SME Vendors

5 obstacles to completing the HECVAT

Overcoming the Primary HECVAT Completion Challenge 5 HECVAT compliance obstacles

Overcoming the Primary HECVAT Completion Challenge

5 HECVAT compliance obstacles

The obstacles lies in the complexity and thoroughness of the assessment process. While the HECVAT offers comprehensive security questionnaires, there are several challenges that organizations may encounter when attempting to complete the assessment:

Questionnaire Length

The original version of the HECVAT consists of 265 questions, which can be a significant undertaking for organizations to address. The sheer volume of questions requires substantial time and effort to thoroughly assess and respond to each one accurately.

Technical Expertise

Some questions within the HECVAT questionnaire may require a deep understanding of technical concepts related to information security and data protection. Organizations may face challenges in providing accurate responses if they lack the necessary technical expertise or do not have dedicated security teams in place.

Vendor Cooperation

Completing the HECVAT may also depend on the willingness and cooperation of vendors. Organizations need to rely on their vendors to provide accurate and timely responses to the assessment questions. If vendors are unresponsive or unwilling to participate, it can hinder the completion of the assessment process.

Resource Allocation

The HECVAT requires significant resources, including time, personnel, and expertise, to complete the assessment thoroughly. Organizations need to allocate sufficient resources to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of their vendor’s security and privacy practices. Limited resources or competing priorities within the organization may present obstacles to completing the HECVAT effectively.

Ongoing Updates

The HECVAT is a point-in-time assessment, meaning that it provides a snapshot of a vendor’s security posture at a specific moment. As the cybersecurity landscape evolves rapidly, maintaining up-to-date assessments becomes crucial. Organizations must regularly update their HECVAT assessments to reflect changes in vendor practices and technologies.

To overcome these obstacles, organizations can consider the following strategies:

  • Dedicate adequate resources and personnel with the necessary technical expertise to complete the assessment thoroughly.
  • Establish clear communication and engagement channels with vendors to encourage their active participation and timely responses.
  • Develop internal processes and workflows to streamline the assessment process and ensure ongoing updates to the HECVAT assessments.
  • Seek assistance from third-party cybersecurity experts (such as HECVAT Pro).
  • By proactively addressing these obstacles, organizations can navigate the complexities of the HECVAT and successfully complete the assessment to enhance their vendor risk management practices and ensure the security and privacy of their institutional data.


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David Clarkson

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