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Are Third-Party Suppliers Impacting the Control You Hold Over Your Data?

October 27, 2022

Change is an inevitable part of the business world, and changes within your company’s supply chain are no exception. In fact, 63% of small businesses were forced to alter their supply chains in 2021 for one reason or another. Supplier changes may be extremely common, but have you ever thought about how they could be putting your company’s data at risk?

Think about the sensitive data your company may share with suppliers: 

  • Pricing data or market intelligence on products or services
  • Manufacturing processes or proprietary product information
  • Internal data like business plans and strategies
  • Confidential data like employee information  
  • Restricted data like federal tax information or audit results

It’s important to remember that outsourcing something to a supplier also means handing over access to elements of your company’s sensitive information, but what happens to that data when it’s time to cut ties? Can you revoke access when all is said and done? If these questions are burning in your mind, it may be time to reevaluate the means by which you grant data access to the suppliers you work with.

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Third-party suppliers could be putting your company’s data at risk

Third parties, whether they are service providers like a law firm or creative agency, or a supplier of key components for your product or code for your software application or a provider of your infrastructure such as your resource planning, customer order systems, and so on, are vital for day-to-day business operations, but they can open the door to a cybersecurity breach.

Let’s look at Toyota, for example. Toyota is a major automobile manufacturer, but they rely on third-party suppliers for the parts needed to assemble their vehicles, from tiny screws to pre-assembled door modules. In February 2022, however, Toyota was forced to shut down operations in Japan after a major plastic supplier suffered a data breach. The supplier was granted remote access to Toyota manufacturing plants, greatly increasing Toyota’s risk of exposure. This is part of a wider, and unfortunate trend, as third parties were found to be responsible for 54% of data breaches.

This case is a clear example of the risk involved when a critical supplier is unable to deliver. If your company, regardless of industry, is forced to shut down operations, even if it’s just for a day, you could experience missed production goals, lost revenue or missed earning expectations, not to mention the loss of customer trust.

Now, you may be thinking you’re in the clear if you decide to part ways with a supplier or vendor, but you’re not. When they leave, they still have your data.  You’re always at risk, so remember even if you cut ties with a supplier, you haven’t cut their ties to your shared data.

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Trust no one. Retain control of your data, forever

In an ideal world, businesses could trust their third-party suppliers to protect their sensitive data as if it were their own, but unfortunately, this is not the case. Which is why companies need a way to control the access to this data and when necessary, revoke that access.

You may not be able to avoid third-party data sharing; it’s all a part of business. But with a data protection and right management application, such as EB Control, you can revoke a supplier’s access to your business information at any time or from any place.

Your business deserves a simple, intuitive, affordable, and hassle-free solution that guarantees your data remains in the right hands—yours. Click here to learn how EB Control can prevent your third-part suppliers from exposing your data.