Any IT company knows threats are always lurking, waiting for an opportune time to take your empire down. Even big businesses have to handle threats, and each risk they take can either backfire or prove ingenious. Small businesses, though not in the immediate radar of hackers, may not have the best security guarding critical corporate data.

These are glaring security problems you need to work on. But don’t stop there. You also need to think about how platforms such as ServiceNow’s vendor risk management can further improve your security in seemingly harmless areas of business.

A Solid Contract

You may be transacting with several third-party vendors to fulfill the demand of consumers. This eases the load on your end, leaving room for you to focus on other parts of the business needing a boost. However, with several vendors at play, any number of things can go wrong. If even just one of them proved to have ulterior motives in transacting with you, your company and business reputation could suffer.

This is why you need a solid contract that outlines what the vendor does for your company, and where their limits lie. Everything must hold in court, should things go that far, but hopefully the mere fact that there is a contract in place will already encourage them to remain honest vendors.

Constant Performance Monitoring

Man working in the data center

It’s not the initial signed contract that may be the problem; it’s what vendors do after they’ve already gained your trust. You may notice quality slipping or them missing deadlines with no clear explanation. That’s what happens when no one monitors their performance and holds them accountable for their deeds.

It’s mainly for that reason that you need a system where all vendors are accounted for and you can evaluable the risk associated with them according to their performance. Monitoring should be done regularly, to be sure that they are giving the business their best. There should be consequences for performance slip-ups, as well. Customize your management platform to alert you if action on your part is needed for noticeable changes in performance.

Information Compartmentalization

Vendors differ from in-house employees in that they are not directly employed under your company. Their affiliation with you ends with the deliverables they provide for the business. This should already be clear in the contract you’ve established, but it should also be considered in practice.

Now, it’s understandable that you will need to share relevant information with vendors if it helps them perform their best. However, this is a big risk to take, especially for new vendors you have not established trust with yet. It’s safe to provide information on an as-needed basis so that you are not willingly giving out crucial information that may be used against you if the partnership turns sour.

You worked hard to establish your business, and it would be a shame to have it crumbling apart just because of third-party problems. There is a level of trust needed to conduct business with other people effectively, but don’t forget to still be careful with all the information you share.