Component October 29, 2019
Supply chain’s role in cybersecurity

Supply chain’s role in cybersecurity

Supply chain’s role in cybersecurity

When it comes to cyber security, supply chain organizations have increasingly been the chink in a company’s armor. This is because companies don’t have full control over the security measures taken by their supply chain partners. Cybercriminals utilize this opportunity to infiltrate a supply chain partner.

Supply chains organizations are targeted so frequently because of the value of the data they store, and because they often aren’t aware of potential threats. Whether they are unaware of the threats, or simply don’t have the adequate resources to manage security at a high level, supply chain organizations aren’t taking enough action to prevent an attack. Hackers are bypassing conventional cyber defenses to infiltrate an entire software, allowing them to compromise multiple systems in a single attack. Any companies using such compromised software are vulnerable to commercial sabotage, ransomware attacks, loss of proprietary data, and much more.

While the increase in connectivity has many business benefits, it brings with it many security risks. Cybercriminals are aware of these connections, and they capitalize on the opportunity to access highly protected networks. Whether or not your business has adequate protection, your suppliers, and your supplier’s suppliers may not have the same emphasis on security. Therefore, until all entities throughout your supply chain carry out coordinated, effective protective measures, your supply chain is not truly secure. To mitigate these risks, there are a few strategies to be implemented.

Listed below are three essential ways to protect your supply chain:

  1. Organizations should regularly review internal and external security procedures. While internal infrastructures may be strong, suppliers may not adhere to the same security procedures. Due diligence and a thorough supplier risk assessment will help in identifying what the supplier may require in terms of monitoring and controls.
  2. Staff and vendors should be educated regarding the best security practices. In a recent report by IBM, it was revealed that 95% of attacks involved human error, typically from visiting corrupt websites or from falling victim to phishing scams. Therefore, it is crucial that every individual in an organization, and every third-party collaborator has the proper training.
  3. Written security guidelines and controls must be established. Define who maintains ownership of the shared data and how the data is being used. Maintain incident report plans, so that if there is a breach, both parties have a plan to notify each other. Monitor vendor access to networks and data; and establish boundaries to limit their access. Actions like these will help to keep important information secure for all parties involved.

Overlooking the risks posed by lack of security in their supply chain could potentially be detrimental to a company. Although there are many more important measures, simple actions like these will significantly lessen the risk of a cyber-attack in your supply chain.

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