Comprehensive Vendor and Third-Party Risk Management: Sample Questionnaires

Evaluating your vendors’ cybersecurity practices is crucial in managing and mitigating third-party risks. The following sample questionnaires are designed to help you gather essential information about your vendors’ security policies, practices, and data handling procedures. These questions cover various aspects of cybersecurity and should be customized to fit the specific context of your business and your vendors.

General Vendor Information:

  1. Vendor Name:
  2. Services Provided:
  3. Contact Information:
  4. Length of Service with Your Company:

Security Policies and Compliance:

  1. Do you have a written information security policy?
  2. Are you compliant with any industry standards or regulations (e.g., ISO 27001, SOC 2, GDPR)?
  3. Can you provide recent audit reports or security certifications?

Data Protection:

  1. How is sensitive data encrypted in your systems?
  2. Describe the measures in place to ensure data privacy and confidentiality.
  3. What data backup and recovery processes do you have in place?

Access Control:

  1. How do you manage access to systems and data?
  2. Are there processes for regularly reviewing and revoking access rights?
  3. Do you employ multi-factor authentication for critical systems and data access?

Incident Response:

  1. Do you have an incident response plan? Please provide a summary or a copy.
  2. How are incidents reported and managed?
  3. Describe any recent security incidents and how they were handled.

Vendor Relationships:

  1. Do you subcontract any services or data processing? If so, how do you manage the security of these subcontractors?
  2. How do you ensure continuous security and compliance in your supply chain?

Continuous Improvement:

  1. How frequently do you update your security policies and systems?
  2. Describe any recent or planned improvements to your cybersecurity posture.
  3. How do you stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and defenses?

Next Steps:

After distributing and collecting responses from these questionnaires, thoroughly review the information provided. Look for any gaps or areas of concern that need addressing. Follow up with the vendor for clarifications or additional documentation if necessary. These initial assessments will help you understand the risk level each vendor may pose to your business and inform your ongoing vendor management strategy.

Note: Customize these questions based on the specific services the vendor provides and the particular risks you’re concerned about. The more targeted and specific your questions, the better the insights you will gain.