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News

Security assessment tool for third party data handlers

Information Security Forum : 06 October, 2009  (New Product)
The Information Security Forum responds to increased demand for third party organisations to handle sensitive data with the introduction of TPSAT, a tool developed to help companies assess the security levels of the third party
With growing interest in Cloud Computing and increasing reliance on supply chain business partners, the Information Security Forum (ISF) is helping organisations to address the security of information held by third parties. In a report for ISF members called 'Information Security in Third Party Relationship Management', the ISF highlights four major requirements: identifying and classifying third parties, agreeing the security imperatives, validating the controls in place, and ensuring data protection compliance at the end of an agreement. And to help its members combat these issues, the ISF has developed a Third Party Security Assessment Tool (TPSAT).

Third party information security is vitally important as a typical organisation will deal with many service providers and supply chain partners, which leads to different requirements, adherence to multiple standards and varied levels of maturity and sophistication in managing information security in the business relationship. The ISF report provides valuable information to help organisations as they establish more relationships and develop their supply chains.

"Identifying and validating the security arrangements for a single third party requires significant work," said Adrian Davis, senior research consultant at the Information Security Forum and the author of the report. "When you consider that large organisations will deal with hundreds and in some cases thousands of service providers and partners, it becomes a major undertaking requiring sufficient resource and enhanced security controls."

The Third Party Security Assessment Tool (TPSAT) developed by the ISF enables the user to consistently classify and assess information security arrangements for one or multiple third parties. It has been designed to be easy to use, while covering all of the vital information security issues in a third party relationship, providing organisations with a powerful assessment tool.

"There is a tremendous business value in third party relationships and the lines of communication need to be open and constant between end user organisations and third party communities," said Prof. Howard A. Schmidt, President and CEO at the ISF. "With TPSAT we are able to provide the critical information needed to maintain a constant set of requirements and controls."

One the benefits to ISF Members is access to the TPSAT tool and Third Party report along with some 300 other authoritative reports on information security issues.

The Information Security Forum is a not-for-profit international association of some 300 leading organisations, which fund and co-operate in the development of practical, business driven solutions to information security and Risk Management problems. The ISF undertakes a leading-edge research programme and has already invested more than US$100 million in high level research along with information risk methodologies and tools.
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