Assessing Vendors

A Hands-On Guide to Assessing Infosec and IT Vendors


  • Josh More, Senior Security Consultant, RJS Smart Security (CISSP, GIAC-GCIH, GIAC-GSLC)

Assessing vendors is a tricky process. Large and regulated organizations are forced to demonstrate due diligence in vendor assessment, but often do not know how to do this. This results in a great deal of busywork being required by both the vendors and the organizations. Smaller organizations don't know what to look for and, as a result, often wind up selecting based on price instead of value. This results in service failures and vendors that just milk their customers for as long as they can.

Assessing Vendors shows you how to walk the line between under- and over-assessing, so decisions can be made on sufficient data without wasting time, digging too deeply, or making decisions too quickly. This hands-on guide will show you how to use an iterative approach to vendor analysis, so you can rapidly filter out the vendors that are clear failures and then select likely winners. It will then show you how to do progressively deeper dives into the likely winners so you can select a preferred vendor. Finally, you will learn how to negotiate with your preferred vendor to get reasonable prices and services.

  • Provides an iterative approach to vendor assessment, showing you how to make decisions on sufficient data without wasting time
  • Includes checklists to help you navigate the decision-making process, while considering all the important factors needed to make a sound decision
  • Helps you understand and evaluate vendors based on key concepts such as performance criteria, functional testing, production, and price

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Information Security professionals of all levels, systems administrators, network administrators, and IT Managers.


Book information

  • Published: April 2013
  • Imprint: SYNGRESS
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-409607-3


"The book shows you how to find the right balance between performing a superficial assessment and one that is way too deep… The book provides a lot of common sense advice that may not be intuitive to many people."--RSA Conference blog, July 10, 2013
"…Assessing Vendors: A Hands-On Guide to Assessing Infosec and IT Vendors is a valuable resource for those looking for a basic introduction on how to understand the risks involved when sharing data with 3rd-parties, in addition to selecting the appropriate products for your organization."--Slashdot, July 10, 2013

Table of Contents


Identifying Candidates

Building Criteria

Functional Testing - Initial Pass

Functional Testing - Deeper Dive

Approaching Production


Production Cycle