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Vanta announces enhanced Risk Management solution
Vanta is thrilled to announce expanded capabilities to our existing Risk Management solution. Thousands of customers already use Vanta’s Risk Management solution to reduce corporate risk, demonstrate compliance during audits, and build strong compliance and security postures.
The expanded capabilities include alignment with the ISO risk assessment framework and pre-built, quick-start content and workflows, including a risk library, suggested mitigating controls, risk prioritization calculations, ownership assignment, automated mitigation tracking, and risk reporting. Let’s take a deeper look.
Understanding risk assessment
A risk assessment is a required exercise as part of most standards and frameworks such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, PCI DSS and more. The process enables an organization to understand and address potential risks to its critical data and ability to conduct its business. Each risk assessment is tailored to the unique risks and context of each organization, but the industry-accepted risk assessment methodology has the common five steps as shown below.
While the process is often called a risk assessment, as the diagram below indicates, the process is more than just assessing risk. The end goal of the process is to manage and reduce risk.
One of the most pragmatic, well-defined, and widely-accepted risk assessment methodology is the ISO 27005 information security risk management guideline. This methodology is an industry “gold standard” and can be applied to meet the requirements of all information security and data privacy standards that require risk assessment. So if done correctly, you only need to do risk assessments following the ISO methodology; no need to repeat for other standards.
Many organizations, especially smaller organizations new to risk assessments, struggle doing risk management for the reasons below and as a result they end up with excessive risk, possible audit issues, increased labor costs, and delayed revenue from not having a timely compliance attestation or certification:
- Manual and complex: A traditional approach to assessing risks can require lots of manual spreadsheets and documents, including emails and phone calls to internal task owners in order to gather evidence and understand their risk environment. For organizations new to the risk assessment process, or for users who are not deep risk and compliance experts, it can be overwhelming to know how and where to start and how to perform all the steps. Most risk assessment products are too complex and granular for a non-expert user.
- Limited and siloed: Some risk management tools are not rigorous enough to cover multiple standards, so organizations are limited in how many standards they can comply with and the tool cannot grow with them. These tools can be rigid and offer limited customization to meet unique needs and requirements. They are often stand-alone tools, with no integration or synergies with other compliance and risk systems and processes, without a hub or view into the full risk and compliance posture.
Vanta’s Risk Management solution
At a high level, Vanta’s enhanced Risk Management solution is a robust, automated offering based on the ISO 27005 risk assessment guidelines and methodology that aligns to the five main stages of a risk assessment. This solution allows users to have a single, robust process to follow in order to meet the risk assessment requirements of all major standards.
Vanta’s automation makes it easy to assess and reduce risk and improve security posture on a proactive, continuous basis; it’s not just a point in time review to check a compliance box. Organizations can enjoy a robust yet simple risk assessment process, faster and successful audits, lowered labor costs, and accelerated revenue from timely compliance attestations or certifications. Vanta’s offering is:
- Automated and simplified: The Risk Management solution is an integrated SaaS solution that removes the need for spreadsheets and back and forth emails with internals and auditors. It includes pre-built content and workflows to guide organizations, even if new to risk assessments, efficiently through the entire process. The Risk Management solution utilizes pre-built risk scenarios and related treatment plans/controls, as well as automated review/approval, task tracking and testing of mitigating controls via integrations to ensure risk treatment plans are implemented. It also contains reports to manage and measure risk at a high-level, especially for executives or auditors.
- Comprehensive and integrated: The Risk Management solution is a single ISO-aligned risk assessment solution that is rigorous, captures best practices, and will be accepted by auditors for most standards and frameworks such as ISO, SOC 2, PCI, HIPAA, and more. It can be heavily customized to incorporate unique threats and treatment plans you have, so it is a truly future-proof solution. It's also integrated into Vanta’s broader compliance platform for one hub and interface addressing compliance, risk management, and security.
Some additional detail on functionality in the solution, aligned to the five main risk assessment steps, is below.
Risk Assessment stage
- Workflows to smoothly guide the customer through the end-to-end RA process
- Auditor portal for auditors to view progress and results, and interact with customers directly through product to accelerate audits
- Library of 50+ risks across common categories such as Access Management, HR security and Sensitive Data
- Library of 50+ common risk scenarios (aka Risk Library)
- Assign risk scenario owner for accountability and approval of risk treatment plan
Assess and prioritize
- Automated risk scoring and prioritization
Treatment and controls
- Treatment selector with customized workflows per treatment type (accept, transfer, mitigate, avoid)
- Add tasks, including assigning an owner and due date.
- Add controls, with controls automatically suggested and mapped to the risk scenario and also possibly containing policies
- Automated notifications to task owners of their task
Implement and measure
- Automated notifications to risk scenario owners or task owners if they miss due dates
- Automatically verify control progress for mitigating controls
- Includes color-coded risk matrix and proof of annual assessment and improvements
- Snapshot a risk assessment at a point in time to track progress, share progress with auditors, and show evidence of prior completion
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s take a look at some of the interface:
The enhanced Vanta Risk Management solution is accessible in a few ways:
- For new customers, it is available now in Vanta. Log in to Vanta to try it out!
- For existing customers, to have it enabled, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Executive.
- For those not yet a customer but would like to learn more about Vanta and our risk and compliance capabilities, please contact us to learn more and see a custom demo.
Join the risk management webinar
Interested in learing more about Vanta's Risk Management solution? In this live webinar, De-risky business webinar, Matt Cooper shares how to simplify and automate the entire risk assessment process.
More about risk assessments
Coffee & Compliance: Demystifying risk assessment video
Risk assessment 101 guidebook
AUTHORS: Joe Goldberg (Product Marketing), Soleil Kellar (Product Management), Matt Cooper (Privacy, Risk and Compliance)
Determine whether the GDPR applies to you and if so, if you are a processor or controller (or both)
Do you sell goods or service in the EU or UK?
Do you sell goods or services to EU businesses, consumers, or both?
Do you have employees in the EU or UK?
Do persons from the EU or UK visit your website?
Do you monitor the behavior of persons within the EU?
Create a Data Map by taking the following actions
Identify and document every system (i.e. database, application, or vendor) which stores or processes EU or UK based personally identifiable information (PII)
Document the retention periods for PII in each system
Determine whether you collect, store, or process “special categories” of data
Determine whether your Data Map meets the requirements for Records of Processing Activities (Art. 30)
Determine whether your Data Map includes the following information about processing activities carried out by vendors on your behalf
Determine your grounds for processing data
For each category of data and system/application have you determined the lawful basis for processing based on one of the following conditions?
Take inventory of current customer and vendor contracts to confirm new GDPR-required flow-down provisions are included
Review all customer contracts to determine that they have appropriate contract language (i.e. Data Protection Addendums with Standard Contractual Clauses)
Review all in-scope vendor contracts to determine that they have appropriate contract language (i.e. Data Protection Addendums with Standard Contractual Clauses)
Have you performed a risk assessment on vendors who are processing your PII?
Determine if you need to do a Data Protection Impact Assessment
Is your data processing taking into account the nature, scope, context, and purposes of the processing, likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons?
Review product and service design (including your website or app) to ensure privacy notice links, marketing consents, and other requirements are integrated
Does the notice to the data subject include the following items?
Does the notice also include the following items?
Do you have a mechanism for persons to change or withdraw consent?
Update internal privacy policies to comply with notification obligations
Update internal privacy notices for EU employees
Determine if you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer, and appoint one if needed
Have you determined whether or not you must designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO) based on one of the following conditions (Art. 37)?
If you export data from the EU, consider if you need a compliance mechanism to cover the data transfer, such as model clauses
If you transfer, store, or process data outside the EU or UK, have you identified your legal basis for the data transfer (note: most likely covered by the Standard Contractual Clauses)
Have you performed and documented a Transfer Impact Assessment (TIA)?
Confirm you are complying with other data subject rights (i.e. aside from notification)
Do you have a defined process for timely response to Data Subject Access Requests (DSAR) (i.e. requests for information, modification or deletion of PII)?
Are you able to provide the subject information in a concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language?
Do you have a process for correcting or deleting data when requested?
Do you have an internal policy regarding a Compelled Disclosure from Law Enforcement?
Determine if you need to appoint an EU-based representative, and appoint one if needed
Have you appointed an EU Representative or determined that an EU Representative is not needed based on one of the following conditions?
If operating in more than one EU state, identify a lead Data Protection Authority (DPA)
Do you operate in more than one EU state?
If so, have you designated the Supervisory Authority of the main establishment to act as your Lead Supervisory Authority?
Implement Employee Trainings to Demonstrate Compliance with GDPR Principles and Data Subject Rights
Have you provided appropriate Security Awareness and Privacy training to your staff?
Update internal procedures and policies to ensure you can comply with data breach response requirements
Have you created and implemented an Incident Response Plan which included procedures for reporting a breach to EU and UK Data Subjects as well as appropriate Data Authorities?
Do breach reporting policies comply with all prescribed timelines and include all recipients i.e. authorities, controllers, and data subjects?
Implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk
Have you implemented encryption of PII at rest and in transit?
Have you implemented pseudonymization?
Have you implemented appropriate physical security controls?
Have you implemented information security policies and procedures?
Can you access EU or UK PII data in the clear?
Do your technical and organizational measure ensure that, by default, only personal data which are necessary for each specific purpose of the processing are processed?
Develop a roadmap for successful implementation of an ISMS and ISO 27001 certification
Implement Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) process to recognize challenges and identify gaps for remediation
Consider ISO 27001 certification costs relative to org size and number of employees
Clearly define scope of work to plan certification time to completion
Select an ISO 27001 auditor
Set the scope of your organization’s ISMS
Decide which business areas are covered by the ISMS and which are out of scope
Consider additional security controls for business processes that are required to pass ISMS-protected information across the trust boundary
Inform stakeholders regarding scope of the ISMS
Establish an ISMS governing body
Build a governance team with management oversight
Incorporate key members of top management, e.g. senior leadership and executive management with responsibility for strategy and resource allocation
Conduct an inventory of information assets
Consider all assets where information is stored, processed, and accessible
- Record information assets: data and people
- Record physical assets: laptops, servers, and physical building locations
- Record intangible assets: intellectual property, brand, and reputation
Assign to each asset a classification and owner responsible for ensuring the asset is appropriately inventoried, classified, protected, and handled
Execute a risk assessment
Establish and document a risk-management framework to ensure consistency
Identify scenarios in which information, systems, or services could be compromised
Determine likelihood or frequency with which these scenarios could occur
Evaluate potential impact of each scenario on confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information, systems, and services
Rank risk scenarios based on overall risk to the organization’s objectives
Develop a risk register
Record and manage your organization’s risks
Summarize each identified risk
Indicate the impact and likelihood of each risk
Document a risk treatment plan
Design a response for each risk (Risk Treatment)
Assign an accountable owner to each identified risk
Assign risk mitigation activity owners
Establish target dates for completion of risk treatment activities
Complete the Statement of Applicability worksheet
Review 114 controls of Annex A of ISO 27001 standard
Select controls to address identified risks
Complete the Statement of Applicability listing all Annex A controls, justifying inclusion or exclusion of each control in the ISMS implementation
Continuously assess and manage risk
Build a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving the ISMS
Include information or references to supporting documentation regarding:
- Information Security Objectives
- Leadership and Commitment
- Roles, Responsibilities, and Authorities
- Approach to Assessing and Treating Risk
- Control of Documented Information
- Internal Audit
- Management Review
- Corrective Action and Continual Improvement
- Policy Violations
Assemble required documents and records
Review ISO 27001 Required Documents and Records list
Customize policy templates with organization-specific policies, process, and language
Establish employee training and awareness programs
Conduct regular trainings to ensure awareness of new policies and procedures
Define expectations for personnel regarding their role in ISMS maintenance
Train personnel on common threats facing your organization and how to respond
Establish disciplinary or sanctions policies or processes for personnel found out of compliance with information security requirements
Perform an internal audit
Allocate internal resources with necessary competencies who are independent of ISMS development and maintenance, or engage an independent third party
Verify conformance with requirements from Annex A deemed applicable in your ISMS's Statement of Applicability
Share internal audit results, including nonconformities, with the ISMS governing body and senior management
Address identified issues before proceeding with the external audit
Undergo external audit of ISMS to obtain ISO 27001 certification
Engage an independent ISO 27001 auditor
Conduct Stage 1 Audit consisting of an extensive documentation review; obtain feedback regarding readiness to move to Stage 2 Audit
Conduct Stage 2 Audit consisting of tests performed on the ISMS to ensure proper design, implementation, and ongoing functionality; evaluate fairness, suitability, and effective implementation and operation of controls
Address any nonconformities
Ensure that all requirements of the ISO 27001 standard are being addressed
Ensure org is following processes that it has specified and documented
Ensure org is upholding contractual requirements with third parties
Address specific nonconformities identified by the ISO 27001 auditor
Receive auditor’s formal validation following resolution of nonconformities
Conduct regular management reviews
Plan reviews at least once per year; consider a quarterly review cycle
Ensure the ISMS and its objectives continue to remain appropriate and effective
Ensure that senior management remains informed
Ensure adjustments to address risks or deficiencies can be promptly implemented
Calendar ISO 27001 audit schedule and surveillance audit schedules
Perform a full ISO 27001 audit once every three years
Prepare to perform surveillance audits in the second and third years of the Certification Cycle
Consider streamlining ISO 27001 certification with automation
Transform manual data collection and observation processes into automated and continuous system monitoring
Identify and close any gaps in ISMS implementation in a timely manner
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Determine which annual audits and assessments are required for your company
Perform a readiness assessment and evaluate your security against HIPAA requirements
Review the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights Audit Protocol
Conduct required HIPAA compliance audits and assessments
Perform and document ongoing technical and non-technical evaluations, internally or in partnership with a third-party security and compliance team like Vanta
Document your plans and put them into action
Document every step of building, implementing, and assessing your compliance program
Vanta’s automated compliance reporting can streamline planning and documentation
Appoint a security and compliance point person in your company
Designate an employee as your HIPAA Compliance Officer
Schedule annual HIPAA training for all employees
Distribute HIPAA policies and procedures and ensure staff read and attest to their review
Document employee trainings and other compliance activities
Thoroughly document employee training processes, activities, and attestations
Establish and communicate clear breach report processes
to all employees
Ensure that staff understand what constitutes a HIPAA breach, and how to report a breach
Implement systems to track security incidents, and to document and report all breaches
Institute an annual review process
Annually assess compliance activities against theHIPAA Rules and updates to HIPAA
Continuously assess and manage risk
Build a year-round risk management program and integrate continuous monitoring
Understand the ins and outs of HIPAA compliance— and the costs of noncompliance
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