Are You a Qualified Certified Third Party Security Manager?

A Certified Third Party Security Manager (CTPSM) is a professional certification focused on ensuring that an individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to manage and oversee the security aspects of third-party relationships. This certification is particularly relevant in industries where organizations rely heavily on external vendors and partners, and where managing the security risks associated with these third parties is crucial.

Key Responsibilities of a Certified Third Party Security Manager:

1. Risk Assessment and Management:

o Conducting thorough risk assessments of third-party vendors and partners.
o Identifying potential security vulnerabilities and mitigating risks.
o Implementing and managing security policies and procedures for third parties.

2. Vendor Management:

o Evaluating and selecting third-party vendors based on security criteria.
o Maintaining ongoing monitoring and evaluation of vendors' security practices.
o Ensuring vendors comply with relevant security standards and regulations.

3. Contract Management:

o Drafting and negotiating security clauses in contracts with third parties.
o Ensuring contracts include necessary security requirements and compliance measures.
4. Compliance and Governance:

o Ensuring third parties adhere to industry regulations and organizational policies.
o Keeping up-to-date with relevant laws, regulations, and standards affecting third-party security.
o Implementing governance frameworks to oversee third-party security.

5. Incident Response and Management:

o Developing and implementing incident response plans for third-party security breaches.
o Coordinating with third parties during security incidents to ensure effective response and mitigation.

6. Training and Awareness:

o Educating and training internal staff on third-party security risks and best practices.
o Conducting security awareness programs for third-party vendors.

Benefits of the CTPSM Certification:

• Enhanced Knowledge: Provides in-depth understanding of third-party security management principles and practices.
• Career Advancement: Opens up opportunities for career growth in the field of cybersecurity and vendor management.
• Improved Organizational Security: Helps organizations better manage third-party risks, enhancing overall security posture.
• Compliance Assurance: Ensures compliance with relevant regulations and standards, reducing the risk of non-compliance penalties.

Certification Process:

1. Education and Training: Completing a course or training program that covers the core areas of third-party security management.
2. Examination: Passing an exam that tests knowledge and understanding of third-party security management principles and practices.
3. Experience: Demonstrating relevant work experience in the field of third-party security management (specific requirements vary by certification body).
4. Continuing Education: Maintaining the certification through ongoing professional development and continuing education.

Popular Certification Bodies:

• ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association): Offers various certifications, including ones focused on third-party risk management.
• (ISC)² (International Information System Security Certification Consortium): Known for certifications like CISSP, which includes aspects of third-party security.
• CompTIA: Provides vendor-neutral certifications that can complement third-party security management skills.

Steps to Becoming a Certified Third Party Security Manager

1. Education and Experience:

1. Education and Experience:

o Obtain a relevant educational background, such as a degree in cybersecurity, information technology, or a related field.
o Gain experience in security management, risk assessment, and vendor management. Most certification bodies require a certain amount of work experience in these areas.

2. Select a Certification Program:

o Choose a certification program that focuses on third-party security management. Some well-known certifications in this area include:
 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): Offered by (ISC)², covering a broad range of security topics including third-party security.
 Certified Third Party Risk Professional (CTPRP): Offered by Shared Assessments, focusing on third-party risk management.

3. Training and Preparation:

o Enroll in training programs or courses specifically designed to prepare for the chosen certification exam.
o Study relevant materials, including best practices for third-party security, compliance requirements, and risk management frameworks.

4. Certification Exam:

o Pass the certification exam, which typically tests knowledge and skills in third-party security management.
o Exams usually consist of multiple-choice questions and may require practical demonstrations of skills.

5. Maintain Certification:

o Engage in continuous professional development to keep the certification current.
o Most certifications require earning continuing education credits and periodic renewal.

Key Skills and Knowledge Areas

1. Risk Assessment and Management:

o Identifying, evaluating, and mitigating security risks associated with third-party vendors.

2. Vendor Management:

o Evaluating vendors’ security practices and ensuring they meet organizational security standards.

3. Compliance and Regulatory Knowledge:

o Understanding relevant laws, regulations, and standards (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA) and ensuring third-party compliance.

4. Contract Management:

o Including security requirements in contracts and ensuring third parties adhere to them.

5. Incident Response:

o Developing and implementing incident response plans specific to third-party security breaches.

6. Security Policies and Procedures:

o Establishing and maintaining security policies and procedures for managing third-party relationships.

Benefits of Certification

• Enhanced Knowledge: Deepens understanding of third-party security management.
• Career Advancement: Opens opportunities for higher-level positions in cybersecurity and risk management.
• Organizational Value: Improves the organization's ability to manage third-party risks effectively.
• Compliance Assurance: Helps ensure adherence to legal and regulatory requirements, reducing risk of penalties.


Becoming a Certified Third Party Security Manager involves a combination of education, experience, training, and passing a certification exam. This certification equips professionals with the necessary skills to effectively manage the security aspects of third-party relationships, ensuring that organizations can mitigate risks and comply with relevant regulations.