Cybersecurity Market Overview
and Best Practices

The rise of ecommerce and online marketplaces has changed how business-to-business sales operate. There’s no foreseeable end to the trend, with recent research estimating that the global B2B ecommerce market will reach $20.9 trillion by 2027. While online marketplaces became increasingly common in the past few decades, many corporate-scale procurements surrounding complex or “indirect spend” purchases, such as IT, cybersecurity, and other professional services, remained reliant on traditional transactions dealing with personal suppliers and distributors. It’s a reluctance that’s shifting, however. A new generation of public and private sector procurement leaders, who have grown up doing more and more online shopping for personal needs, are more willing to expand digital purchases for business.

Finding the Perfect Partners

B2B marketplaces offer access to a broad pool of potential vendors while doing much of the heavy lifting. With vendors prescreened for their capabilities, procurement professionals’ time is freed up, and hassles related to soliciting bids or managing RFPs lessen. An online marketplace can offer opportunities to streamline purchasing processes, discover new suppliers, and optimize organizations’ procurement operations. 

When exploring the possibilities of a B2B marketplace experience, keep the following best practices in mind throughout the process:

  • Establish Your Requirements for the Marketplace

Marketplaces cater to different industries and niches. Clearly define your organization’s procurement needs and objectives that align with your industry to achieve more targeted results within a B2B marketplace. 

  • Supplier Screening Due Diligence

A responsible and well-managed B2B marketplace will prescreen its vendors. Make sure they prescreen criteria that are relevant to your requirements. You should also check into the marketplace’s reputation, financial stability, regulation compliance, and capacity to reliably meet your needs. Ratings and reviews from other marketplace buyers can also help you prescreen yourself.

  • Negotiable Terms

You may not have to “add to the cart” and settle for the listed services. Many suppliers are willing to negotiate pricing, terms, and conditions. If you need this kind of flexibility, consider a B2B marketplace that offers tools for back-and-forth communication and customization of service offerings that can help you obtain tailored and favorable terms. 

  • Cost Analysis & Contract Management

Evaluate the total cost of procurement, not just the purchase price, considering implementation, training, and other associated costs throughout a proposed service agreement. A robust contract management system can help avoid any potential disputes or misunderstandings, clearly defining each provider’s expectations, terms, and responsibilities.

 

Traditional B2B transactions have often involved intricate webs of intermediaries, manual paperwork, levels of oversight, and lengthy negotiation processes. An online marketplace can help streamline these operations by providing a centralized platform for managing transactions, communicating with past or potential partners, and quickly reviewing supplier qualifications or third-party certifications.

    Learn More About the Best Practices for SMBs Choosing Cybersecurity Consultants and Certifications

    How Do You Evaluate
    Cybersecurity Posture?

    Ensuring the security and privacy of your data and applications in the cloud may require you to spend a little extra time vetting providers. To ensure vendors in the marketplace are committed to their own strong and reliable cybersecurity posture, take the following steps to evaluate prospective service providers:

     

    • Ask service providers about their information security standards, practices, and audit reports, looking for those that follow recognized standards for cybersecurity. Providers using independent third-party assessors and auditors to review and validate their security posture are preferred.

    • Carefully review the provider’s service level agreements (SLAs) and ensure they include security, uptime, and data availability commitments. Examine the SLAs in detail, paying particular attention to security-related commitments, including incident response times and guaranteed uptime percentages. Seek clarity on the provider’s process for compensating customers in case of SLA violations to best protect your organization’s interests during service disruptions.

    • Ask how easy it is to move your data out of the provider’s environment if you wish to switch providers. Avoid vendor lock-in and request information about data portability, including the formats and protocols the provider supports for exporting data.

    • Ask about the security standards the provider has implemented, how they’re maintained, and how often they provide customers their audit results verifying standards compliance.

    • Review the provider’s track record and reputation regarding cybersecurity in the cloud security space, including any publicly available information or details surrounding prior security incidents.
    • Ask the provider to be transparent about any previous cyberattacks or security breaches they’ve faced—what happened, how they responded, and how they plan to mitigate future risks. Honesty and transparency are indicative of a responsible and proactive approach to security.

    • Request references and contact the provider’s existing customers to gather firsthand accounts of their experiences, especially concerning security and customer support. Outside references offer valuable insights into the provider’s performance and how well they meet their security commitments.

    Learn More About Finding the Best CSPs Committed to a Strong Cybersecurity Posture

    The Importance of Cybersecurity
    in a Cloud Computing World

    The demand for cloud computing solutions and software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies is booming. SaaS organizations and similar providers can offer numerous exciting advantages. However, they also come with unique, inherent cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities, requiring SaaS providers to implement specialized security measures to reduce risk and provide peace of mind to organizations that rely on their services.

    Some of the most significant cybersecurity risks SaaS providers face daily include: 

     

    • Data Breaches – SaaS applications often maintain sensitive business and customer data in private, public, or hybrid-use cloud storage. If not properly secured, these data stores can be targeted by cybercriminals, leading to data breaches that can have severe consequences, including financial loss, regulatory penalties, and reputational damage. Data loss can also occur due to other factors, such as accidental deletions, service outages, or malicious actions. Without proper backup and recovery procedures in place, data could be lost irreversibly.
    • Weak Authentication & Authorization – Inadequate or weak authentication methods can result in unauthorized access to SaaS applications. Additionally, loose authorization controls may allow users to access and manipulate data or functionality outside of their areas of responsibility.
    • Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks – Within a SaaS environment, DoS attacks are a significant concern for providers and their customers. These attacks aim to overwhelm a SaaS provider’s infrastructure or network by consuming copious amounts of bandwidth and straining server resources and processing power, rendering all services unavailable. 
    • Insecure APIs – SaaS applications frequently rely on application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate with other software and services. Insecure APIs can be exploited by cybercriminals or malicious actors to gain unauthorized access or manipulate sensitive data.
    • Phishing Attacks & Social Engineering Scams – Human error and deception remain significant threats, often despite increased awareness surrounding social engineering and phishing techniques. SaaS providers remain susceptible to users being tricked into revealing login credentials or granting access to other sensitive information by being manipulated into downloading a compromised file or clicking on a malicious link.
    • Insider Threats – SaaS employees or other insiders may abuse their access privileges to intentionally steal data, inadvertently disrupt services, or cause other harm. Insider threats can be difficult to detect, and cybersecurity personnel may not have visibility or control over unauthorized “shadow IT” applications that can introduce further unknown risks.

      Learn More About the Key Considerations for Selecting a Cybersecurity Consultant for Your SaaS Business

      The Innovations & Implications
      of Online B2B Marketplaces

      Integrating a B2B marketplace into the cybersecurity procurement and purchasing process creates benefits for buyers and sellers alike. An online marketplace creates a self-service, digitally sourced environment in which multiple vendors can provide products and services to a broad pool of potential customers. 

      What Does a B2B Marketplace Offer?

      • Greater Vendor Choice – Buyers in the market benefit by gaining significant choice and access to a variety of potential vendors. Online marketplaces break down physical geographical barriers, allowing organizations to reach beyond their local markets and establish nationwide or even global connections. 
      • Increased Visibility – On the other side of the coin, sellers in an online B2B marketplace gain access to a growing pool of potential customers they can reach without the burden of marketing costs or additional responsibilities on sales teams.
      • Trust & Security – On both sides of the cybersecurity buyer-seller relationship, participation in an established online B2B marketplace provides a more safe environment for procurements and transactions prioritizing trust and security. Reputable marketplaces vet and verify their members, ensuring customers and providers can buy and sell with confidence.

        Learn More About How the Cybersecurity Marketplace Will Change the Way Private and Public Organizations Work Together