Steps Enterprises Need to Take to Strengthen Supply Chain Security


Due to the inherent interconnectedness of modern business, all industries are vulnerable to cyber threats posed by malicious actors. Building a solid defense will require close collaboration across the supply chain as financial assets and personal information will constantly be targeted.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant factor in the advancement of digital technology, and it continues to impact how businesses and their employees approach their work. Enterprises have increased their use of cloud-based services to maintain continuity and connectivity within their workforce as they try to support hybrid and remote work models.

The risks of compromise and attack surfaces for enterprises have expanded along with the growth of business partnerships.

In order to ensure trust and security, businesses must examine their third-party due diligence procedures more carefully in light of recent cyber breaches that have revealed security gaps in the software supply chain.

The Issue of Business Continuity 

Threat actors are quick to exploit vulnerabilities, and it only takes a momentary slip in attention to become a victim. For instance, because of the trusted partner relationship, the regular perimeter of defense mechanisms is bypassed while using software or hardware provided by a third party that may have malicious software. Threat actors can enter a company’s network freely, move laterally, and exploit user credentials to obtain sensitive data, wreaking havoc or for monetary gain.

Also Read: Ways to Minimize Supply Chain Cyber Security Threats

The integrity of supply chain partners must be protected at all costs since attacks on crucial partners could compromise business continuity and put an organization and its customers at risk. It is essential to thoroughly vet partners since businesses need confidence that they won’t just operate or perform as promised but won’t introduce any new vulnerabilities.

 A Secure Supply Chain

A thorough audit is a good place to start when strengthening software supply chain security. Three main problem areas should be noted when evaluating each vendor relationship – the type of data transfer between the vendor and the organization, the access that vendors have to enterprise systems, and the software or systems that vendors are installing on the company network. Enterprises can prioritize partners for closer examination based on this baseline knowledge.

Evaluating partners with a higher level of corporate integration and access may take more time for organizations. In these circumstances, it could be fair to demand routine audits or assessments, including those made by unbiased third parties, at various times during the year. Enterprises may also want to check the security procedures of their most important partners more closely. It may be good to engage in collaborative exchanges and work to potentially share information regarding attacks and solutions to increase transparency and efficacy.

Also Read: Strategies to Strengthen Supply Chain Cyber Security

Supply chain partners must be accountable for upholding security standards that are just as stringent as those adhered to by the organization itself. The enterprise should ultimately be responsible for upholding security standards that are just as strict for supply chain partners. Contractual agreements should specify these requirements.

Enterprises must understand that they are not impenetrable, even if they implement industry-recognized practices and standards. Security initiatives include contingency planning since threats and the opportunities for hackers to act upon them are always evolving. Having a Plan B is essential in any situation, but it’s crucial in situations where an organization lacks a clear alternative in the event that a crucial partner goes offline.

For a long time, security professionals have emphasized the need for a multi-layered approach to security that includes the fundamentals and incorporates best practices for security hygiene in significant areas like DDoS defense, DNS management and security, and managing application vulnerability exposure. Most businesses have already implemented these safeguards, but they now need to look beyond themselves and consider whether their trusted partners are doing the same.

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