WolfPAC > Resources > Certifications That Matter in Your Vendor Monitoring Program
Back to Resources

Certifications That Matter in Your Vendor Monitoring Program

Vendors pose significant risk to your organization, but your business can’t grow without them. In order to keep your organization safe, you must implement a robust vendor management program that includes extensive monitoring for third parties you decide to partner with. A successful vendor monitoring program utilizes the expertise of many different roles to ensure appropriate safety and security. Here are a few roles we recommend you have on your vendor monitoring team.

Information Security

The need for information security experts cannot be overstated. More often than not, vendors will offer your organization technologies to help grow your business, add new business lines, or increase efficiencies within your internal operations. Each new technology creates complexity within your business that can lead to vulnerability. Monitoring activities like security assessments, site visits, and vendor website testing need to be included in your monitoring program. 

Having a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) on your bench can ensure that these monitoring activities are being critically analyzed to identify risks and implement controls to minimize the threat.  These information security experts are also helpful when doing contract reviews, as they can focus on encryption and breach notification language to ensure alignment with industry standards and regulatory guidance your organization needs to adhere to.

Financial Audit

A vendor’s financial instability can become a big problem for your institution, and one of the best ways to protect your institution against that is to understand the economic history of the organizations you would like to partner with. That’s why another important aspect of vendor monitoring is focusing on financial statements and SOC reports. 

A CPA is a perfect addition to your team for this sort of work. This resource can review 10K and 8Q reports from publicly traded vendors, as well as profit and loss balance sheets, looking for any financial concerns that you will likely want to address with your vendor. They can also examine your SOC reports to identify exceptions to your vendor’s reports and analyze the auditor’s opinions noted within the document. Lastly, they will be able to identify controls in place at your organization that satisfy the controls of the report, to ensure there are no gaps that could put your institution at risk.


You want to be sure that the contract you are signing when partnering with a vendor meets the expectations of both you and the third-party provider. There is no better way to do this than to bring in a Juris Doctor (JD) to assess the contract language and offer their guidance. They can review each vendor contract as part of your monitoring program and offer their expertise on what you should investigate further. Legal experts who are familiar with important industry regulations are a must, as they can then identify any specific compliance areas that may be missing from the contract.

Sourcing Your Team

With these certifications, you can be confident that the individuals who best understand what is needed to protect your organization are completing your vendor monitoring activities. Unfortunately, amassing a team of experts can be difficult and costly. Furthermore, suppose you do have these resources in-house. In that case, you are likely utilizing them for many other projects, leaving them with little time to execute these activities for the dozens or even hundreds of vendors partnered with your organization.

Many businesses circumvent the resource strain by outsourcing some vendor monitoring tasks to a consultant. Outsourcing a portion of your vendor monitoring activities gives your team the freedom to work on other projects and allows you access to the expertise that you need. If you are creating your vendor management program, this has the bonus of allowing you to ramp up your monitoring activities quickly while you complete your program and build your in-house expertise. 

Consultants who have worked in the industry are also knowledgeable about many of the vendors you are monitoring, so you can expect some tribal knowledge that you may not have in-house. Just be sure if you decide to outsource, you are choosing to work with a consultant with the expertise available on their team to best assist you with your vendor monitoring activities.

Related Reading: