Posted by Royal Hansen, Vice President, Security
According to an Opus and Ponemon Institute study, 59% of companies have experienced a data breach caused by one of their vendors or third parties. Outsourcing operations to third-party vendors has become a popular business strategy as it allows organizations to save money and increase operational efficiency. While these are positives for business operations, they do create significant security risks. These vendors have access to critical systems and customer data and so their security posture becomes equally as important.
Up until today, organizations of all sizes have had to design and implement their own security baselines for vendors that align with their risk posture. Unfortunately, this creates an impossible situation for vendors and organizations alike as they try to accommodate thousands of different requirements.
To solve this challenge, organizations across the industry teamed up to design Minimum Viable Secure Product or MVSP – a vendor-neutral security baseline that is designed to eliminate overhead, complexity and confusion during the procurement, RFP and vendor security assessment process by establishing minimum acceptable security baselines. With MVSP, the industry can increase clarity during each phase so parties on both sides of the equation can achieve their goals, and reduce the onboarding and sales cycle by weeks or even months.
MVSP was developed and is backed by companies across the industry, including Google, Salesforce, Okta, Slack and more. Our goal is to increase the minimum bar for security across the industry while simplifying the vetting process.
MVSP is a collaborative baseline focused on developing a set of minimum security requirements for business-to-business software and business process outsourcing suppliers. Designed with simplicity in mind, it contains only those controls that must, at a minimum, be implemented to ensure a reasonable security posture. MVSP is presented in the form of a minimum baseline checklist that can be used to verify the security posture of a solution.
How can MVSP help you?
Security teams measuring vendor offerings against a set of minimum security baselines
MVSP ensures that vendor selection and RFP include a minimum baseline that is backed by the industry. Communicating minimum requirements up front ensures everyone understands where they stand and that the expectations are clear.
Internal teams looking to measure your security against minimum requirements
MVSP provides a set of minimum security baselines that can be used as a checklist to understand gaps in the security of a product or service. This can be used to highlight opportunities for improvement and raise their visibility within the organization, with clearly defined benefits.
Procurement teams gathering information about vendor services
MVSP provides a single set of security-relevant questions that are publicly available and industry-backed. Aligning on a single set of baselines allows clearer understanding from vendors, resulting in a quicker and more accurate response.
Legal teams negotiating contractual controls
MVSP ensures expectations regarding minimum security controls are understood up front, reducing discussions of controls at the contract negotiation stage. Referencing an external baseline helps to simplify contract language and increases familiarity with the requirements.
Compliance teams documenting processes
MVSP provides an externally recognized and adopted set of security baselines on top of which to build your compliance efforts.
We welcome community feedback and interest from other organizations who want to contribute to the MVSP baseline. Together we can raise the minimum bar for security across the industry and make everyone safer.
The work in this post is the result of a collaboration between a large number of security practitioners across the industry including: Marat Vyshegorodtsev, Chris John Riley, Gabor Acs-Kurucz, Sebastian Oglaza, Gen Buckley, and Kevin Clark.