DNB and Vendor Risk Management: Reducing risk across a network of partnerships


Belonging groups reimagine the candidate experience at ServiceNow. People with Disabilities at Now is focused on our foundation by building more awareness and getting more engagement.

DNB is Norway’s largest financial services group and one of the largest in Scandinavia by market capitalisation, offering loans, savings, advisory services, insurance and pension products for retail and corporate customers. The company is also among the world’s leading banks for the shipping industry and has strong positions in the energy and the fisheries and seafood industries.

In financial services, reputation is everything, and DNB understands that its partnerships with an extensive network of vendors are a critical fundament of that reputation. In the wake of GDPR, the company also recognised that its vendor management and third-party relationships didn’t meet its high standards. 

As DNB grew and partnered with other organisations to outsource certain operations, it became increasingly difficult to apply rigorous risk-management processes. Like other large financial services organisations, DNB faces intense regulatory scrutiny; its third-party partnerships—including agents, distributors, vendors, partners and consultants—number in the thousands. DNB’s challenge was to control partner-related risk without incurring astronomical costs. The company needed a streamlined process built around a flexible tool that supported easy integration and automation. 

The tool DNB chose was ServiceNow Vendor Risk Management.

Understanding the potential impact of third-party risk

The company’s vendor-related risks mirror those of most large companies that have an extensive partner network. Third parties, which provide critical services and have extensive knowledge of its customers’ business, usually store or have access to confidential corporate data through data processing or hosting arrangements. They can also have physical access to company premises. Third-party organisations also tend to be tightly affiliated with their partner companies, contractually and by market reputation. 

DNB knew that, though it could easily outsource a key service or function, it couldn’t delegate its most critical responsibilities to its customers or rely solely on regulators. Any mistake or shortcoming in its value chain would fall squarely on DNB itself. 


A comprehensive strategy

Thus, for DNB, a holistic approach to third-party risk management made much better sense than monitoring specific risk triggers. Among the areas it wanted that holistic approach to cover were:

  • Corporate social responsibility: A third-party partner with lax ethics (tolerating, for instance, child labour) can pose a threat to a company’s market reputation and customer loyalty. 

  • Supply-chain integrity: Any breach along the supply chain can have dire security consequences for an entire partner network.  

  • Financial stability: Partner companies that are struggling financially can be inclined to take risks and shortcuts that have negative consequences for their affiliates.

  • Continuity: Poor backup routines and a lack of redundancy in key systems are a potential threat to a partner’s operations.

  • Compliance: Strict adherence to tax law, competition law, privacy standards and regulations, international sanctions and other legal mandates should be a non-negotiable standard for all third parties. 


To create a vendor registration portal that connects with ServiceNow Vendor Risk Management and Contract Management, DNB worked with Sopra Steria

The portal allows DNB to assess the vendor’s operational criticality and identify the specific risk areas. For example, with a vendor that produces shirts with the DNB logo, the vendor’s security processes many not be a major concern but its social-responsibility measures and stated policy on using child labour surely would. 

For an IT company, security is an ever present consideration. DNB closely researches the relevant risk categories, and they perform an external assessment that may include questionnaires to the vendor as well as searches in relevant public databases such as Dun and Bradstreet. 

The first regulation implemented was GDPR, which took less than a quarter before go-live.  Since then, DNB has expanded its implementation. 

With ServiceNow, DNB can run the entire process in a single tool that enforces a multidisciplinary common risk model covering everything from security to corporate social responsibility. However, the goal of DNB’s vendor onboarding process isn’t to weed out higher-risk partners but to understand the risk related to each, so the company can make smart decisions without overburdening the operations that are vendor-dependent. 

To get started DNB recommends the following steps:

  1. Employ a risk-based approach

  1. Ask basic risk analysis questions: “Where are we exposed? How can third-party issues impact our business?”

  1. Based on the above, assess which third parties are most critical to manage.

4.  Implement ServiceNow® Vendor Risk out of the box and start with analysing and managing the 10 most critical third parties.

Ultimately, DNB understands that an ill-advanced action by any partner anywhere in the world can increase the company’s risk exposure. With ServiceNow, DNB has the visibility and control it needs to minimise that risk and continue to build the partnerships essential to ongoing growth.

Watch the ServiceNow Knowledge 2020 session “When they fail, you fail” to hear about DNB’s vendor programme.

Learn more about Vendor Risk Management at www.servicenow.com/vrm 

Other company names, product names and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

 

© 2021 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated

Topics

  • Now Platform Tokyo release: Tokyo Skytree with pink flowers in foreground
    Now Platform
    Welcome to the Now Platform Tokyo release!
    Meet the Now Platform Tokyo release, which includes new tools and enhancements for employee experience, security, intelligence, and value realisation.
  • Cybersecurity in manufacturing: worker in a hard hat typing on a laptop
    Cybersecurity and Risk
    Cybersecurity takes centre stage
    The experts agree—now is a pivotal moment for protecting your organization from bad actors. Find out what's new in the world of cybersecurity.
  • Business resilience: employees walking through an office
    Now Platform
    Building a more resilient business with the Now Platform Tokyo release
    The Now Platform Tokyo release is designed to tackle complex, interconnected problems and deliver value. Find out how It helps boost business resilience.

Trends & Research

  • COVID-19 has prompted creative solutions to keep the enterprise running
    Employee Experience
    COVID-19 has prompted creative solutions to keep the enterprise running
  • Why human-centric metrics are essential to business agility
    Cybersecurity and Risk
    Why human-centric metrics are essential to business agility
  • What makes an agile business? The key steps to pulling off an agile transformation
    Cybersecurity and Risk
    What makes an agile business? The key steps to pulling off an agile transformation

Year