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Bogged down by security questionnaires and an onslaught of information requests, security teams continue turning to security portals to manage third party risk assessments. 

A security portal — also known as a trust center, trust portal, or even a security program — is designed to reduce the time and effort involved in the buyer security review. Think of it as your source of truth for aggregating all security documentation, streamlining the tedious activities in the security review process. Security portals (trust centers) reduce the security review burden for selling organizations and expedites the buying process.

When considering a security portal, the first question to answer is, “Should I build or should I buy?” Here, we explore the criteria of an effective security portal and help answer that question. 

How a security portal works

A security portal is a customer-facing home for an organization’s security documentation, third-party attestations, certifications, and information. The best security portal allows organizations to be fully transparent about their security program with buyers, opening proactive lines of communication between the security team and the company’s buyers and customers. 

Security portals are typically managed by the company’s security team, but provide benefits for a much broader set of stakeholders.

Users of a security portal

An effective security portal or trust center goes beyond the security team to take into account the experience of the sales team, prospective buyers, current customers, and any additional stakeholders involved in a security review. 

Security teams

The security team uses a security portal to consolidate all security documentation and information, including:

  • Certifications
  • Third-party attestations
  • Philosophy insights
  • Policies
  • Other security program details 

Security teams are typically responsible for collecting and managing this information, keeping security documentation up to date, and determining the appropriate level of visibility for each buyer and customer. 

The security portal, or trust center, saves team members from the back-and-forth motion common to the buyer security review process. It acts as the first line of defense against security questionnaire requests, providing a self-serve format for the most-requested information about the company’s security posture.

While mostly the security team’s responsibility, managing the portal may sometimes fall to sales, product, and/or marketing teams.

Sales teams

Sales teams usually field requests for security documentation — security reviews are becoming a ubiquitous element of today’s sales cycles. These requests are usually passed to the security team, who answer and complete one-off questionnaires. 

Sales team members leverage a security portal as part of their selling process, proactively providing access to the company’s security documentation. Security portals may reduce inbound questions, increasing buyer confidence in the organization’s trust and security posture — this is why “trust center” has become synonymous with “security portal.” 

Potential buyers

Potential buyers use the self-serve function of security portals as part of their third party risk assessment. Instead of going back and forth with sellers and security teams, buyers get all the information they need, when they need it,on their own time. 

Current customers

Existing customers leverage security portals similar to buyers, to assist with regular risk assessments as part of a renewal process or an annual audit. They may also conduct an intensified risk assessment as part of a contract expansion or as they explore new products.

Internal stakeholders

In addition to security documentation, a typical risk assessment includes information about related parts of the business — legal, privacy, ethics, and even environmental social good (ESG). These teams need to upload and maintain their documentations and certifications to present to buyers and customers.

Finally, all employees may leverage their company’s security portal to better understand the company’s security policies, procedures, and share pertinent information with customers and partners. 

When to build a security portal?

Building a security portal requires in-house horsepower for building, updating, and maintaining an interactive website — this includes developing permissioning mechanisms and rules, integrating with internal tools, and updating security documentation. 

Key reasons building a security portal would be your best option: 

  1. Your posture doesn’t change very often or very quickly.
  2. You have a very simple security program.
  3. You have a wealth of dedicated engineering and support resources.

Organizations like Salesforce and Atlassian leverage internal resources to build and maintain their interactive security portals. These companies have the added benefit of being workflow management platforms themselves, allowing them to easily integrate their capabilities to smooth the security review process for buyers, sales team members and security team members.

When to buy a security portal?

Buying a security portal means leveraging purpose-built technology and benefitting from the provider’s resources, including the continuous feedback of the platform’s other customers. When buying a security portal/trust center, you join a larger network of vendors using the same platform. This creates the added benefit of the security portal/trust center trail, aiding the security review process for buyers through an interconnected ecosystem of information. 

There are three key scenarios where building a security portal could be your best option: 

  1. You don’t have the resources to maintain an interactive security portal.
  2. You need to communicate with your buyers and customers on a regular basis.
  3. You have a complex security program, product/product lines, or selling process.

Organizations like OpenAI, Palantir, and Asana have opted to buy their security portals (trust centers), rather than build, freeing up engineering and support resources to focus on other initiatives. 

Elements of an effective security portal

Whether you build or buy, there are several core capabilities that will help you achieve all the possibilities of a security portal/trust center. These components range in technical complexity from common to more advanced.

Organized public-facing security documentation

A single, easy-to-navigate home for your documentation, certifications, third-party attestations, policies, and procedures.

Guidance through the security review process

A streamlined walkthrough of every step necessary to complete a security review, for both buyers and sellers. This includes documentation review, NDA signing, access and permissions control, and even questionnaire submission and answering. 

Easy sharing capabilities with stakeholders

In-the-flow-of-work functionalities that make sharing the security portal with buyers, customers, and other stakeholders simple.

Knowledge base of questionnaire responses

An organized, searchable home for all previously-answered questionnaires, including standardized questionnaires such as the CAIQ and SIG. The knowledge base also acts as a proactive mechanism to share and display FAQs/common questions that are top of mind for buyers in the security review process.

CRM integration

Connections with your most-used customer interaction technologies, including Salesforce and HubSpot, streamlining the experience for buyers and sellers. 

Mechanisms for proactive communication

Capabilities that allow for regular, transparent communication with buyers and customers both during the security review and throughout the relationship.

Analytics dashboard

Insight into activity metrics (views, trust center engagements, downloads, and access requests) as well as security review impact on sales metrics.

Questionnaire answering tools

Leverage the accumulated wealth of knowledge to respond when security questionnaires are required, even offering security questionnaire automation capabilities.

Benefits of a security portal (trust center)

A security portal’s wide range of capabilities comes an equally wide range of benefits. From building a better security experience to enhancing security procedures with data, a security portal (trust center) is more than a tool for your organization — it’s an investment.

Here are the six key benefits of a security portal.


A well-designed security portal allows your organization to safely – and comfortably – share as much information as possible with buyers and customers. With the right amount of control over your security documentation and flexibility over how much you publicly share, transparency is simplified, more scalable, and tailored to the needs of your business.


Your security program isn't a static entity — using a portal or trust center opens a line of communication between your security team and your buyers and customers. This allows for regular, proactive communications with stakeholders during a security review and through the partnership.


Updating and sharing information is an integrated experience across the larger business, security teams, sales teams, and buyers. Security portals eliminate unnecessary gatekeeping of information and access, creating a more immersive, approachable security experience. 


Trust centers/security portals allow you to collect data, leading to valuable insight on how your security program is faring as a business driver. These insights help continuously improve trust programs and optimize your security posture.

Buying experience

While internal teams are the most recurring users of a security portal, a positive customer experience is a crucial added benefit. Buyers and customers should be able to easily navigate the security portal, find security documentation, and self-serve any FAQs, easing the buying experience in the process.

If used optimally, your sales team will also champion sharing your security portal with buyers and customers. They will use the security portal to mitigate the need for security questionnaires, follow the buyer security review progress, and answer ad-hoc questions (personal or buyer) about the company’s security posture.

Security team resources

The ultimate goal of a security portal (trust center) is to reduce the administrative burden of the buyer security review for security teams. If the above pieces are aligned, the security team will save valuable time answering security questionnaires and one-off buyer questions. 

Security teams can reinvest their newfound time on more strategic, idea-driven initiatives to move your business forward. 

To build or to buy?

Whether you call it a security portal, trust center, or security program, to build or buy is your call to make. Does your organization have the resources to build an interactive security portal from scratch? Or does leveraging pre-built technology better suit your needs? 

Implementing a security portal or trust center is one of the most important actions you can take to improve transparency and build trust with your buyers and customers. Build or buy, your security team, sales team, and customers will reap the benefits of a streamlined security review process. 

SafeBase is the leading Trust Center Platform designed for friction-free security reviews. With an enterprise-grade Trust Center, SafeBase automates the security review process and transforms how companies communicate their security and trust posture. 

If you want to see how fast-growing companies like LinkedIn, Asana, and Jamf take back the time their teams spend on security questionnaires, create better buying experiences, and position security as the revenue-driver it is, schedule a demo.