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Do You Need Vendor Risk Management System?

The Vendor Risk Management (VRM) technique involves managing and planning outside suppliers that offer goods and services to a business. Many IT organizations mistakenly refer to VRM as TPRM (Third Party Risk Management). The processes related to TPRM advise businesses to evaluate, monitor and manage their risks to prevent business disruptions and adverse effects on business performance from third-party providers of IT services and goods. The detection and reduction of Business risks need the use of a technology called VRM. Corporates implement VRMS (and often TPRMS) to quickly protect their businesses with ease from the following types of imminent risks:

  1. Operational and logistics risk
  2. Regulatory compliance risk
  3. Market reputation and brand management risk
  4. Business strategy risk
  5. Financial (monetary, stocks, revenue, profits) risk

So why do enterprises and businesses need to implement a VRMS?

VRMS supports AD (Active Directory) and IAM (Identity Access Management)

VRMS solutions are often considered tools that centralize the risk information across the organization. Along with centralizing the compliance and non-compliance information, they help IAM personnel assign specific access privileges and user-group-domain roles to users accessing the VRMS. An organizational hierarchy from the HR (Human Resources) database can be imported into a VRMS to check the relevant hierarchical permissions and design the ACLs (Access Control Lists) accordingly. Such tools are often used to access all the organizational asset information from vendors-suppliers, clients-customers, tenders-contract agreements, purchase invoices, tax rebatements, and likewise.

Accelerates businesses by quickly complying with various laws and regulations

VRMS, these days, are facilitated by heavy Machine Learning algorithms that speed up automated compliance activities. The various preventative, detective and mitigative security/ legal controls are directly executed using Artificial Intelligence computing systems. Business leaders looking for Accountability and Transparency can trust these systems known to perform without any human error. This negligible human intervention helps a better risk assessment across various functional aspects of regulatory compliance such as taxation/ revenue, logistics and operations, product quality control, and likewise.

Simpler, quicker, and easy-to-use VRMS

Why mitigate risks when businesses can prevent them in the first place? VRM Systems are well known for managing risks and analyzing their impacts on various client-customer relationships. Every impact is categorized by a business risk index, usually in the form of a 5*5 or 10*10 matrix. The VRMS along with TPRM systems, have revolutionized how risks across vendors and 3rd parties are managed. GRC (Governance, Risk management, and Compliance) personnel do not need to monitor every vendor, client, customer, or business partner, and likewise, by looking within the large backend databases. The GRC team and the external auditors may now process and evaluate this comprehensive information as a single segment widget on a dashboard.

The advent of AI reduces the business overhead of hiring and retaining human resources.

The system is not particularly successful in managing risks within a company by using antiquated approaches for managing vendors, such as spreadsheets and checklists. Businesses require an adequate and qualified workforce to finish the job tasks using the VRM techniques. Since most VRMS solutions are enabled by ML and AI algorithms, they can do all complex human functions without human intervention. As a result, fewer employees are needed to manage risks efficiently.

Visualization dashboards for a wide range of audience

To ensure that business rules and government legislative requirements are being followed, compliance officers and GRC teams frequently employ VRM software. Supply chain managers and procurement professionals use vendor risk management software to reduce operational risks.

Cyber security and regulatory compliance

The Defense-in-Depth approach in Cyber security is very much related to the various VRMS and TPRMS solutions available in the market. IT Security comprises Cybersecurity and IT Compliance, which are crucial for organizations to run their businesses in compliance with certain regulations. Along with the GRC team and Auditors, even SOC personnel are responsible for maintaining the security compliance of IT assets of the business. Along with proactive mechanisms, reactive and mitigating measures, and procedures must be implemented to contain a potential breach or a cyber-incident. Experts advise thorough due diligence before procuring and integrating any 3rd-party tool with the organization.

Deploying a VRMS tool is not enough for organizations to comply with IT and business regulations. The GRC team has to be accountable for updating the multiple workflows with those solutions to address the evolving risk mitigation and regulatory requirements. The SOC team can help the GRC team actively monitor the imminent risks. 

To know more about enterprise cyber-security solutions, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 - 4740, Dallas (972) 375 - 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 - 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

What Is Cache Poisoning?

Cache poisoning is also known as DNS cache poisoning. DNS or Domain Name System is a system that translates man-readable internet addresses into machine language numeric addresses. These numeric addresses are known as IP addresses. 

When a user tries to access a website via his browser, the browser forwards the request to the DNS server. The DNS then looks up the corresponding IP address and reverts to the request. The browser receives the IP address and uses it to load the website or domain requested by the user. 

DNS remembers the requests and stores the requested IP addresses in its memory. It helps the server reduce the revert time if the same domain request is received in the future.

This system nullifies the need to remember complex IP addresses associated with a webpage. Humans can remember the domain name, and DNS does the translation for the computer. However, the system has some loopholes that allow the hackers to carry out Cache Poisoning attacks.

What is Cache poisoning? 

DNS Cache poisoning refers to adding an incorrect entry to the DNS Cache. Here is the most common process followed by hackers for cache poisoning.

  • A browser submits a requester to the DNS resolver
  • Hackers build a dupe DNS nameserver that matches the authentic domain 
  • When the DNS resolver contacts the nameserver, hackers respond to the request via a fake nameserver
  • The DNS resolver receives this response and forwards it to the requesting browser
  • The fake response is stored in the DNS cache for future reference 
  • Every time a user requests for this domain, he is redirected to the incorrect domain stored in cache memory

The success of this type of cache poisoning is that DNS uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) rather than TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). UDP does not verify the identity of the parties involved in the conversation. Hackers can easily alter the heading of UDP requests and respond to the request under pretend of a trusted DNS server. 

There are several vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit for implementing a DNS cache poisoning attack. Some of these vulnerabilities are:

  • Lack of identity verification and validation
  • Recursive DNS server vulnerability (forged information spreads from one DNS server to another)
  • Unencrypted DNS protocol

Cyber Security Risks Imposed by DNS Cache Poisoning:

DNS cache poisoning redirects a user to a fake and possibly malicious website. It may result in multiple cyber security risks.

  • Data theft
  • Malware infection
  • Delaying security updates
  • Censorship

Preventing DNS Cache Poisoning:

Once a forged entry is stored in DNS cache memory, it stays there until its Time To Live (TTL) expires. In the meantime, cache poisoning can spread to other DNS servers. So, it is required to delete the forged entry to prevent the DNS server from redirecting requests to the fake website.

Users can implement some measures to protect their server from cache poisoning attacks:

  • Business organizations should hire an IT professional to configure DNS servers rather than relying on relationships with other DNS servers. It will prevent hackers from using their DNS server to corrupt or influence an organization’s server.
  • Configure DNS server to run permitted services only. It limits the DNS server from running additional services not required by the organization. Limited exposure reduces the chances of an encounter with cache poisoning attacks.
  • Make use of an SSL/TLS certificate that binds the company’s details to a cryptographic key. It activates the HTTPS protocol to secure and encrypt the connection between the browser and your web server.

Centex Technologies provides cyber-security services & IT consultation to help businesses ward off cyber-attacks. To know more, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 - 4740, Dallas (972) 375 - 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 - 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.