How to Use Jira to Manage Your Vendor Security Review Process

How to Use Jira to Manage Your Vendor Security Review Process

The vendor security review process is an IT task that shouldn’t go ignored. By implementing the right tools with Jira, you can be sure to stay a step ahead. Here’s how.

Managing your vendor security process is a necessary step in the SaaS management lifecycle. Common sense, right? 


Except many SaaS managers don’t always properly manage this process. This could be because of limited tools, other tasks taking precedence, it’s too time-consuming, or there isn’t an established process to maintain security reviews correctly. 


Whatever the reason, being proactive about managing your vendor security review process can prevent headaches down the road. You’ll be vulnerable to fewer errors, data breaches, and SaaS mismanagement. 


In 2020 alone, there were nearly 1,001 recorded data breaches across all industries in the US. Giants with virtually unlimited resources like Zoom and Microsoft have been victims of data breaches. Most recently, over 500,000 Zoom users had their personal data on the dark web. You can probably see where I’m going with this. That pales in comparison to the more than 280 million Microsoft customer records that were left unprotected online. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone. 


The point? Maintain a very thorough and robust vendor security review process! 


Before we dive into how you can use Jira to manage your vendor security review process, here are a few more salient reasons to consider having one. 

Why do you need vendor security management?

More than 60% of data breaches are because of third-party vendors. Therefore, vendor security management is crucial for the long-term success of your SaaS tools, especially as your company grows.


As your SaaS tools grow, so do the potential problems that can come with third-party vendors of IT products and other tools. As a SaaS manager, you must stay compliant and protect data for both your business and your customers. 


As they say, you can’t fix what you don’t track. A vendor security review process ensures that invisible vulnerable areas that are prone to data breaches are brought to the surface and dealt with before they become a problem. 


This proactive effort now will save more money on data breaches that could have been avoided. 

How to use Jira to manage your vendor security review process

To use Jira for your vendor security review process, you’ll want to break it down into three actionable parts:


  1. Creating a questionnaire
  2. Documentation
  3. Testing and reviewing


It also helps to document the specifics of the step-by-step process for your team so anyone can get through it with minimal guidance. Once you’re logged into Jira, let’s start with the creation of a robust security questionnaire.

Create a questionnaire

Your first line of defense against possible security breaches is ensuring you create a thorough questionnaire that each of your vendors fills out. This way, you get a wide overview of their approach to security, any changes they’ve made, and their overall approach and commitment to ensuring your data stays safe with them. 


What should this questionnaire ask? Here’s a great place to start:


  1. What would you do in case of a data breach?
  2. How do you secure third-party customer data?
  3. How have you handled past data breach incidents (if any)?
  4. What controls need to be maintained so your product keeps working correctly?
  5. What ongoing services do you provide to clients?
  6. Who can be our contact from your company were any problems to arise?
  7. What’s your approach to contingency planning?
  8. How do you encrypt customer data?
  9. Do you have security alerts in place?
  10. How much of your budget do you allocate to product security?


A thorough questionnaire about a vendor’s approach to the creation, maintenance, and management of their product can show how they work and whether they’ll be a good long-term match for your security and IT standards. 


It’s always good practice to encourage vendors to not only answer your questions but to provide supporting evidence, whether those are case studies or their general approach to data security. 

Documentation

Now you want to document the critical information you’ve gathered from vendors. Once you’re logged in to Jira, click on Create and give your project a title.

Vendor security review process



Attach any relevant vendor files or updates, and be sure to drop any additional descriptions that would be helpful below. 

Vendor security review process


From there, you’ll want to fill in the fields on the right with the appropriate data. For instance, do they use SOC2? What’s their website address? Who is the account manager and what email can you reach them through? 


Be sure to record the date created as well as what date you want to revisit that vendor security information in the date field. From there, you’re ready to share the information with the stakeholders necessary to make the appropriate revisions. 

Test and review

Now that you have all your data gathered and organized in one place, you can easily start testing for bugs, reviewing vulnerabilities, or asking additional questions about anything the vendor wasn’t clear about. 


During this part of the security review process, schedule ample time to process and look through the provided vendor information with the help of Jira. This is where it’s helpful to keep everyone in the loop about the time needed to properly review vendors, especially if additional fixes or bugs come up that you’ll have to spend time resolving.


In other words, communication is key. While this was a basic overview of how you can create a vendor security review process for your IT department, it’s ultimately up to you to take the nuances and needs of your company into account. 


Transparency and honesty with and from vendors is crucial during the testing process to ensure everyone is on the same page. With a tool like Jira, adding the necessary sign-offs and project collaborators can help the process move along faster. 


However, if you want to take the process a step further, consider integrating a tool like Multiplier into your Jira vendor security review process. 

Manage your security reviews with Jira and Multiplier

The SaaS management space is relatively young. In many ways, it’s also uncharted territory. That’s a big reason why we decided to build Multiplier, to ease the process of managing the often long list of SaaS apps you’ll find yourself managing. 


Picture one centralized space where you can expertly manage support tickets, have an easier time granting special access to the right employees, and keep a finger on SaaS expenses and contract renewals. 


Multiplier makes it easy to onboard and offboard provision apps and route approvals to managers. Best of all, Multiplier is designed to work with Jira. Try us for free here.

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