Three reasons your business should automate security questionnaire responses now

If your business stores sensitive information or offers software as a service, you’re probably seeing an influx of security assessments and questionnaires. With major data breaches such as Equifax headlining the news, your clients and prospects want to ensure you’ve got adequate data protection measures in place to reduce their risks. Your ability to safeguard data ultimately impacts your customers’ relationships with their customers. As data protection standards and guidelines rapidly evolve to stay ahead of the increasing threats, it’s no wonder that security concerns are moving up in importance.

As the number of questionnaires—and their complexity—increases, there are some compelling reasons to consider automating your responses.

  1. Save time while improving accuracy.

Whether you’re responding to a Standardized Information Gathering (SIG) questionnaire, SIG Lite, one of the VSAQs, or a series of questions your prospective customer has developed on their own, you need to deliver accurate answers to hundreds of detailed questions… often within a limited timeframe. These questionnaires are frequently one of the last requirements before a customer signs a contract. The more quickly you can respond, the sooner you can close the deal.

That’s where automation can help speed the process. A centralized content library lets your organization store responses to recurring questions, updating answers as your policies, procedures, and infrastructure evolve, rather than rewriting this information for every questionnaire.

  1. Maintain a clear audit trail as you adjust your company’s security measures to meet shifting standards.

Many of the clients asking you to complete security questionnaires are in highly regulated industries. They need audit trails showing who updated or approved information and when—and they expect you to display the same rigor in tracking changes. With automation software, you can see who created, edited, and approved answers to each question, and schedule regular content reviews.

This helps ensure that answers are kept up-to-date and accurate—if your company outsources certain software development to offshore resources, or changes policies to comply with new privacy laws, your responses to certain questions will need to change—update answers in the library and you’re covered.

  1. Streamline your process now—before you’re overwhelmed.

One of our clients reported a 150% increase in requests for security information over the course of a year. Qvidian itself responds to a growing number of security questionnaires every quarter. Security questionnaires now outpace RFP’s 3:1 for our proposal team. Taking the time to set up an automation solution, populate your content library and establish a process now—before the volume of work grows exponentially can prepare you to be more efficient and effective down the road.

With data security and privacy standards rapidly evolving and growing in sophistication, it’s crucial for businesses to earn customer confidence that they have adequate security measures in place. Due to the tremendous liability to organizations, in many cases, security concerns are becoming as important as the business issues. Companies need to ensure that they’re delivering security questionnaire responses that build trust—timely, polished, carefully articulated answers can help advance deals to the final stages.

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