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Your business needs a vendor management policy. Here’s how to create one.
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June 9, 2020

Your business needs a vendor management policy. Here’s how to create one.

What is a vendor management policy and why does your company need one?

As your business works to ensure that it is effectively securing sensitive data and information, putting in place a vendor management policy is a key part of building a holistic compliance risk management strategy. It is a best practice for any organization working with sensitive data and customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) to develop a policy to review all vendors — every third-party, contractor, or associate with whom you do business — and to establish requirements for the level of information security that vendors should maintain.


Vendor management and the path to compliance


Building a vendor management policy will also help bring your company into regulatory compliance. As companies of all types outsource services to third and fourth parties and beyond — and as data breaches have become unfortunately common — regulators have expanded security and data management requirements in various sectors to ensure that companies are effectively and proactively managing supply chain risks. A vendor management policy is often a key component of demonstrating your company’s compliance with today’s regulations.


Consider your security posture inside and out


How does vendor management figure into your company’s overall cybersecurity? Your company may think first of cybersecurity as an internal matter — and your internal security posture is of key importance. But when your organization engages a wider network of vendors and partners in the delivery of services that access or manage sensitive customer data, the security of those external vendors — and the risk associated with their data and network access — become just as important as how you handle security internally.


Policy begins with a cross-company team


Where should your company begin to create a vendor management policy? Start by assembling a team with representatives from across your company. You will want to ensure that your vendor management team is populated by members from different departments, bringing different perspectives on your business. Your decision-makers should be represented, as should your IT security department, someone from your procurement team, a lawyer, and someone from your business unit. You may consider other team members as needed, depending on your particular business model. Your vendor management team will be tasked with building a comprehensive list of all the third-party vendors, contractors, partners, and associates with whom you work.

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Setup access review procedures
  • Define a global access review procedure that stakeholders can follow, ensuring consistency and mitigation of human error in reviews
  • Set your access review frequency (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and working period/deadlines
Consolidate account access data from systems
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  • Upcoming integrations include Zoom and Intercom (account access), and Personio (HRIS)
  • Upload access files from non-integrated systems
  • View and select systems in-scope for the review
Review, approve, and deny user access
  • Select the appropriate systems reviewer and due date
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  • Automatic flagging of “risky” employee accounts that have been terminated or switched departments
  • Intuitive interface to see all accounts with access, account accept/deny buttons, and notes section
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  • Bulk sort, filter, and alter accounts based on account roles and employee title
Assign remediation tasks to system owners
  • Built-in remediation workflow for reviewers to request access changes and for admin to view and manage requests
  • Optional task tracker integration to create tickets for any access changes and provide visibility to the status of tickets and remediation
Verify changes to access
  • Focused view of accounts flagged for access changes for easy tracking and management
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Report and re-evaluate results
  • Auditor can log into Vanta to see history of all completed access reviews
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PCI Compliance Selection Guide

Determine Your PCI Compliance Level

If your organization processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data, you must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a global mandate created by major credit card companies. Compliance is mandatory for any business that accepts credit card payments.

When establishing strategies for implementing and maintaining PCI compliance, your organization needs to understand what constitutes a Merchant or Service Provider, and whether a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or Report on Compliance (ROC) is most applicable to your business.

Answer a few short questions and we’ll help identify your compliance level.

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Does your business offer services to customers who are interested in your level of PCI compliance?

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Identify your PCI SAQ or ROC level

The PCI Security Standards Council has established the below criteria for Merchant and Service Provider validation. Use these descriptions to help determine the SAQ or ROC that best applies to your organization.

Good news! Vanta supports all of the following compliance levels:

SAQ A

A SAQ A is required for Merchants that do not require the physical presence of a credit card (like an eCommerce, mail, or telephone purchase). This means that the Merchant’s business has fully outsourced all cardholder data processing to PCI DSS compliant third party Service Providers, with no electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the Merchant’s system or premises.

Get PCI DSS certified

SAQ A-EP

A SAQ A-EP is similar to a SAQ A, but is a requirement for Merchants that don't receive cardholder data, but control how cardholder data is redirected to a PCI DSS validated third-party payment processor.

Learn more about eCommerce PCI

SAQ D
for service providers

A SAQ D includes over 200 requirements and covers the entirety of PCI DSS compliance. If you are a Service Provider, a SAQ D is the only SAQ you’re eligible to complete.

Use our PCI checklist

ROC
Level 1 for service providers

A Report on Compliance (ROC) is an annual assessment that determines your organization’s ability to protect cardholder data. If you’re a Merchant that processes over six million transactions annually or a Service Provider that processes more than 300,000 transactions annually, your organization is responsible for both a ROC and an Attestation of Compliance (AOC).

Automate your ROC and AOC

Download this checklist for easy reference

Questions?

Learn more about how Vanta can help. You can also find information on PCI compliance levels at the PCI Security Standards Council website or by contacting your payment processing partner.

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