Strategies to Strengthen Supply Chain Cyber Security

Cyber Security

One of the most significant cyber threats, risks, and vulnerabilities are to the organizations’ supply chain.

Enterprises today are expected to ensure business continuity irrespective of the disruption and aim for higher profits. On the journey to achieve business excellence, businesses tend to overlook the potential threats to their end-to-end chain of supply. Malicious actors are banking on this opportunity to exploit and infiltrate the business network with various treats that can create disruption in the business work processes.

According to a recent report published by Crowd Strike in 2021 titled “Global Security Attitude Survey,” nearly 84% of the respondents think supply chain attacks can be one of the significant cyber threats within the next three years. The study also highlights that approximately 45% of the respondents’ organizations witnessed at least one cyber-attack in 2021.

CISOs should consider strengthening the supply chain cyber security to avoid business disruptions.

Here are a few ways to improve the resilience of the end-to-end supply chains:

Also Read: Four Ways Businesses Can Secure Themselves from Digital Supply Chain Attacks

Improve vigilance in the distribution chain

Businesses today are only exposed to cyber threats and risks by partners or third parties. There are higher chances of a threat lingering inside the business network internally. Moreover, the supply chains of large enterprises are intricate, long, and complex, with multiple vendors, partners, users, and customers participating. SecOps teams can design and implement a security awareness program throughout the entire supply chain to strengthen the cyber security posture. Once all the touch points in the distribution chain are empowered to stay vigilant to spot suspicious or fraudulent activity will minimize the vulnerabilities. CISOs should consider setting proactive audits and fraud detection strategies to identify potential security flaws and unpatched attack surface areas.

Determine a security baseline

The surge in the number of digital-first adoptions has forced businesses to leverage third-party applications into their enterprises’ tech stack. Intricate supply chains need to have seamless integration with third-party applications to streamline the data and information flow. SecOps teams need to ensure determining minimum security threshold points to set a minimum security baseline with all the partners involved. It can be very tricky to define a supply chain cyber security baseline because of so many parties involved in the process. CISOs should consider leveraging Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) to securely collaborate with third-party vendors.

Also Read: Top Four Cybersecurity Gaps Enterprises Must Address Right Away

Evaluate the end-to-end supply chain for threats

It can be a challenging task for the SecOps teams to monitor all the third-party applications in real-time when they are executed. Moreover, the challenges intensify when the supply chain includes offshore suppliers that have different software. The same report by Crowd strike suggests that only 36% of the survey respondents have scrutinized the new and existing suppliers for security purposes in 2021. SecOPs need to ensure that they constantly audit the third-party applications to assess potential threats to their distribution chains.

CISOs can patch all the attack surface areas exposed by third-party applications to secure their supply chain network. Cyber security teams need to collaborate and work closely with all the supply chain managers to mitigate all the potential risks. Developing separate SecOps teams to manage third-party suppliers’ risks and vulnerabilities will help to efficiently monitor all the vendors and partners. Moreover, enterprises need to spot all the critical vulnerabilities in the distribution chain and prioritize them based on their magnitude will enable companies to streamline their security posture. Integrating Blockchain into the enterprise tech stack is a perfect way to improve the transparency and cyber security of their end-to-end supply chain.

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