Blog | May 16, 2019

Third-Party Risk to the Nth Degree: Supply Chain Breaches

Wipro. Target. Image-I-Nation. British Airways. TicketMaster. The list of organizations affected by supply chain breaches continues to grow as criminals turn their sights on supply chains to attack their intended/final target. Third-party risk in the world of cybersecurity is often unaddressed despite increasing awareness and focus from regulators globally.

Carbon Black’s most recent Global Incident Response Threat Report (GIRTR) found that half of all cyberattacks now leverage the supply chain in some way. In the case of the April 2019 Wipro breach, clients that depend on the global IT services conglomerate for normal business operations were affected, as well as Wipro itself … all due to technologies common across Wipro’s organization. These third parties, especially in the MSP and MSSP world, are interconnected at a deep level with their own third-party organizations, as well as the multi-tenant client base they maintain and serve. Evaluating these organizations and understanding how and where they’re strong or weak is key to the trust you place in them by depending on their services.

[image src="/assets/61311a7b5d/UnderstandingVendorRelationships_expanded.png" id="2218" width="1000" height="594" class="ss-htmleditorfield-file image right" title="Understanding Vendor Relationships" alt="Understanding Vendor Relationships"]

This need expressed by our customers combined with regulatory pressure has driven eSentire to establish third-party risk programs to guard against third-party party risk to the nth degree and support our customers in preparing and addressing the most severe outcomes. We accomplish this by first understanding the types of risks presented with the levels of implicit trust afforded to MSPs and MSSPs and how they impact our customers.

[image src="/assets/62a36358ee/Understanding3RD_PartyInfoSecurityRisk.png" id="2219" width="800" height="580" class="center ss-htmleditorfield-file image" title="Understanding 3RD Party Info Security Risk" alt="Understanding 3RD Party Info Security Risk"]

By continually evaluating and reacting to the knowledge of risk in any third-party relationship, we can establish the right amount of governance and oversight needed to address said risks where they show up. In a nutshell, if customers don’t know that MSSP #1 is lacking its own cybersecurity risk program, security monitoring and operations program, vulnerability management program, or even a third-party risk management program, then customers have no sense of where and how their risk could become our risk. As the old adage goes, “Trust but verify” very much applies here.

At eSentire, we build security programs and products which, above and beyond whatever they do on paper, are risk-informed and standards-aligned. In seeking to address ongoing cybersecurity threats, nothing short of this will do. In the context of third-party risk, this means applying the NIST CSF at scale and understanding how to drive the maturity of these organizations up that scale in a way that makes them proactive and agile in their response to ongoing cybersecurity threats.

[image src="/assets/c1c455687f/NIST_CSF_EvaluationTiers_expanded.png" id="2220" width="1000" height="422" class="center ss-htmleditorfield-file image" title="NIST CSF Evaluation Tiers" alt="NIST CSF Evaluation Tiers"]

Mark Sangster

Mark Sangster

Vice President and Industry Security Strategist

Mark is a cybersecurity evangelist who has spent significant time researching and speaking to peripheral factors influencing the way that legal firms integrate cybersecurity into their day-to-day operations.