August 18, 2022

Risks of using a cyber security service with vulnerabilities

Florian Reinholz8 min read



Businesses of all sizes have integrated the Internet into nearly every aspect of their operations, an increase that is likely to accelerate as businesses embrace mobile and cloud computing to a greater extent. Cyber security is clearly a concern shared by the whole business society but it poses an especially hazardous risk to smaller businesses. Half of the small enterprises that experience a cyberattack are predicted to go out of business within six months.

Risk management

Importance of risk management in cyber security

Organizations of all sizes, large as well as small, need to be cognizant of how the current cyber risks can turn them into valuable targets for hackers. A security breach could happen to even the largest business with an extensive clientele. A digital assault on an ill-equipped company could result in data loss, financial impact, harm to the brand's reputation, and employee morale loss. Installing antivirus software alone is no longer sufficient for avoiding attacks.

Besides risk management strategy acknowledges that organizations cannot entirely eliminate all system vulnerabilities or block all cyber-attacks. Establishing a cyber security risk management initiative helps organizations attend first to the most critical flaws, threat trends, and attacks.

Organizations have to create and execute a risk management strategy to mitigate company hazards and remove cyberattacks threats. A cyber risk management strategy can inform decision-makers about the risks involved in day-to-day operations. A cyber risk assessment will assist the business in determining the likelihood of any cyber-related attacks to which they are susceptible. A cyber risk management strategy can assist a company in understanding the key threats and allocating resources and time wisely. It will also aid in the prevention of the risks identified in the investigation.

The risks of using a service provider with vulnerabilities

When it comes to cyber security risk management, it's important to consider the risks of using a service provider with vulnerabilities. While outsourcing certain services can be beneficial for businesses, it can also introduce new risks and vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

When using a service provider, you are entrusting them with your data and sensitive information, which can include customer information, financial records, and more. If the service provider has vulnerabilities in their system, this can put your data at risk of being compromised by cybercriminals or hackers.

Additionally, a service provider with vulnerabilities can also impact the availability and reliability of their service. If the provider experiences a cyberattacks or data breach, their service may be taken offline or disrupted, which can impact your business operations and potentially damage your reputation.

Therefore, it's important to thoroughly vet any service provider before outsourcing any services. This includes conducting a thorough risk assessment to identify any potential vulnerabilities and ensuring that the service provider has strong cyber security policies and practices in place. By doing so, you can minimize the risks of using a service provider with vulnerabilities and protect your business from potential cyber threats.

How to identify the risks of using a service provider with vulnerabilities

Identifying the risks of using a service provider with vulnerabilities is crucial in reducing the risk of cyberattacks. Here are some steps to help you identify the risks:

  • Research the service provider's security measures: Before engaging with a service provider, research their security measures and make sure they meet your organization's security requirements. Look for information about their security policies, procedures, and certifications. If there is a lack of information or transparency, it could be a warning sign.
  • Conduct regular vulnerability assessments: Regularly assessing your service provider's vulnerabilities can help you identify potential risks. This can be done by conducting regular penetration testing, vulnerability scans, and other security assessments.
  • Monitor third-party access: If your service provider allows third-party access to its systems, it is important to monitor this access. Ensure that third-party access is restricted and only granted to trusted parties. Keep a record of all third-party access and review it regularly.
  • Stay up-to-date with security updates: Service providers should regularly update their systems to address any vulnerabilities. Stay up-to-date with the latest security updates and patches from your service provider, and ensure that they are implementing them in a timely manner.

By taking these steps, you can identify the risks of using a service provider with vulnerabilities and take appropriate measures to mitigate them. Remember, cyber security risk management is an ongoing process, and you should regularly review and update your security measures to ensure the safety of your organization's data.

What to do when you identify vulnerabilities

Identifying vulnerabilities is only part of the process. Once you have identified that your service provider has vulnerabilities, the next step is to act fast and take appropriate steps to mitigate the risks.

Firstly, you should contact your service provider immediately and report the vulnerabilities. They should have a process in place to handle such incidents, and they will be able to take the necessary steps to fix the issue promptly. You should also enquire about the timeline for the resolution of the vulnerability.

Secondly, you should assess the impact of the vulnerabilities on your organization. If the vulnerability poses a significant risk to your data and operations, you should consider suspending your use of the service provider until the vulnerability is resolved.

Thirdly, you should review your contract with the service provider to ensure that they have indemnified your organization against any losses that may result from the vulnerability. This is to protect your organization from financial losses resulting from the vulnerability.

Fourthly, you should review your own cyber security risk management policies and procedures to ensure that you have appropriate measures in place to handle such incidents. This will help you to be better prepared to handle future incidents.

In conclusion, identifying vulnerabilities is only the first step in managing cyber security risks when using service providers. You need to act fast, assess the impact, review your contracts and policies, and take necessary steps to protect your organization against any losses resulting from the vulnerabilities.