AI-Driven Continuous Monitoring: The Future of Third-Party Risk Management

Image Courtesy:; Prompt: “Employee looking at a three stack of files, one pile shows Approve and other shows Reject and another stack of files showing Pending”

In the modern interconnected business landscape, third-party vendors play a crucial role in boosting efficiency and fostering innovation. However, this reliance also exposes businesses to substantial risks that can compromise security and compliance. The rising number of incidents involving breaches of duty by third parties highlights the inadequacy of traditional periodic assessments in effectively managing these risks. The future of third-party risk management lies in harnessing the power of AI-driven continuous monitoring systems.

The Importance of AI-Driven Continuous Monitoring

Third-party vendors present a multitude of risks, including vulnerabilities, failure to comply with regulations, and disruption to business operations. Periodic assessments only offer a snapshot of the current situation and may not capture emerging threats in the industry. On the other hand, continuous monitoring guarantees instant alerts through real-time data collection, anomaly detection, and reporting. AI can effectively analyze large amounts of data. By analyzing the large volumes of data from multiple sources, AI and machine learning algorithms can identify patterns and anomalies, enabling organizations to forecast potential risks before they become a reality. This approach reduces decision-making and response times, providing actionable insights. Ultimately, it enables organizations to start addressing Nth-party risk management effectively.

Challenges of Risk Assessment: The Human Element and IT Capacity

Risk assessment is aimed at understanding potential pitfalls and hazards. Yet, a major challenge in this process lies in the fact that the outcomes are significantly influenced by the expertise of the respondent and the integrity of the organization’s Information Technology department.

Imagine a scenario where the respondent lacks the necessary knowledge and skills to provide accurate insights. In such a case, the effectiveness of the risk assessment process may be compromised, rendering the findings inaccurate.

Even if certain pieces of evidence, or “artifacts,” are available, they might not be sufficient to fill the knowledge gap, leading to a deficiency of vital information. Similarly, the honesty and ethical conduct of the respondent also play a decisive role. If the individual providing responses chooses to misguide the process by presenting false information or fabricated artifacts, it can distort the outcome of the risk assessment, thereby jeopardizing the entire process. Business leaders and project managers often prioritize budget and throughput over concerns related to cyber risk. AI empowers us with the potential to predict and comprehend the risks more effectively.

Security Framework Integration for Comprehensive Risk Management

Existing security frameworks, such as NIST Cybersecurity Framework and ISO 27001, offer valuable insights into the security practices of third-party vendors. While these frameworks provide a solid foundation for regulatory compliance, they often lack real-time reporting capabilities. To address this gap, organizations can integrate global threat intelligence feeds, enabling secure collaboration and information sharing among stakeholders. This enriched context allows AI applications to generate more accurate responses, enhancing the effectiveness of scoring algorithms and enabling comprehensive risk management.

Image Courtesy:; Prompt: “Image symbolizing the need for robust security measures when managing third party”

Power of Adaptive Learning for Continuous Improvement

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, organizations have moved away from traditional periodic manual assessments towards a semi-automated monitoring system. The semi-automated system can incorporate automated scoring algorithms that consider factors such as security practices, financial stability, and past incidents. By assigning scores, organizations can prioritize vendors and allocate resources effectively. However, with the integration of AI, which can learn and adapt to the latest data, it becomes possible to predict potential risks by correlating data and recognizing patterns. This empowers organizations to take proactive measures and prevent potential compromises, uncovering hidden risks that could otherwise go unnoticed.

The key to implement adaptive learning is to begin with building a registry for all the vendors that are associated with the organization. This registry can include information such as contracts, applications that use the services of the vendors, previous security assessments, the data classification of the data shared with the vendor etc. It can also include the certifications the vendor possesses like ISO or SOC2 Type2. The models generate the best result when there is enough information available for training the LLMs.

Embracing the Future

In the ever-evolving landscape of third-party risk management, adopting a proactive and continuous monitoring approach is crucial. By prioritizing risk mitigation, compliance, and operational efficiency, organizations can stay one step ahead. With the uncertainty of what holds in the future of the threat landscape of third-party risk management, the need for efficient and rapid vendor monitoring becomes paramount in safeguarding organizations and their extended ecosystems. Stay ahead of the curve by embracing continuous monitoring solutions for effective third-party risk management.

AI-Driven Continuous Monitoring: The Future of Third-Party Risk Management was originally published in Walmart Global Tech Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Article Link: AI-Driven Continuous Monitoring: The Future of Third-Party Risk Management | by Emy Emmanuel | Walmart Global Tech Blog | Jul, 2024 | Medium