determine access level: Providers with high levels of access to sensitive data or systems are the ones considered to be at high risk.


  • Relationship type: Providers that take a rather meaningful part in the enterprise are thought of as higher-risk ones.


  • Industry or sector: Particular industries or sectors could be more prone to risks, such as fraud or data breaches.


  • Regulatory compliance: Ensure clarity and alignment with regulatory expectations by categorizing third-party risks according to specific compliance mandates and industry regulations.


  • Financial stability: The providers with financial instability are likely to raise the risk levels of organizations.


Categorizing third-party relationships based on these factors can help organizations prioritize their risk management efforts and allocate resources more effectively to mitigate potential risks. It also provides a framework for ongoing monitoring and assessment of these relationships.


2. Risk assessment and Due Diligence

In the second stage of the TPRM lifecycle, organizations conduct a comprehensive risk assessment and due diligence to ensure the reliability and compliance of their third-party relationships with their security requirements.


Risk assessment involves:

  • Identifying the third-party risk associated with each outsourced relationship
  • Measuring the probability and potential impact of these risks, which may involve financial stability, operational resilience, regulatory compliance, and safe use of data.


Due diligence involves:

  • Assessing the provided information by the third parties for reliability and capabilities of the provider, which may include reviewing the financial data and documents, among others.
  • Creating policies and procedures for when outside parties are involved, such as making sure external agents are obligated to follow the security standards and provisions of the company, including data encryption and access controls.


This step of the TPRM lifecycle should be aimed at ensuring that the organization fully understands the risks that the third-party relationships will bring and acts in response to them, mitigating each to a possible minimum. It also serves as a reference for the constant monitoring and testing of the ties to guarantee that the actions are compliant and secure.


3. Risk Mitigation

After the assessment of risks and fulfillment of due diligence, the next step in the TPRM lifecycle is risk mitigation and management. This means that policies, controls, and processes must be developed to mitigate existing risks in the first stages of third-party risk management and expose the organization to lesser third-party risks.


Risk mitigation and control strategies may include:


  • Contractual clauses: Incorporating specific clauses that are meant to outline the duties of each party in the third-party agreement, the privacy, data security, compliance, and indemnification clauses.


  • Continuous monitoring: Developing the process of long-term surveillance of third-party actions to ascertain that they comply with the security requirements and conduct regular audits, activities, and periodic reports.


  • Data protection: Implementing enforcement measures, which include access restrictions, data encryption, and regular backups.


  • Incident response: Ensuring a quick response strategy focused on security incidents including protocols for alerts, incident management, and post-incident assessments.


4. Contracting Management

In the modern business landscape, organizations frequently look to external vendors for a whole host of services – financial services, marketing, and technology, for example. While these relationships can drive substantial benefits, they’re not without risk – risk that must be managed effectively. This is where contractual and relationship management practices come into play.


Establish SLAs: Service level agreements (SLAs) are contracts that set performance benchmarks and service level standards between an organization and a third-party provider. Critical services must have SLAs that include benchmarks for response times, availability, and the timeframe for resolving problems. These metrics should be frequently reviewed and adjusted as required to ensure they meet current business needs and goals.


Manage relationships: It is essential to have a dedicated relationship management team or point of contact to manage third-party partnerships effectively. This team or individual should be responsible for monitoring the third-party provider’s performance, addressing any issues or concerns, and ensuring that the organization’s expectations are being met. Establishing regular channels of communication, status updates, and conducting periodic evaluations are also critical.


Ensure compliance: Third-party providers must comply with all contractual obligations. This requires ongoing monitoring of the provider’s performance and ensuring that all service-level agreements and other contractual requirements are being met. Additionally, regular audits and assessments should be conducted to ensure compliance with relevant laws, regulations, industry standards, and best practices.


Perform regular review: Contracts with third-party providers should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure they remain relevant and effective. This includes updating SLAs and other performance metrics to account for changes in business requirements or advancements in technology. Moreover, contracts should be reviewed to ensure they comply with all relevant rules and regulations.


5. Incident response and remediation

In the TPRM life cycle, incident response and remediation features are prominent since they are the safety nets for handling unknown cybersecurity risks. Although organizations use several preventive actions, security incidents can still turn up unexpectedly. Rapid acts of decisiveness are very important since they help mitigate the damage and avoid similar problems in the future.


Here are the key steps in handling security incidents:


Establishing incident response plans: All the parties involved should be well familiar with the roles analysis and the existing incident response plan. The plan should be detailed, identifying and addressing each task from start to finish, and should also cover communications with the key stakeholders and analysis of the incident aftermath.


Addressing third-party involvement: If it is a third-party provider that has been involved, steps should be retained to notify the provider and ascertain their part in the incident. This involves investigating the provider’s security policies and determining if they follow the compliance of any legal requirements and industry standards.


Implementing corrective actions: Once the situation is contained the organizations leverage corrective action to prevent similar incidents from happening again in the future. A new security framework may include: enhancing security measures, updating policies and procedures, and providing additional training and guidance to authorities.


Conducting post-event evaluations: It is essential to conduct a holistic review of the outcomes after the incident to identify areas of improvement. In this evaluation, the focus is on reviewing and improving the security measures, enhancing controls, and reinforcing employee education procedures.


Essentially the relationship between incident response and remediation is an integral part of the TPRM cycle as they function as reactive as well as proactive measures to avoid unexpected risks and secure the data and assets. The establishment of proper and effective incident response protocols can help to ensure the management of risks efficiently and maintain the company’s reputation as well as business continuity.


6. Ensuring Compliance

Compliance is an essential part of the Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) lifecycle. Compliance efforts ensure that all aspects of the TPRM program align with industry standards and provide a framework for continuous monitoring and improvement, helping organizations adapt to changing regulatory landscapes and emerging threats. This stage includes:


  • Monitoring and validating third-party compliance with contractual obligations, regulatory requirements, and industry standards.


  • Conducting regular audits and assessments to identify any compliance gaps or areas for improvement.


  • Implementing corrective actions or strategies to address compliance issues and improve overall compliance posture.


  • Providing ongoing training and support to third parties on compliance-related matters.


  • Reviewing and updating compliance policies and procedures in response to changes in regulations or industry standards.


  • Ensuring that all aspects of the TPRM program, including risk assessments, due diligence, and relationship management, adhere to compliance guidelines.


7. Monitoring of Third-party relationships


While third-party partnerships offer significant benefits, they also come with inherent risks that need to be managed effectively. This is where sound third-party relationship management practices come into play. This includes:


  • Establishing clear service level agreements (SLAs) to set performance expectations between an organization and its third-party provider. This includes defining response times, availability, and problem resolution timeframes.


  • Assigning a dedicated relationship management team or point of contact is essential for the effective management of third-party partnerships. They are responsible for monitoring the provider’s performance, addressing concerns, and ensuring that expectations are met.


  • Conducting regular audits and evaluations of contracts to ensure ongoing compliance with relevant laws and regulations, as well as alignment with organizational goals and standards.


Best Practices of Third-Party Risk Management



  • Divide third-party relationships into separate groups based on their risk levels, significance, data access, and regulation status.
  • Prioritize dealing with risks based on the profile of each group so as to use resources wisely.
  • Conduct ongoing and monitoring of high-risk groups while periodically reviewing low-risk ones.


Continuous Monitoring

  • Maintain an updated inventory of all third-party relationships, including vendors, suppliers, and contractors.
  • Establish a process for continuous monitoring of third-party relationships to ensure they meet security standards.
  • Regularly perform security assessments, audits, and compliance checks to identify and address emerging risks promptly.


Establish Clear Policies and Procedures:

  • Develop and enforce clear policies and procedures for managing third-party risks.
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the individuals who are part of maintaining the vendor relationships.
  • Review and refresh permissions when business needs and risks change.


Collaborate with Internal and External Auditors:

  • Collaborate with the internal and external auditors to build a strong third-party risk management program.
  • Get help and support from auditors and compliance experts to meet the industry standards and regulatory rules.
  • Form cross-functional teams of critical stakeholders and auditors from multiple departments to resolve issues and enhance third-party risk management processes.


Leverage automation for TPRM:

  • Utilize automation tools to streamline the collection, analysis, and reporting of TPRM data, enabling real-time insights into vendor risk profiles, compliance status, and performance metrics.
  • Implement customizable dashboards and automated reporting functionalities to visualize key risk indicators, trends, and compliance gaps, facilitating informed decision-making and strategic planning.


Challenges in Third Party Risk Management (TPRM)


Challenges in Third Party Risk Management (TPRM)


Risk mapping: Organizations face difficulties in developing an overview of their vendor networks. This can result in a lack of visibility into risks and an increase in overall risks.


Dealing with risks: The risk landscape is constantly changing, requiring organizations to be adaptable and proactive in recognizing and handling emerging risks within their third-party partnerships. However many organizations struggle to keep pace with these changes, leaving them susceptible to threats.


Lack of preparedness for incidents: Despite having risk management strategies in place security incidents involving third parties can still occur. To minimize the impact, companies need incident response plans. Nevertheless, many organizations are not adequately prepared to respond effectively to incidents and lack readiness.


Implementation of ongoing monitoring:  Most assessment methods used in TPRM offer a view of a vendor’s risk at a specific moment. This can be limiting. But there are some TPRM platforms, such as Cyber Sierra that allow for near real-time monitoring of the vendors’ security controls


Development of vendor risk management policy: Crafting a Vendor Risk Management (VRM) policy is essential for TPRM. This involves outlining compliance standards responsibilities in the event of a breach, acceptable vendor controls, response protocols, and oversight mechanisms.


Compliance: Ensuring compliance with regulations and industry frameworks is crucial for managing third-party risks. However, staying abreast of the evolving environment can pose challenges. It can get challenging for companies to guarantee that their third-party partnerships adhere to all the relevant regulations.


Integration: TPRM should be an integral part of an organization’s overall risk management strategy. However, companies often struggle to integrate TPRM into their existing business processes, leading to disjointed risk management efforts and potential gaps in risk coverage.


Leverage an Automated Third-party Risk Management program


In general, TPRM is one of the necessary components of a comprehensive risk management program. It helps organizations protect themselves, their customers, and their assets while meeting regulatory compliance, reducing cost, and improving efficiency. Through responsible policies and timely monitoring, organizations can reduce the impact of third-party risks. The right tools enable preparation and forge deals that stimulate growth and success. That said, while you can mitigate third-party risks, it is impossible to eliminate them completely.


This is where Cybersierra comes in. Our TPRM solution simplifies complex third-party relationships and strengthens an organization’s security posture. It provides a comprehensive view of the third-party ecosystem, identifies and prioritizes risks, and deploys targeted risk mitigation strategies. What’s more, it gives you a dashboard view of your vendor’s security posture at any time, instead of the static, one-time snapshot from traditional security questionnaires.


Schedule a demo now to see how Cybersierra can streamline your TPRM processes. Our platform effectively mitigates third-party risks so you can focus on driving business growth through strategic partnerships.




Who falls under the category of a third party?

A third party or vendor can be broadly defined as an external entity with which an organization has entered into a contract or agreement to provide a good, product, or service. This can include suppliers, contractors, service providers, partners, or any other entity outside the organization’s immediate scope that contributes to or impacts its operations.


Why is third-party risk management important?

The importance of third-party risk management (TPRM) lies in safeguarding organizations from cybersecurity threats, supply chain disruptions, and potential data breaches that could lead to reputational damage. It’s not just a matter of best practice; it’s increasingly becoming a regulatory requirement.


Why is continuous monitoring of third-party relationships crucial?

Continuous monitoring of third-party relationships is critical because it allows organizations to identify and address emerging risks in near real-time. It provides ongoing insights into a vendor’s security posture and compliance, ensuring that the organization remains vigilant and proactive in managing potential risks associated with its third-party ecosystem.

  • Third Party Risk Management
  • CISOs
  • CTOs
  • Cybersecurity Enthusiasts
  • Enterprise Leaders
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Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik is a seasoned content marketer and the Head of Marketing at Cyber Sierra. With a firm belief in the power of storytelling, she brings years of experience to create engaging narratives that captivate audiences. She also brings valuable insights from her work in the field of cybersecurity and compliance, possessing a deep understanding of the challenges and pain points faced by customers in these domains.

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Third Party Risk Management

How to Create a TPRM Framework?- A Step-by-Step Guide

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In today’s business landscape, operating without a third-party vendor can be challenging. Therefore, organizations often seek the strategic advantage of third-party vendors. But unfortunately, outsourcing third parties comes with inherent risks that must be actively managed.


Compliance leaders frequently note that organizations often face unforeseen risks following the initial onboarding and due diligence processes. This underscores the inherent complexity of third-party connections and highlights the critical need for comprehensive Third-party Risk Management (TPRM) strategies. While it is not possible to eliminate all third-party risks, establishing a comprehensive third-party risk management framework will help mitigate potential risks associated with each vendor.


“To build pervasive security across that third-party ecosystem, you not only need to know who those third parties are and what they’re doing for you,” said Edna Conway, chief security officer, global value chain at Cisco, “you had best understand the leadership and the operational processes utilized in your own enterprise that manage the commercial relationship with those third parties.” – 


It is, therefore, imperative to understand your third-party risks. So, in this blog post, we will detail how to create a suitable third-party risk management framework for your organization and their associated benefits. Let’s get started right away!


What is a TPRM Framework?


A third-party risk management framework evaluates and mitigates potential security risks associated with outsourcing to third-party vendors, partners, suppliers, or service providers. The framework provides a road map for organizations to build customizable risk management programs per their industry best practices.


A TPRM aims to comprehensively evaluate the risk landscape to minimize the likelihood of data breaches and vulnerabilities, and enhance the overall cyber resilience against threats from third-party vendor associations. The evaluation could range from access to your intellectual property to operational, legal, financial, and compliance risks.


There are two main categories under the TPRM framework— 1) Tailored specifically for TPRM or Supply Chain Risk Management program (SCRM) like Shared Risk Assessment TPRM framework and NIST – 800-161. 2) Supplementary information security programs that enhance the TPRM program or assist in vendor risk management questionnaires, such as NIST CSF v1.1. ISO 27001, and ISO 27036. These standards outline building an effective infosec program by effectively managing controls associated with third-party risks.


Why do you need a TPRM Framework?


While most organizations focus on securing endpoints such as servers, routers, and firewalls mostly, it is worth noting that they are not the only threat actors. There could be potential risks from unfamiliar sources such as the networks of trusted third parties too. These connections can become the vulnerabilities that hackers use to infiltrate your defenses! Hence it is important to come up with a holistic third-party risk management framework.


By employing a TPRM framework, companies can increase their understanding of risks and gain insight into the risk profiles of their suppliers and service providers. This way, the business can make conscious decisions on whether it should partner with a given entity or terminate its relationship to safeguard its operations.


Recent research reveals that a startling 62% of data breaches originate from vulnerabilities in third-party vendor relationships. This indicates just how vital having a TPRM framework is for protecting sensitive organizational information. A properly instituted TPRM program enables organizations to consistently uncover and address potential risks, as well as provide a structured approach for developing and deploying effective risk mitigation tactics.


Regulatory bodies demand rigorous third-party risk management. Start with a thorough due diligence, meet contractual obligations, implement internal security controls, and ensure ongoing compliance with security standards throughout the vendor management lifecycle.


A comprehensive TPRM framework is an essential catalyst for meeting these requirements by providing guidelines to comply with the prescribed security standards and regulatory obligations.


Failure to mitigate third-party risks can result in legal repercussions, reputational and financial losses, and more importantly, erosion of customer trust. A TPRM framework acts as a credibility amplifier that protects your business from vendor risks, safeguards your resources and assets, and maintains your trust and reputation in your marketplace.

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Different Components in the TPRM Framework


components of TPRM


There is no one-size-fits-all TPRM program; you can customize your TPRM framework based on your business needs.This can be accomplished by either utilizing a TPRM automation software or developing a fully integrated risk management solution. Any effective TPRM approach should incorporate these six essential elements:


Due diligence

Third-party due diligence is a critical step in risk management, allowing companies to evaluate vendors before engaging in a business relationship. This involves conducting background checks and mitigating risks associated with conflict of interest, legal, cyber security, or compliance issues, ensuring these external partners are legitimate, reliable, and won’t harm the company’s reputation or finances.


Risk identification

The next step in choosing a TPRM framework is recognizing and assessing potential risks related to third-party vendors. Here, you evaluate the nature of the risks, such as operational, compliance, or data privacy risks, the scope of the risk, and the involved parties.


Risk assessment

Following risk identification, this phase involves determining the impact of the likelihood of identified risks. By analyzing the severity and probability of various risks, organizations can prioritize them and allocate resources accordingly to manage and mitigate the highest priority risks.


Risk monitoring

Risk monitoring is a sustained practice utilizing specialized tools and procedures to track, assess, and analyze risk factors continuously. This ongoing process enables organizations to stay abreast of changes in the risk landscape, swiftly identify emerging risks, and proactively address potential vulnerabilities in their third-party relationships.


Risk mitigation

This phase centers on mitigating identified risks to an acceptable level. Strategies may involve implementing internal controls, establishing well-defined contractual agreements, conducting routine audits, formulating contingency plans, and fostering transparent communication with third parties. The objective is to minimize the impact of risks, ensuring the ongoing integrity and security of the organization’s operations within the context of the third-party relationship.


Continuous assessment

Continuous vendor monitoring and risk assessments help you align with the industry best practices. It is essential to establish procedures for security incidents related to third-party vendors. This includes reporting, investigating, and remediating any possible security incidents.


How to Choose a Third-Party Risk Management Framework

How to Choose a Third-Party Risk Management Framework


When choosing a third-party risk management framework for your company, it’s important to carefully assess your company’s specific needs and risk exposure profile. This includes regulatory requirements, tolerance limits on risk, compliance requirements, vendor dependence, and many organizational considerations. Some key matters to consider are outlined below:


Regulatory Compliance & Risk Appetite:

  • Consider the prevailing regulations in addition to your organization’s risk tolerance
  • Ensure the framework aligns with regulatory requirements as well as reflects your risk appetite.


Dependence on Third Parties

  • Determine to what extent your organization depends on third parties Examine growing threats related to outsourcing and usage of technologies such as cloud services.


Core Business Functions Performed by Vendors

  • Understand that tasks previously handled by internal employees are now carried out by third parties.
  • Be aware of how the disruptions or failures caused by vendors can affect you. Increased reliance on vendors can amplify risks


Characteristics of TPRM Frameworks to consider:

  • Vendor risk assessment program: Ensure that it provides a structured approach within which vendors’ risks can be assessed using custom features based upon the nature of the relationships and the significance of services rendered.


  • Third-party vulnerability detection: Look for mechanisms that identify vulnerabilities, including cybersecurity gaps, and have features that enable vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and continuous monitoring of third-party environments.


  • Compliance gap detection: Assess whether the framework enables continuous compliance monitoring with relevant regulations and industry-specific requirements. Look for functionalities that identify compliance gaps and deviations from established standards.


  • Risk assessment questionnaire: Evaluate if the framework offers automation capabilities for administering security questionnaires and collecting information from third-party vendors. Look for functionalities that streamline the assessment process, automate responses, and provide detailed risk analyses.


  • Remediation program: Check if the framework supports developing and implementing remediation plans to address identified risks and vulnerabilities. Check for availability of features that facilitate stakeholder collaboration, tracking of remediation progress, and help prioritize corrective actions based on risk severity.


  • Reporting: Ensure the framework includes reporting capabilities to communicate TPRM activities to stakeholders. Look for customizable reporting templates, dashboards, and metrics that provide insights into risk exposure and mitigation efforts.


Some cyber frameworks that align well with TPRM requirements and security controls include NIST CSF, ISO 27001, ISO 27002, ISO 27019, ISO 27036, and NIST RMF 800-37. These frameworks provide structured approaches to addressing cybersecurity risks and can be tailored to support your organization’s third-party risk management initiatives. By taking into account these elements and establishing a robust TPRM framework, organizations can adeptly handle third-party risks while optimizing the value gained from these partnerships.

How to Create a TPRM Framework


How to Create a TPRM Framework - Step by step guide


A strong third-party risk management framework helps avoid potential hazards and ensures vendor complexities do not derail a business. It safeguards assets, ensures regulatory compliance, and protects the company’s reputation. Here is an easy process for creating a third-party risk management framework:


1. Engage your stakeholders

The first step towards developing the TPRM framework is putting together a cross-functional team. It’s important to involve representatives from departments like risk management, operations, procurement, finance, IT, cybersecurity, legal, and compliance. This achieves alignment and allows each group to contribute their perspective and expertise in managing vendor risks effectively.


2. Group your third-parties

List down all your third-party service providers. Categorize them based on—the nature of the service or product offered, types of data accessed, the extent of data access and its necessity, and any fourth-party providers availed by the vendor.


Evaluate how important each third-party relationship is for the accomplishment of your organization’s goals. Also, consider geographic location of vendors for regulatory differences or geopolitical instability.


3. Define scope and risk tolerance

After thoroughly categorizing the vendors, define the scope of the TPRM framework by identifying the type of third parties involved and the risk factors to be considered. In addition, determine the organization’s acceptable level of risks.


Determine the organization’s risk appetite and tolerance levels, including cybersecurity, compliance, and operational disruptions. Account for industry-specific regulations and standards when defining the scope of the TPRM framework.


You can implement a risk matrix to categorize all the identified risks based on their criticality. This allows identifying risk thresholds.


4. Establish a TPRM process

Start by drafting vendor onboarding guidelines and pre-screening processing to categorize the vendors per their risk profile. Establish third-party risk assessment questionnaires to gather information on vendors’ internal controls, security practices, compliance, and industry-specific standards and best practices.


These questionnaires should cover areas like data encryption, access controls, regulatory compliance, and financial health, aligning with your organizational needs. Standardized or customized questionnaires can be used depending on our preferences and prevailing practices in our industry.


5. Risk identification and mitigation

Implementing a strong TPRM framework requires identifying and assessing risks systematically. This involves categorizing risks based on their potential impact and likelihood, and then conducting assessments to prioritize mitigation efforts.


Next, effective mitigation strategies, such as implementing security controls or enhancing contractual provisions, are defined. By following these steps, organizations can proactively manage third-party risks and safeguard their operations.


6. Due diligence

Before entering into third-party relationships, you must carry out a robust due diligence to thoroughly assess potential partners’ suitability and reliability. This involves monitoring and evaluating vendor performance, verifying their compliance with the required regulations, and adherence to contractual obligations. By staying vigilant and proactive in vendor management, organizations can develop fruitful partnerships and effectively mitigate risks over time.


7. Incident response plans

Develop corrective action or incident response plans to address security and data breaches, or other incidents involving third-party vendors. Also, establish business continuity and contingency plans to mitigate the impact on organizational operations, in the event of such disruptions or failures in third-party relationships.


8. Compliance

Ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations, industry benchmarks, and contractual obligations governing your third-party relationships. Establish open channels of communication with stakeholders, such as executive management, board members, and regulators on TPRM activities, results and risk status.


9. Continuous improvement

Ongoing monitoring and evaluation mechanisms must be implemented for the TPRM framework. This helps in identifying lessons learned from past experiences and highlights emerging risks or changes in the business environment to enhance policies, procedures, and risk assessment methodologies.


10. Training

Develop training modules and awareness sessions to educate employees about their roles and responsibilities in managing third-party risks. Doing this fosters a security-first culture and promotes risk awareness and accountability throughout the organization.


Best practices to maintain third-party risk management framework

Best practices to maintain third-party risk management framework



A TPRM framework requires continuous monitoring and adoption to changing business conditions. Essential practices to ensure effective risk management in vendor relationships includes:


Develop standards and frameworks for third-party monitoring

  • Establish standardized operating procedures to be used throughout the organization.
  • Utilize established risk management frameworks such as NIST and ISO to complement the assessment process and ensure comprehensive coverage of third-party risks.


Risk cataloging and assessment

  • Catalog cybersecurity risks posed by third-party vendors and assess them based on potential impact and likelihood.
  • Adjust risk profiles per the changes in vendor operations, the scope of services provided, or any relevant regulations.
  • Segment vendors based on identified risks and prioritize mitigation efforts according to your organization’s risk appetite.


Conduct due diligence

  • Conduct annual audits to review the effectiveness of your risk management efforts
  • Compare performance against pre-defined risk tolerance thresholds.
  • Identify key security controls and monitor its adherence by the vendors.


Continuous improvement

  • Implement mechanisms to monitor third-party relationships, including performance, compliance, and risk indicators.
  • Develop incident response plans to ensure effective responses to security breaches or other incidents involving third-party vendors.
  • Provide training programs to educate employees and stakeholders on TPRM best practices and emerging risks.


Utilize automation tools for improvement

  • Leverage technology to automate evaluations and oversights, where possible.
  • Ensure continuous monitoring and improvement of third-party management processes.
  • Establish clear success criteria aligned to the level of risk tolerance.
  • Act on lessons and observations from incidents, audit findings, or best practices in the industry to strengthen due diligence processes.

How does Cyber Sierra help you manage third-party risk?


As emphasized, conducting thorough checks on third-party partners is crucial for businesses. It goes beyond merely ticking a checkbox; it’s an ongoing effort filled with inherent risks.


Developing a robust Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) program may seem daunting without a dedicated solution. Fortunately, your team can streamline critical processes of your vendor risk management program with Cyber Sierra.


Our unified cybersecurity platform empowers your team to assess, onboard, and manage your vendors’ security and compliance posture in near real-time, enabling you to mitigate vendor risks much faster. Ultimately, Cyber Sierra serves as a proactive partner, integrating governance, risk management, and cybersecurity adherence into a complete cybersecurity solution. Schedule a demo today!




How can a TPRM framework benefit your organization?

A TPRM framework provides several benefits, including enhanced risk awareness, better decision-making regarding vendor partnerships, improved regulatory compliance, and protection of organizational assets and reputation. By systematically managing third-party risks, organizations can minimize the likelihood of vulnerabilities, data breaches, financial losses, and disruptions to operations, thereby safeguarding their overall resilience and competitiveness in the market.


How often should you conduct third-party risk assessment?

It is recommended to assess new third parties during onboarding, before audits, upon contract renewals, during incidents, during termination of partnerships, and also periodically whenever there are changes in the control environments.


Is there software for conducting third-party risk assessments?

Yes. There are specialized third-party risk management software and tools to perform risk assessment. These tools enable you to conduct assessments following a questionnaire, automate tasks, manage data, and offer insights into risks, streamlining the entire third-party risk management process.

  • Third Party Risk Management
  • CISOs
  • CTOs
  • Cybersecurity Enthusiasts
  • Enterprise Leaders
  • Startup Founders
Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik is a seasoned content marketer and the Head of Marketing at Cyber Sierra. With a firm belief in the power of storytelling, she brings years of experience to create engaging narratives that captivate audiences. She also brings valuable insights from her work in the field of cybersecurity and compliance, possessing a deep understanding of the challenges and pain points faced by customers in these domains.

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Third Party Risk Management

The Proactive CISO’s Guide to MAS TRM Guidelines

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Where there’s sugar, expect unwanted ants. 


That has proven true in Singapore. As the country grows into a world-renowned tech hub, it has become a sweet spot for innovative startups and enterprises. So has it for unwanted bad actors. 


So much that, in 2022 alone, Singaporean financial institutions (FIs) spent a whopping US$5.7 billion fighting cybercrime and meeting regulations. In one massive phishing attack, for instance, Singapore’s OCBC Bank and its customers lost over US$10.8 million


With no end to such cyberattacks in sight, more stringent cybersecurity compliance measures were needed. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) rightly stepped up to update its Technology Risk Management (TRM) Guidelines. 


Updating the MAS TRM Guidelines was Necessary


The updated MAS TRM Guidelines adds another item to the already loaded to-dos of CISOs of banks and financial institutions (FIs). But given that cybercrime is getting worse, becoming (and staying) compliant is necessary to help your team achieve cyber resilience.


According to the regulatory body:


MAS TRM - techniques used


In other words, threat actors are now more sophisticated. The dire situation means MAS TRM Guidelines helps banks, FIs, and all enterprises working with them to:


  1. Understand their company’s exposure to technology risks.
  2. Ensure IT and cyber resilience by erecting robust risk management frameworks across their company’s operations. 


But achieving both can be overwhelming. 


What’s even more troubling is the fact that to remain compliant with Singapore’s MAS TRM Guidelines, companies are required to monitor cybersecurity controls continuously. For this, you need a smart enterprise compliance automation suite that automates mundane steps involved.


That’s where a platform like Cyber Sierra comes in.


And in this piece, you’ll see how it automates the process of becoming (and staying) compliant with MAS TRM Guidelines. 


Before we dive in…

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Becoming (and Staying) Compliant with MAS TRM Guidelines


The updated MAS TRM Guidelines has fifteen sections

  1. Preface
  2. Application of MAS TRM Guidelines
  3. Technology Risk Governance and Oversight
  4. Technology Risk Management Framework
  5. IT Project Management and Security-by-Design
  6. Software Application Development and Management
  7. IT Service Management
  8. IT Resilience
  9. Access Control
  10. Cryptography
  11. Data and Infrastructure Security
  12.  Cyber Security Operations
  13.  Cyber Security Assessment
  14.  Online Financial Services
  15.  IT Audit


The first and second sections provide an overview of the MAS TRM Guidelines. After that, each section from 3–15 has subsections outlining best practices organizations should follow to become and stay compliant. But as illustrated below, after reviewing all these sections and subsections, we grouped them into three critical areas: 


  • Risk governance and oversight
  • Third-party risk management (TPRM) 
  • Data and operational security management. 


The updated MAS TRM Guidelines


Risk Governance and Oversight


Sections under this area of the MAS TRM Guidelines outline the personnel and frameworks needed to ensure that a technology risk management strategy is established and implemented. The emphasis is first on having a more extensive list of roles appointed into your organization’s board of directors and senior management. 


The regulatory body notes:


MAS TRM - In-content highlight


The importance of these roles can’t be overstretched. 


Their combined expertise is needed to oversee the creation and implementation of technology risk management and IT project management frameworks, respectively. Once these personnels have been appointed, it’s best to have them working collaboratively. 


That’s where an interoperable cybersecurity platform like Cyber Sierra comes in. Our platform gives you a central place to work collaboratively and implement the needed security frameworks: 


Our platform gives you a central place to work collaboratively and implement the needed security frameworks


As shown, you can add appointed executives for more streamlined collaboration based on their roles. This automatically gives them role-based access controls for overseeing: 


  • The implementation of technology risk management strategy
  • The erection of a third-party risk management framework
  • The continuous assessment, management, and remediation of threats and risk necessary to remain compliant.


One benefit of having them collaborate from a streamlined platform like Cyber Sierra is that besides the ease of assigning policies and security controls to them, they’ll work together from a single pane. 


More on that as we proceed. 


Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM)


Sections 6–10 of the MAS TRM Guidelines, if you look closely, have a lot to do with 3rd party vendor risks. This is probably why the most recent update focuses mainly on third-party risk management. According to the regulatory body, this renewed focus is because:


MAS-TRM - scope and nature


By this recommendation, assessing risks from 3rd-parties should be prioritized. To do this effectively, it’s best to start by categorizing vendors based on their access to your organization’s sensitive data. 

As illustrated below: 


How to Categorize Third-Party Vendors


Once you’ve categorized vendors, the next step is to create, customize, and send security assessment questionnaires based on that categorization. Cyber Sierra automates this process. 


Our platform has globally-recognized vendor risk assessment templates, such as NIST and ISO. Your team can customize them to suit regional requirements for compliance programs like MAS TRM. You can also add and use your own risk assessment templates:


The steps are streamlined into: 


  1. Choosing an appropriate assessment template
  2. Customizing it by selecting and editing questions needed to assess a particular third-party vendor
  3. Assigning reviewer(s) with different role-based access control in a few clicks, and 
  4. Providing details of the third-party vendor such as where they are located or the assessee type they are:


Your team can customize them to suit regional requirements for compliance programs like MAS TRM. You can also add and use your own risk assessment templates


Through these steps, especially the 4th step, our platform enforces the categorization of 3rd-party vendors, right from sending out security assessment questionnaires. And by automating the entire process from one place, your organization can assess third-party risks and monitor their security postures in real-time. 


That was the case for a global bank using Cyber Sierra


global bank in singapore


Read their success story here. 


Data and Operational Security Management 


The last five sections of MAS TRM Guidelines deal with how organizations manage and secure data in their daily operations. Due to the dynamism involved in managing sensitive data, achieving compliance to requirements outlined in these sections calls for continuous monitoring of cybersecurity controls. 


That is, your security team should: 


  • Continuously monitor and analyze cyber events
  • Promptly detect and respond to cyber incidents. 


The regulatory body recommends that:


MAS TRM - In-content highlight design-3


Here’s why this recommendation is vital.


It allows enterprises to identify any changes in a provider’s risk profile over time rather than just at preset intervals, shifting from periodic risk assessments to continuous intelligence.


For instance, your organization outsources technology services to cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and others. Based on the MAS TRM’s official statement, your security team should automatically, through continuous monitoring, test controls and configurations in those environments. This removes the need for manual checks and provides assurance on cloud-based controls.


Cyber Sierra automates this process: 


identify any changes in a provider’s risk profile over time rather than just at preset intervals, shifting from periodic risk assessments to continuous intelligence


As shown, in one dashboard, your team can: 


  1. Continuously monitor and detect MAS TRM control breaks and their corresponding vulnerabilities.
  2. View details of vulnerabilities related to a control break
  3. Get actionable tips for remediating threats, and
  4. Assign remediation to qualified teammates.


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The Consequence of MAS TRM Noncompliance


Brand reputation damage and, of course, fines. 


Those are the major consequences of violating MAS TRM Guidelines. Specific to fines, this report noted that the penalty per breach of a TRM requirement can exceed S$1 million. But it doesn’t end there. Multiple breaches of the MAS TRM requirements can result in a multi-million dollar fine for an organization. 


This was demonstrated by MAS’s 2023 report of penalized financial institutions. DBS Bank was among those penalized. They were fined a whopping S$2.6 million for violations and noncompliance failures committed between July 2015 and February 2020. 


Their case revealed that your organization can still be penalized several years after for noncompliance failures committed today. This necessitates the need to prioritize becoming (and staying) compliant to MAS TRM Guidelines today. 


Ease through Singapore’s MAS TRM Guidelines


MAS TRM Guidelines has 15 sections. 


Under each section, there are dozens of subsections of requirements organizations must adhere to become compliant. Along with these, their corresponding security controls that must be implemented. To ease the process, it is better to leverage a platform that automates most processes involved: 



To ease the process, it is better to leverage a platform that automates most processes involved:


Our platform has the MAS TRM program built-in. 


This means, in a few clicks, you can invite your team and work collaboratively to become (and stay) MAS TRM-compliant, while automating various tasks involved from one place. 


Our platform has the MAS TRM program built-in. 


This means, in a few clicks, you can invite your team and work collaboratively to become (and stay) MAS TRM-compliant, while automating various tasks involved from one place.

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Automate MAS TRM Compliance

Begin the MAS TRM compliance journey in a few clicks. Automate the entire process in one place.

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  • Third Party Risk Management
  • CISOs
  • CTOs
  • Cybersecurity Enthusiasts
  • Enterprise Leaders
  • Startup Founders
Pramodh Rai

Meet Pramodh Rai, a technology aficionado and Cyber Sierra's co-founder, whose zest for innovation is fuelled by a cupboard stacked with zero-sugar Redbull. With a nimble footwork through the tech tulips across Asia Pacific, he's donned hats at Hmlet (the proptech kind) and Funding Societies | Modalku, building high-performing teams and technologies. A Barclays prodigy with dual degrees from Nanyang Technological University, Pramodh is a treasure trove of wisdom, dad jokes, and everything product/tech. He's the Sherpa in sneakers you need.

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Third Party Risk Management

How Should Enterprise CISOs Structure TPRM Teams?

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‘How do I mitigate vendor risks?’

That’s a common question in my chats with CISOs and IT executives. Being a tech enthusiast and as stressed in previous guides, my usual suggestion is: Leverage technology and streamlined processes to: 

These are all crucial factors.

But often, CISOs come back seeking help on how best to build and structure their third-party risk management (TPRM) teams. Each time this happens, I’m reminded of these words by Dave Buster: 


Dave Buster - Quote


Dave couldn’t say it better. The right TPRM framework, technology, and automated processes won’t work on their own. So to mitigate risks in our ever-expanding vendor landscape, you need: 

  1. A dedicated vendor risk management team
  2. An effective TPRM reporting structure

Starting with the latter, I’d cover both in this guide. 


Third-Party Risk Management Reporting Structure

Get the right people, and you can rest assured your vendor risk management program is in good hands. Design an effective reporting structure for your TPRM team, and you can be sure the right info reaches you (and the C-Suite) at the right time. 

The challenge: 

What should such a TPRM reporting structure look like? 

It ultimately depends on your organization type and overall size of your cybersecurity team. Generally though, experts recommend a centralized TPRM reporting structure:


centralized TPRM reporting structure


As illustrated above, a centralized structure eliminates silos and can be more effective for two reasons:

  1. The CISO and Senior Management get real-time insight into how subteams are implementing the TPRM program. 
  2. Subteams overseeing various aspects of your TPRM program can track teammates’ actions and act proactively.

If this reporting structure makes sense to you, as it does for most enterprise security execs, the next hurdle I often hear is: What are the roles and responsibilities of subteams dedicated to each step? 

The rest of this guide addresses that. As we proceed, you’ll also see how our interoperable cybersecurity platform helps enterprise security teams automate and report critical TPRM processes

Before we dive in… 

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Enterprise TPRM Team Roles and Responsibilities 

When filling critical roles in your TPRM team and assigning responsibilities, diversity is highly recommended. The Institute of Critical Infrastructure Technology, in a study titled, “The Business Value of a Diverse InfoSec Team,” reiterated this. 

According to their research




So while the centralized reporting structure above helps, it is crucial to keep diversity in mind as you fill the TPRM roles below. 


TPRM Program Director/Manager

This individual or team owns the TPRM program. 

High-performers have a balance of demonstrable risk management skills, extensive training, experience, and the ability to coordinate all subteams. They report to you, the CISO, and usually, their primary responsibilities would be to help you:

  • Champion and advocate for the maturity of your TPRM program and develop key partnerships across the org to ensure alignment with your company’s overall 3rd party strategy.
  • Design and oversee the implementation of your TPRM framework and operating procedures needed to integrate necessary security controls per your business functions. 
  • Establish relevant TPRM program metrics, Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Key Risk Indicators (KRIs), and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for managing all vendor risks. 
  • Design security guardrails for selecting vendors, and define security scores and controls 3rd parties must retain before they can be considered and let into your third-party ecosystem. 


Vendor Assessments & Onboarding Subteam

The core responsibility of specialist(s) on this subteam is enforcing the security guidelines defined by the TPRM Program Director, which new vendors must meet. Specifically, this includes: 

  • Vetting, profiling, and tiering vendors
  • Creating and implementing custom security audits or exams.
  • Choosing and right-sizing appropriate security assessment questionnaire templates for select vendors.
  • Onboarding vendors with acceptable security controls, etc. 

Imagine doing all that with this:


TPRM assessment Question


Josh Angert, Manager at Vendor Centric, observed how core functions of this subteam, if done manually with Excel, can lead to inconsistent vendor risk tiering, wasted time, and poor assessments. 

In his words:  


Josh Angert - Quote


As Josh advised, to curb vendor risk assessment bottlenecks, CISOs can leverage a vendor risk management system to standardize processes. 

That’s where Cyber Sierra comes in: 


vendor risk management system to standardize processes


As shown, our system streamlines the gruesome vendor tiering, assessment, and onboarding processes into three easy steps. For instance, your team can profile vendors based on their business type, location, and easily tier those requiring advanced assessments. 

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Automate Vendor Risk Assessments

Cyber Sierra streamlines crucial vendor assessment processes, so enterprise TPRM teams can compile reports faster.

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Vendor Risk Monitoring & Remediation Subteam

This subteam usually comprises risk detection and mitigation experts, each assigned to one or a group of vendors. They work closely with the security assessment subteam, share insights within each other, and report to the TPRM Program Director, or you, the CISO. 

Some core responsibilities include: 

  • Own assigned third-party vendors and manage their risks. 
  • Perform daily or weekly risk management tasks on assigned vendors, according to your company’s instituted TPRM program. 
  • Detect, mitigate, and report risks posed by third-parties, and work with them and the DevSecOps team to remediate the same. 
  • Flag third-parties that should be terminated, and in most cases, oversee the offboarding of flagged high-risk vendors. 

One way to empower this subteam is through software that enables ongoing vendor risk monitoring. This helps them identify vendors whose security controls become outdated and can’t be verified. 

Again, Cyber Sierra automates this: 


ongoing vendor risk monitoring


Our platform uses standardized enterprise security controls to auto-check evidence uploaded by vendors on an ongoing basis. As shown above, you get alerted of those that fail verification, flagging your team to immediately work with the vendor to enforce them. 


TPRM Program Auditors

According to Vikrant Rai


Vikranti Rai - Quote


In other words, having internal (and external) auditors is a must-have. They perform systematic evaluations of your company’s implemented TPRM framework, documentation, processes, and security controls. This enables them to document weaknesses that must be addressed and usually report directly to the CISOs, IT executives, and the TPRM Program Director/Manager. 


How Many People Should Be On My TPRM Team?

 There’s no magic number. 

Generally, the more vendors you manage, the more risk exposure your team may have to deal with, and the more people required. But all third-parties aren’t created equal. In a sample of, say, 200 vendors, only 5-10% (i.e., 10-20) may be high-risk or critical to your company’s operations. In a centralized reporting structure, where processes have been automated, 1-2 full-time employees (FTEs) on your risk monitoring and remediation subteam can manage such vendors closely, in addition to reviewing others occasionally. 

Going by this logic, the number of people you may need on your enterprise TPRM team should be around:

  • 1–3 FTEs for up to 200 vendors. 
  • 3–5 FTEs for 200 – 600 vendors. 
  • One (1) additional FTE for every 100–200 vendors beyond that. 

You may be wondering: 

How about the assessment and vendor onboarding subteam? 

Well, by automating processes with a tool like Cyber Sierra, your TPRM Director can vet, assess, and onboard vendors in a few steps because those critical to-dos have been streamlined. For instance, they can choose from standard security assessment questionnaires already built into our platform, customize per your company’s needs, and send to vendors: 


automating processes with a tool


Make Your TPRM Team More Effective

In a cybersecurity survey reported by Graphus:


cybersecurity survey reported by Graphus


This finding proves that, irrespective of how many full-time employees (FTEs) on your TPRM team or reporting structure, automation is needed to make them more effective.  

Third-party risk expert, Ian Terry, agrees


Ian Terry - Quote


We built Cyber Sierra to enable enterprise TPRM teams to achieve this needed automation and become more effective. From tiering critical vendors to continuous security assessments, and ongoing risk monitoring, our platform automates the steps required. 

Want to see it for yourself? 

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Automate Crucial Vendor Risk Management Process

Cyber Sierra streamlines crucial vendor assessment processes, so enterprise TPRM teams can compile reports faster.

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  • Third Party Risk Management
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Pramodh Rai

Meet Pramodh Rai, a technology aficionado and Cyber Sierra's co-founder, whose zest for innovation is fuelled by a cupboard stacked with zero-sugar Redbull. With a nimble footwork through the tech tulips across Asia Pacific, he's donned hats at Hmlet (the proptech kind) and Funding Societies | Modalku, building high-performing teams and technologies. A Barclays prodigy with dual degrees from Nanyang Technological University, Pramodh is a treasure trove of wisdom, dad jokes, and everything product/tech. He's the Sherpa in sneakers you need.

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Third Party Risk Management

TPRM Program Metrics Tracked by Successful CISOs

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I talk to a lot of CISOs. 

Most decry not having enough budget to hire talent and buy every tool needed to implement their desired third-party risk management (TPRM) framework. But even among those who don’t have such challenges, our chats often reveal a common, underlying question:

What metrics do I need to prove my TPRM program is successful? This question is valid to both sides of the spectrum. Because to secure more budget or get approval for next year’s budget, you must establish metrics demonstrating the success of your TPRM program. 

Says Chris Gida, Asurion’s Sr. Compliance Manager: 


Chris Gida - Quote


In other words, metrics are useful for more than just getting a TPRM program budget approved. They are also crucial for making decisions relative to securing your company from vendor risks. 

But the question remains: How do you choose them? 


Criteria for Choosing Vendor Risk Management Metrics

There’s no one-size-fits-all criteria. 

However, I like Josh Angert’s recommendation for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs). He hammered on the need to always start with the end in mind when establishing TPRM program metrics. 

In his words:


Josh Angert - Quote


Based on Josh’s insight, the metrics you choose should cut across key performance indicators (KPIs) and key risk indicators (KRIs). KPIs keep your security team focused on aligning your organization’s TPRM program with business objectives. KRIs, on the other hand, track the prompt identification and mitigation of vendor risks. 

So to choose vendor risk management metrics: 

  • Define business objectives relevant to your TPRM program.
  • Outline mission-critical vendor risks that must be mitigated.
  • Select enterprise metrics that encompass all of the above:


How to choose vendor risk management metrics


The rest of this guide explores metrics I see enterprise CISOs using to ascertain the success of their TPRM programs. As we proceed, you’ll also see how our interoperable cybersecurity and compliance automation platform, Cyber Sierra, helps you achieve them. 

Before we dive in: 

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Enterprise Third-Party Risk Management Program Metrics 

By knowing what to measure (i.e., the TPRM metrics below), your security team can know what to improve and succeed. 


1. Number of Identified Vendor Risks

This metric measures how many 3rd party risks your security team identifies over time. The objective of this metric, relevant to most enterprise TPRM programs, is to identify as many risks as possible. 

As organizations add new vendors, they need to identify all risks and security threats brought into their ecosystems. So the more risks identified over time, the more your security team can demonstrate its understanding of 3rd party risks. 


2. Number of Reduced Risks

Identifying an appreciable number of risks over time is good. But demonstrating that they are reducing relative to when your program went into effect is more important. 

Say your organization hasn’t added new vendors in the last three months. This metric tracks changes in third-party risks within that period. Less risk means your security team is effective. 


3. Cost of Managing Third-Party Risks

Security teams should track this in twofold: 

  • Articulate all direct and indirect costs associated with managing vendor risks before implementing your TPRM program. 
  • Show how these costs have reduced over time relative to the negative business impact mitigated. 

Reporting this metric is critical because it’s a great way for board members to see your TPRM program as a value, and not a cost center. 


4. Time to Detect Vendor Risks

As the name suggests, this metric helps you track how long it takes your team to detect vendor risks on average. A shorter risk detection time shows that your security team is efficient. 

Board members would want to see risks being detected as soon as possible. This is why third-party security managers track and report on how their team has reduced their average risk detection time. 


5. Time to Mitigate Risks 

How long does your team take to mitigate vendor risks? 

This metric measures the answer to that question. Once your team detects risks, they must immediately mitigate them. The faster they do this, the more financial and reputational damage your vendor risk management program will save your company. 

The enterprise security managers I talk to use this metric to visualize how they are mitigating risks within a timeframe. By tracking it, you can set objectives for improving your time to mitigate risks over time. 


6. Time to Complete Risk Assessments

Vendors are business entities contracted to help achieve your company’s mission or business goals. Putting them through rigorous third-party risk assessment is critical for mitigating risks. 

However, it is also important to track how long it takes to completely assess vendors. Security managers should strive to reduce the time it takes to assess vendors for two reasons: 

  1. Give vendors a smooth assessment experience
  2. Demonstrate to management how efficiently they are risk-assessing and onboarding 3rd parties into their ecosystem. 

You can achieve these with software that streamlines the process of initiating and completing vendor risk assessments in three steps:


Time to Complete Risk Assessments


As shown above, this streamlined 3-step workflow is built into Cyber Sierra’s TPRM module. So instead of looping between spreadsheets or exchanging endless email threads, enterprise security teams can profile, assess, and manage vendor risks in one place. 

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Achieve Your TPRM Program Metrics

Profile, streamline vendor risk assessments, and manage third-party vendor risks in one place.

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Achieving Vendor Risk Management KPIs & KRIs

Tracking the metrics above is good.

But without context, metrics on a dashboard won’t show how effective your TPRM program is. Worse, they are not so helpful if you can’t tie them to noticeable business objective indicators. 

Josh Angert shared why indicators —key performance indicators (KPIs) and key risk indicators (KRIs) —are more important:


Josh Angert - Quote-1


Let me rephrase that. 

Choosing TPRM metrics is vital. It guides your security team. Management, on the other hand, concerns itself with indicators —KPIs and KRIs— tied to business objectives they can track and use to make decisions. Below are three you should prioritize. 


1. Resource Efficiency

Imagine using the perfect blend of ingredients to bake a batch of cookies without wasting anything. Resource efficiency is similar to that. It means using just the right amount of time, tools, people, and budget to implement an effective TPRM program. 

Resource efficiency indicates to management that your security team is doing a great job while saving time and money. According to Bryan Littlefair, the CEO of Cambridge Cyber Advisers, to improve this KPI, start by having a mature vendor risk management strategy. 

Bryan advised


Bryan Littlefair - Quote


2. Throughput

Say your company must address an average of 300 vendor risks per month. Throughput gives management an overview of how quickly your security team is able to do that over a given time period. 

This important KPI helps you identify and minimize bottlenecks in your vendor risk management processes, enabling your team to do more in less time. This is essential for achieving selected TPRM program metrics. 


3. Process Efficiency

Think of process efficiency like striking the right balance between operational effectiveness and risk mitigation. 

It helps management track the speed at which your security team assesses, manages, and mitigates third-party risks. While the first two required having the right strategy, this one is about streamlining core elements of third-party risk management. 

And this is where Cyber Sierra comes in. 

For instance, you can assess, onboard, and manage third-party vendors much faster with our platform. And for prompt risk mitigation, our software auto-verifies all evidence of security controls uploaded by vendors in response to assessment questionnaires. 

Unverified evidence indicates a lack of necessary security measures that could lead to data breaches. With Cyber Sierra, your team can follow up with vendors to resolve this on the same pane: 


Achieving Vendor Risk Management KPIs & KRIs


Achieve Key TPRM Program Metrics

As I’ve stressed, knowing what metrics to choose is how you demonstrate that your TPRM program is successful. But as you choose them, it is equally, if not more important to align efforts towards achieving visible KPIs and KRIs. 

Your team can do this by streamlining critical processes of your vendor risk management program with Cyber Sierra. For instance, you get the NIST and ISO TPRM assessment frameworks built into our interoperable cybersecurity platform. 

With these critical assessment frameworks in one place, your team can assess, onboard, manage, and mitigate vendor risks much faster:


Achieve Key TPRM Program Metrics

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Achieve Your TPRM Program Metrics

Profile, streamline vendor risk assessments, and manage third-party vendor risks in one place.

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  • Third Party Risk Management
  • CISOs
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  • Cybersecurity Enthusiasts
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Pramodh Rai

Meet Pramodh Rai, a technology aficionado and Cyber Sierra's co-founder, whose zest for innovation is fuelled by a cupboard stacked with zero-sugar Redbull. With a nimble footwork through the tech tulips across Asia Pacific, he's donned hats at Hmlet (the proptech kind) and Funding Societies | Modalku, building high-performing teams and technologies. A Barclays prodigy with dual degrees from Nanyang Technological University, Pramodh is a treasure trove of wisdom, dad jokes, and everything product/tech. He's the Sherpa in sneakers you need.

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Third Party Risk Management

How to Choose (and Implement) Relevant TPRM Frameworks

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What do Toyota, Okta, and Keybank have in common? 

On the surface, not much, given they operate in different sectors —car manufacturing, B2B software, and banking, respectively. But review recent cyberattacks that made the news, and you’ll see the commonality: They all suffered major data breaches in 2022 through third-party vendors. Given these are global enterprises, one would argue they had some kind of Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) framework in place. 

It begs the question: 

Why do companies suffer data breaches through third-parties, despite having some way to manage risks?

If you’re a CISO or an enterprise security exec pondering over that question, here’s the likely answer. First, choosing the right TPRM framework is crucial, but it’s not enough. This is because no matter how good one may be, it is only useful if effectively implemented. 

And that brings us to the rest of this article. 

We’d explore the top enterprise TPRM frameworks you can choose from. More importantly, you’ll see how our interoperable cybersecurity platform, Cyber Sierra, effectively streamlines their implementation. 

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The Top Enterprise TPRM Frameworks

According to a report by RSI Security


RSI Security - Quote


In other words, TPRM frameworks developed by NIST and ISO come recommended. But there are variations of these, so choosing which ones to implement should be based on your company’s specific needs. 

To help you do that, below are the various frameworks designed by both institutions and their relevance to enterprise TPRM. 


1. NIST Supply Chain Risk Management Framework (SCRMF) 800-161

NIST 800-161 was developed to supplement the NIST 800-53 designed specifically to help federal entities manage supply chain risks. 

However, given the large number of 3rd parties enterprise organizations now work with, private sector organizations can also adopt NIST 800-161. This framework breaks down the supply chain or vendor risk management process into four phases: 

  1. Frame, 
  2. Access, 
  3. Respond, and
  4. Monitor: 


Risk Management Process


Across these phases, there are 19 data security control themes, ranging from employee training to systems and service acquisition.


2. NIST Vendor Risk Management Framework (RMF) 800-37

Originally developed in 2005, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) revised this framework in 2018. 

Generally, the NIST 800-37 RMF outlines steps companies can take to protect their data and systems. This includes assessing the security of systems, analyzing threats, and implementing data security controls. For vendor risk management purposes, section 2.8 of the framework specifically fits the bill. It is invaluable as it helps security teams consider relevant risk mitigation tactics for onboarding new third-parties. 


3. NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF)

Considered the gold standard for building robust data security programs, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework can also be used when designing third-party risk management processes. Specifically, this framework outlines the best practices for creating vendor risk assessment questionnaires

Base your third-party risk assessment questionnaires on security controls in the NIST CSF framework, and your team can accurately assess potential vendors’ cyber threat profiles. This is especially useful for enterprise organizations with strict privacy or regulatory compliance concerns.


4. ISO 27001, 27002, and 27018

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed the ISO 27001, 27002, and 27018 standards. Although known more for implementing governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programs, these standards can also be used in creating frameworks for evaluating third-party risks. 

Specifically, each of these standards have sections guiding security teams to ensure their vendor risk assessments are thorough. This is in addition to each standard helping your team manage a broader information security program across your organization.  


5. ISO 27036

Unlike other ISO standards focused more on companies’ overall GRC programs, ISO 27036 series helps organizations manage risks arising from the acquisition of goods and services from suppliers. 

ISO 27036 has provisions for addressing physical risks arising from working with professionals such as cleaners, security guards, delivery services, etc. It also has more standard processes for working with cloud service providers, data domiciles, and others. 


Elements of an Effective Vendor Risk Management Framework

Notice something in the frameworks above? 

Each addresses an element of the TPRM implementation process. For instance, NIST 800-37 enforces risk mitigation tactics for onboarding vendors while the ISO 27001 standard helps security teams design comprehensive risk assessment questionnaires. 

This means two things: 

First, for effective vendor risk management, companies may need to combine elements from various TPRM frameworks. The elements (or components) to keep in mind are illustrated below: 


Elements of an Effective Vendor Risk Management Framework


Secondly, because trying to cut off sections of various frameworks to achieve all necessary elements is too much manual work, there’s a need to streamline the process with a TPRM tool

This is where Cyber Sierra comes in: 


streamline the process with a TPRM tool.


As shown above, our interoperable cybersecurity platform integrates NIST and ISO TPRM frameworks into easy-to-use templates for streamlined implementation. 


How to Streamline Third-Party Risk Management Framework Implementation

Effective implementation of an enterprise TPRM framework must have all elements illustrated above. Specifically, it must include components for ongoing risk assessment, due diligence, contractual agreements, incidence response, and continuous monitoring. 

Here’s how Cyber Sierra automates the critical ones. 


Risk Assessment

This element of a TPRM framework focuses on assessing risks associated with potential third-party vendors. It involves using security questionnaires to evaluate vendors’ security practices, reputation, financial stability, and others. 

But there’s a caveat. 

Assessee tier (basic or advanced) and possible threats to deal with often depends on a vendor type and their geographic location. To this end, Cyber Sierra enforces security teams to choose a vendor type, geographic location, and if an advanced assessment is needed when initiating each third-party risk assessment flow: 


Risk Assessment


Due Diligence

A study by the Ponemon Institute revealed why due diligence is a core component of an effective-implemented TPRM framework. 

They found that: 


why due diligence is a core component of an effective-implemented TPRM framework


In other words, don’t expect 3rd parties to be honest about responses to risk assessments on their threat profiles. Instead, use a TPRM platform like Cyber Sierra to auto-verify and automate due diligence on evidence uploaded for each security assessment question: 



Contractual Agreements

This component of implementing a TPRM framework requires working with trained legal and compliance professionals. Such expertise is needed for designing custom contractual agreements that effectively outline each 3rd party’s security obligations, requirements, and expectations relative to risk management. 


Incidence Response

How will your security team respond to cyber risks and security threats that emerge from vendors in your supply chain network? 

This element of an implemented TPRM framework addresses that crucial question. It involves establishing proactive measures for remediating data threats and cyber risks arising from 3rd party vendors in your entire supply chain network. 

But to respond to incidents, your security teams must first identify them before they lead to a data breach. This requires proper implementation of the fifth element of a TPRM framework. 


Continuous Monitoring

This element of a TPRM framework entails: 

  • Monitoring third-party security controls based on implemented risk management, governance, and compliance policies.
  • Verifying third-parties’ uploaded evidence of meeting their obligation of having required risk management controls.
  • Identifying and flagging vendors in your supply chain network without that fail to meet data security requirements. 

Cyber Sierra streamlines these gruesome processes for vendors and organizations. First, our platform enforces ongoing third-party risk monitoring by auto-verifying 3rd parties’ uploaded evidence of having required security controls. 

You can enforce this by asking vendors managed with the Cyber Sierra platform to click on “Get Verified,” say, monthly: 

assessment questions


On your team’s dashboard view, our platform automatically verifies vendors’ uploaded evidence of having mandated security controls. 

It also flags evidence that fails verification and your team can work with vendors to resolve them on the same pane:

Assessment Request


Implement TPRM Frameworks In One Place

As demonstrated in the steps above, you can implement critical elements of an enterprise vendor risk management program with Cyber Sierra. More importantly, our platform lets you choose between the NIST or ISO TPRM frameworks: 


streamline the process with a TPRM tool.


This means whichever recommended framework makes more sense for assessing and managing third-party vendor risks in your supply chain, you can do it with our platform without jumping loops. 

You can even use both for specific vendors. 

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Choose (and Implement) Recommended Enterprise TPRM Framework In One Place

Book a free demo to see how Cyber Sierra easily streamlines TPRM Programs for enterprise organizations.

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  • Third Party Risk Management
  • CISOs
  • CTOs
  • Cybersecurity Enthusiasts
  • Enterprise Leaders
  • Startup Founders
Pramodh Rai

Meet Pramodh Rai, a technology aficionado and Cyber Sierra's co-founder, whose zest for innovation is fuelled by a cupboard stacked with zero-sugar Redbull. With a nimble footwork through the tech tulips across Asia Pacific, he's donned hats at Hmlet (the proptech kind) and Funding Societies | Modalku, building high-performing teams and technologies. A Barclays prodigy with dual degrees from Nanyang Technological University, Pramodh is a treasure trove of wisdom, dad jokes, and everything product/tech. He's the Sherpa in sneakers you need.

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