The global and interconnected nature of business today means that no company or organization is an island. Every modern business relies on many others, either as part of the supply or distribution chain, or for value-added services like accounting and social media marketing.
But employing a third party adds risk, especially if that company is given some level of access to network and computing resources, or is asked to handle and protect critical or proprietary information. Attackers may not need to breach a well-protected internal server if the same information is not protected to the degree deemed necessary by a third party. If a third party is given some level of trusted access to internal networks, it might be easier for a hacker to simply compromise the third party and then use their access to “legitimately” break into a network containing the target data they want to steal.
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