Third Party Supplier Register Ultimate Guide

The guide covers how to create a third party supplier register, answers common questions and provides effective templates you can download and start using straight away.

Securing the supply chain

Suppliers represent the biggest risk to our organisation in terms of information security.

Suppliers provide us with valuable products, services and resources but they are outside of our control.

We trust them with our most valuable information. We trust them to do the right thing. We trust them with our customers and clients information.

We can protect what we control. We do not control our suppliers.

This is where effective third party supplier management comes in.

The Third Party Supplier Policy sets our how we manage the risk associated with our suppliers.

The Third Party Supplier Register is the tool we use to actively manage them.

What is a supplier register?

The supplier register is a list of all of the suppliers that we have that store, process or transmit data.

For suppliers we are looking to seek a level of assurance they are doing the right thing for information security.

The easiest way to achieve this is to check that we have an up to date and in date:

  • contract that includes clauses for information security and data protection.
  • industry level certification that covers the products and / or services we are buying such as an ISO 27001 certification can provide us with adequate assurance.

The contract and the industry certification is noted and recorded in the supplier register.

We also record what they do for us and how reliant upon them we are.

The supplier register captures key information about the supplier and is used to manage the supplier reviews and supplier assurance processes.

This will lead to how we manage them.

We will know

  • Who our suppliers are
  • What the do for us
  • If we have a contract
  • If they have information security certificates
  • What data we share with them
  • When we last reviewed them and when we will next review them

Third Party Supplier Assurance

The level of assurance we require is based on risk.

Risk is determined by a number of factors including how critical they are to our operation and how much confidence we can evidence that they are doing the right thing for information security.

It may be we add them to the risk register and manage them via risk management.

As part of our assurance we make sure that every supplier in the register should be reviewed at least annually.

We cover how the supplier fits into the information security management system in the ISO 27001 Templates Documents Ultimate Guide.

Download Supplier Register Templates

Third Party Supplier Register Advert

These ISO 27001 templates are part of the ISO 27001 Toolkit and can be downloaded individually as part of your supplier management.

How to create and use a Supplier Register Tutorial

In this tutorial video I show you how to create a supplier register / third party register in around 5 minutes. Supplier management is a foundation of data security and many industry certifications including GDPR, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, SOC and a host of others. Supplier management doesn’t have to be hard and it really is easy to create a basic functioning supplier register from scratch.

Third Party Supplier Register FAQ

What is the third party supplier risk assessment checklist?

Suppliers are risk assessed relative to what they do for you and how critical they are to you. You will assess that you have a current, in date contract, that includes the products and services you are buying. You will assess the level of assurance that you have that the supplier is doing the right thing for information security and this usually means that they have relevant in date certifications that cover the products and services that you are buying. You would use this third party risk assessment checklist and record it in the third party supplier register.

Where can I get a vendor database template in Excel?

A trusted vendor database template can be downloaded from High Table at this link:

Where can I get a vendor list template in Word?

Word is not the best tool for recording a list of vendors. A trusted Excel vendor database template can be downloaded from High Table at this link:

Where can I get an approved supplier list template?

An approved supplier list templated can be can be downloaded from High Table at this link:

What is a supplier register?

A supplier register is a list of all of your suppliers. It is ranked on how critical the supplier is to your business and it tracks key information such as if you have a relevant contract with them and the level of assurances that you have for information security.

What is the best format for a supplier register?

The best format for a supplier register is a spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel is more than adequate.

Do I need a supplier register for ISO 27001?

Yes. Supplier management and security of the supply chain is a key requirement of information security. After employees, suppliers represent your biggest security risk.

How often do you review third party suppliers?

At least annually and based on risk. If the supplier represents a significant risk then consider quarterly reviews.

ISO 27001 Certification

ISO 27001 Templates Toolkit: Business Edition

ISO 27001 Policy Templates: Professional Edition

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