3rd party contractors are a ticking time-bomb for IT security

PwC’s 2024 Digital Trust Insight Survey is a window into what’s keeping cybersecurity leaders up at night.

While the report covers various aspects of data security and privacy, one worrying trend emerges; many organizations are deeply concerned about data breaches due orginating from 3rd-parties.  Indeed, almost a quarter of the 3800+ professionals who took the survey ranked it in their top 3 threats.

And we don’t need to look far to find the reason they are so concerned. Of the 3500+ respondents to the 2023 edition of global survey, 54% admitted to sharing sensitive customer data with partners, without assessing their security set-up.

With organizations increasingly outsourcing services and functions to specialized partners, this presents an enticing attack vector for cybercriminals. Indeed, outsourcers and external service providers are often specifically targeted by criminals because of their potential access to sensitive data across a wide range of both public and private sector operations.

These PwC reports emphasize the urgent need for organizations to fortify their defences against potential breaches originating from 3rd-party sources. Giving external agencies access to corporate resources without stringent safeguards is leaving the back door open for malicious actors.

In this context, the report is a clear call for organizations to re-evaluate their security protocols concerning 3rd-party contractors. Rigorous vetting processes to access their security posture, stringent contracts outlining data security requirements, and continuous monitoring of these external entities are no longer optional but imperative.

Of course, cybersecurity leaders know the risks too well, so why are they not already doing more to shore up this gap? Inevitably, the answer will come down to resources.

One reason behind organizations failing to fully vet their 3rd-party partners is the sheer scale and complexity of these relationships.

So what can be done? One model has been to provide corporate-issued devices to all 3rd-party workers. But this is both costly and a logistical nightmare.

The answer is to enforce your security posture on the contractors’ existing devices and give your IT team tighter control over them while they are working on your behalf.

ThinScale offers a proven solution to the challenge of securing 3rd-party devices accessing corporate networks. With our innovative approach, organizations can provide a controlled, secure workspace for external agencies and contractors, managed by their own IT teams.

ThinScale enables users to launch secure, isolated sessions on Windows devices, ensuring compliance with cybersecurity standards. IT teams can whitelist or blacklist apps and URLs, impose stringent access policies, and even enforce updates and patches. It brings 3rd-party contractors in line with your overall cybersecurity posture to prevent the risk of serious data breaches.

Ready to see it in action?