How Respond Automates Your Ability to Truthfully Answer Security Questionnaires

Tejas Ranade26 Oct 2021

Friends don't send friends security questionnaires

At Kintent, our mission is to make it effortless to earn trust in every business relationship. We fundamentally believe in operating with complete transparency and openness. By publishing our product roadmap and sharing new feature updates, we hold ourselves accountable to you, and continue to prove that we deliver on our commitments.

Our beliefs shine through to our product development methodology, where new features are developed based on lessons from numerous customer interactions and interviews, and early versions are vetted with design partners. When we release a feature to your instance, we want you to be able to tell that we poured ourselves into it — that we’ve joyfully crafted Kintent just for you.

Your Challenge

When we conducted numerous customer discovery conversations about security questionnaires, we asked the question:

“Do you enjoy answering security questionnaires?”

100% of respondents replied with a resounding “NO!’

Our customers, primarily from sales and product teams, then shared the following anecdotes about their experiences of going through the security questionnaire process:

  • I hate manually having to create a knowledge base of answers
  • It’s a pain to maintain this knowledge base on an ongoing basis
  • It takes too much time for one person to answer a questionnaire
  • It’s too much of an effort to coordinate answering questionnaires with multiple people in my organization
  • Reviewing questionnaires with customers and the endless back-and-forth adds risks to the sales process
  • It slows down deals
  • I don’t know what I’ve promised customers in my security questionnaires, which creates a liability in my organization

Being the empathetic and action-oriented team that we are, we decided to do something about it and craft a product to alleviate the pain being felt by our customers the world over.

How We Solved Your Challenge

There are three areas that we worked on to automate the process and make it effortless for you to answer security questionnaires:

Questionnaire mapping and assignment
Simply upload the questionnaire into Respond. We automatically identify all the questions that need to be answered and map the questionnaire type to understand the format in which answers are required (i.e. free form, multiple-choice, and yes/no answers, among others.)

Most often, responding to security questionnaires is a team sport! We’ve made it simple to remove bottlenecks by enabling delegation to multiple people on the team, with the security and compliance expert to approve answers before being submitted.

Instant, AI-based suggested answers
Leveraging machine-learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), Respond intelligently auto-generates answers directly from controls and policies in TrustOps and previously answered questionnaires. As a result, we’re automatically building and maintaining a knowledge library for you to answer truthfully. Respond also automatically attaches policies from your TrustOps as evidence for your answers.

Approve answers, and share it with your customer
If other team members answer specific questions, we’ve enabled an approval workflow that makes it effortless for the owner of the questionnaire to review and approve the answers, before they are sent to the customer.

Once all answers have been approved, a single click generates a zip file that contains the completed questionnaire in its original format, along with all additional supporting documents that were attached with the answers.

Tracking Commitments to Customers
A risk with answering security questionnaires manually is that you have no way of knowing what commitments you’ve made with customers.

After you’ve answered a questionnaire, Respond automatically tracks all the controls and policies that you used to craft your answers. Control and Policy owners are then notified about these commitments, and receive alerts when controls and policies aren’t being adhered to, so that they understand the risk of non-adherence.

The Value To You

When you work with Respond, you:

  • Don’t have to spend weeks building and maintaining question banks or knowledge libraries that become stale quickly, because you’ve already done the work building your information security compliance program in TrustOps.
  • Don’t have to struggle with old-school UX from legacy RFP response tools
  • Can effortlessly track what you’ve told each customer, and ensure that you’re in compliance with your commitments

What Your Peers are Saying

“Answering vendor security and risk assessment questionnaires is a required step in most enterprise sales processes. It can take weeks for our team to complete questionnaires correctly, especially because we’ve made a commitment to be transparent with customers and show them that we take security and compliance seriously,” said Mick England, Data Protection Officer at Robin, a workplace platform to manage hybrid work. “Kintent’s Respond application helps us accurately answer security questionnaires within 1-2 days. We love how easy it is, and the fact that my team doesn’t have to manually set up or maintain a knowledge library of answers anymore is a huge plus.”

Interested in exploring how Respond can help you? Schedule a meeting here.

Tejas RanadeVP of Product


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