Security questionnaires are very common among business to business transactions. These often occur before a business decision is made regarding a product or service to be implemented by an organization.
Why are security questionnaires so important?
A well-designed questionnaire is based on industry best practices, which it uses to determine if your organization’s security policies and processes are aligned with what “secure” organizations do. The result is that you can make better decisions about how to improve your overall security posture and whether it is a good idea to work with a specific vendor and vice versa.
Security questionnaires will often contain questions regarding the security posture of the organization, and if the organization has undergone things such as vulnerability scans, outside penetration tests and external audits such as SOC 2 Type I or Type II.
Common questions that you will see in an information security questionnaire
- Has the organization been breached in the last five years?
- Total aggregate for Cyber Liability Insurance?
- Does the organization conduct regular vulnerability scans and remediation steps to protect its infrastructure?
- Has the organization undergone any external audits such as PCI, SOC2, ISO 27000?
- Does the organization have a business continuity plan in place?
- How has your security process evolved over time?
Using a security questionnaire is a good way to get a snapshot of an organization’s security posture and answer all of these questions. They can be used to identify areas that need to be improved, and which frameworks an organization is compliant with or not.
Topics that are included in the security questionnaire
- Management Cyber Practices
- Processes the organization performs
- Internal Assessments
- External Assessments
- External Attestations
Cybersecurity questionnaires will continue to be a critical part of the procurement process for many organizations in the future. Along with external audit attestations, these questionnaires will help drive and push organizations to achieve compliance objectives including SOC 2, ISO 27001, and other prominent cybersecurity or data protection requirements.
Remember, it is mainly a survey that you can send out to companies that you are potentially going to work with. It helps you understand how they manage security and their compliance with their organization.
Who typically fills out security questionnaires?
Security questionnaires are typically filled out by people with knowledge of company practices and procedures. The answers provided on these forms give insight into how well an organization meets industry standards as well as any gaps in their defenses that need attention.