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March 2009

Enforcing a vendor risk assessment to avoid outsourcing security risks

As the economy worsens and corporate budgets tighten, there will be an increased pressure on CIOs and their staffs to use third-party service providers for various IT services. This will include everything from existing outsourcing of HR services, payment processing and CRM services to more cloud-based services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Microsoft's Azure. Additionally, we will undoubtedly see an increase of privacy and security compliance regulations. Combine the increased flow of data outside the traditional corporate perimeter with the additional compliance needs, and the result is a much sharper focus on the security of third-party service providers. But how are CISOs supposed to verify the security of a service provider meets their needs to avoid outsourcing security risks? This isn't exactly a new problem, yet it's not one we've had a good solution for in part because it's such a moving target, especially in the case of many of the new cloud-based offerings that aren't built with security in mind. In the end,...

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