how to protect supply chain

How to Defend Your Supply Chain System From Hackers?

After a dramatic start of the year with rising inflation and high commodity prices, the global economy is now in the middle of a protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict. As a result of business interruptions, security concerns for their infrastructure, and theft or loss of critical data, supply chain suppliers face immense risks and pressure. Ransomware and other malicious cyberattacks are also a constant threat to the supply chain and its businesses. 

Since the Russian issue erupted, security experts have uncovered at least four new types of “wiper malware,” which wipes systems and destroys data. NotPetya already has caused catastrophic blowback, and a degree of disruption that might wipe out six months or more in revenue, cannot be tolerated in our society today.

To protect our global economy, cyber defenses cannot be done in isolation. There are several levels of supply chain partners and sub-suppliers that must be included in the cyber ecosystem. The collective resilience of organizations and suppliers must be built to neutralize cyber hazards as they arise proactively. When it comes to mitigating possible risks, what can companies do?

Here are five things that companies must do to reduce cyber attacks: 

1. Keep an eye on supplier inventory regularly.

Understanding the degree of a company’s supply chain risk is an essential part of any resilience plan. Because visibility is so important, companies need to remain up-to-date on all aspects of outsourcing, including what services are being outsourced (such as programming), what sort of product is being manufactured by suppliers (such as networking gear), and where they are located. Supply chain inventory and process changes must be alerted to relevant workers via technology.

2. Conduct regular evaluations of risk.

Organizations need to be aware of their supply chain’s cyber risk profile since the landscape is constantly changing. For example, a company’s security, privacy, and financial risk are only some of the hazards it has to keep an eye on. Start by ranking suppliers based on their criticality and geographic location, for example, suppliers that are located in high-risk zones and are most susceptible to disruptions. 

Focus on recently terminated or newly acquired suppliers since these are the places where many unspecified hazards may occur. Examine how suppliers’ replies align with their unique demands in terms of regulatory requirements (such as risk tolerance), financial position (such as ownership), and production (such as product ownership, production ownership, and production ownership). Keep an eye out for vendors that have had problems in the past or who pose a high risk.

3. Focus on suppliers with high or unknown risks.

It is well-known that hackers aggressively target essential suppliers. For large enterprises, it’s a good idea to concentrate on the riskiest suppliers to minimize downtime. To provide a consistent degree of security, critical suppliers should adhere to the same cyber standards as the parent company. First, make sure all key contacts are up to speed on the supply processes and procedures. 

Open-source intelligence monitoring programs, for example, may undertake non-intrusive surface scanning to verify that SSL certificates are current. Make it a priority for suppliers to address software vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered. Measure the security of the supply chain by implementing initiatives and frameworks like the SLSA and software bill of materials (SBOM).

4. Terminate suppliers according to a set procedure.

Due to unacceptable security threats, 30% of organizations ended their relationships with third-party providers last year. Be careful to terminate the supplier with security in mind before making a political or economic choice, to stop doing business in a specific region. Remove all physical and network access, and revoke all user access credentials, including cloud-based data sharing capabilities. This involves erasing all information using data cleaning methods.

5. Rehearse your emergency response procedure.

During times of uncertainty, it is crucial to be ready in case a critical supplier is affected or has to be separated. Tabletop cybersecurity exercises may be conducted with both internal and external stakeholders. Supply chain partners should be included in developing security policies to address vulnerabilities and report incidents. In the event of a supply chain issue, establish collaborative roles, structures, and procedures. Learn from each other and fine-tune your methods together. Improve their cybersecurity best practices and help them develop their own incident response processes by providing mentorship and coaching.

Closing Note

Supply chain threats are nothing new, and they will continue to swing back and forth like a pendulum in the years to come. If hyper-connectivity is used by more and more businesses, the danger of cyberattacks will only increase. Proactive risk identification and mitigation processes must be implemented throughout the lifespan of a supplier, from acquisition through termination. “The only protection against the world is a complete understanding of it,” said John Locke once.

Modern-day supply chain systems are stressful. If you want sustainable and meaningful supply chain logistics, Cooperative Computing will gladly help. Contact our experts for a guarded supply chain solution.

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