The Cybersecurity Threat Your Company Needs To Watch

BitSight Technologies Co-founder Stephen Boyer says companies must manage fourth-party risks in order to remain protected in cyberspace.

BitSight Technologies is a security ratings company based in Cambridge, Mass. According to Boyer, fourth-party risks are the subcontractors of your vendors. They're often small and medium-sized companies that lack the resources to fend off attackers and could leave your organization in danger.

"When you think about your ability to manage risk and do it at scale, you have to think about not just who you're doing business with but who my partners are doing business with and we call that fourth-party," said Boyer.

The impact of fourth-party risks was most widely seen in 2016 when the DNS service provider DYN came under attack, leaving companies like PayPal and Amazon to go offline. The growing threat of fourth-party risks has made cyber-insurance more attractive.

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"I think that organizations more and more will look to transfer that risk and part of that process they will be incentivized to up their game and manage that process much more carefully and execute at a higher level," said Boyer.

Boyer adds that the ongoing challenge to manage cybersecurity has opened up new opportunities for channel partners.

"I think the opportunity in the market in the coming year is to change the conversation and to elevate it to a different level, talking about how to manage those risks and offer solutions on how these organizations should address those," he said.