When it comes to cybersecurity, it all boils down to visibility and control. Risk management must flow up the supply chain, despite the fact that production moves down it. This means that each link in a supply chain must hold its suppliers responsible for cybersecurity and understand the risks that each of its partners poses.
Attacks on supply chains are on the rise. According to the 2020 Annual Data Breach Report, the United States saw a 42 percent increase in data breaches in the first quarter of 2021 alone.
Cybersecurity is sometimes overlooked when it comes to supply chain resiliency. Companies are starting to rethink and strengthen their supply chain operations as a result of global supply shortages and delays having widespread effects across industries. Businesses must understand, however, that without cybersecurity, a gap exists, leaving them open to attacks that could damage their operations. The supply chain of a company cannot be genuinely resilient unless it is also cyber resilient.
Here are three strategies to strengthen security throughout the entire ecosystem to help prevent supply chain-related cyber-attacks.
Security baseline for third-party vendors
Organizations use third-party vendors for a variety of reasons, including integrated shipping services, cloud providers, and outsourced customer service. And, as companies pushed to get online rapidly over the last two years, the usage of third-party vendors became even more critical to staying in business.
However, one disadvantage of this more complex third-party landscape is an increase in cybersecurity risk exposure. Businesses have hitherto been left to their own devices when it came to defining and implementing security baselines for vendors. This not only causes issues for suppliers who must comply with thousands of standards, but it also raises the likelihood of errors and attacks.
As a result, having a vendor-neutral checklist that provides a straightforward, practical method of establishing minimal acceptable security baselines is critical. Even if companies merely use checklists as a starting point, they may improve efficiencies, increase confidence, lower costs, and raise the bar for security standards across the board.
Customer trust should be a top priority
It takes a long time to earn trust. Even with a minimum baseline, every industry, business, market, and more must design a solid cybersecurity plan tailored to their requirements – one that nails the fundamentals while investing in security innovation to stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated bad actors.
Patching vulnerabilities regularly and ensuring that every third-party software is up to date can help businesses improve their security posture against credential attacks. Enforcing multifactor authentication is also one of the most effective strategies to protect both consumers and employees from unauthorized account access.
It’s critical to consider not only what’s legally required in terms of disclosure, but also what’s required in terms of trust. Every organization should examine its security strategy and understand what their customers expect and strive to meet, if not exceed, those expectations.
Be prepared and remain vigilant
It is important to ensure that everyone on the team, even third-party providers, is aware of the risks and what to watch for. In terms of preparedness, a solid security awareness program can make a significantly improve trust when it comes to teams and customers.
Increased fraud protection measures, such as proactive audits of all systems for potential flaws and regular account privilege reviews, are other options for businesses. In addition, employees should be taught to be suspicious of everything.
Cybersecurity is a collaborative effort. This entails collaborating with the team and vendors to guarantee that organizations preserve customer privacy and data. While every organization will always face some level of risk, proactive investments in supply chain security can help tilt the odds in their favour.