Your vendors give you support so you can run your business. Most businesses can’t survive without them. They allow you to save money and keep your business running smoothly so you can focus on your own services or products. Yet your vendors can be a weak point too.
For example they’re a weak point in your IT security. Normally as companies get bigger they tend to provide better and better security for their IT infrastructure. With vendors, who are often smaller companies than your company, your IT security might be at risk especially if your vendor’s IT infrastructure is tied to yours in anyway. They might have access codes or a direct link to your system for their services, any of these maybe a chink in your defenses against outside invaders. That’s what happened to Target and that’s what could happen to you.
Remembers hackers have the advantage of being able to choose when to strike. Maybe it’s in the middle of the night or in the middle of your biggest sales season. Either way you still need to protect your data. Also remember that a security breach alert does your business no good unless you acted upon it.
This brings up the point what can you do about this? Well you either need to make sure that your vendors have the same or better security standards as you or you need to upgrade your security around their access points to your infrastructure. The best bet is to do both.
Before you hire a vendor to do work you should always inquire about their security especially if you’re not hiring them as an IT service. Do not let your guard down even if they’re a janitor service or AC maintenance service, they can still cause a threat if their tied into your infrastructure in anyway.
Also as soon as you get a new vendor reevaluate your current security measures. Is it time for an upgrade? Many times companies, especially non-IT companies, forget that online security is an ever-changing field and as soon you upgrade your protection the clock starts ticking on when it will become obsolete.
If you have any questions about your IT security situation feel free to ask OOAC, we’re sure we can help!