The Rising Threat of Supply Chain Attacks and Ways to Minimize the Risks

Supply Chain Attacks

One of the biggest concerns in front of cybersecurity experts today is supply chain attacks because supply chain disruptions can devastate business continuity and hamper the cash flow.

According to a report published by CrowdStrike in 2021 titled “Global Security Attitude Survey,” nearly 84% of the respondents consider that supply chain attacks can be one of the biggest cybersecurity threats to their enterprise. Many cybercriminals are on the prowl to compromise the distribution chains to hamper the business’ productivity. One recently identified supply chain attacker is “LofyGang,” they have developed a credential-stealing enterprise by deploying nearly 200 malicious packages and illegitimate hacking tools on code hosting platforms like NPM and GitHub. CISOs need to integrate a resilient cybersecurity posture and tech stack to secure their supply chain from various rising threats.

Strategies to minimize the financial disruption of supply chain attacks

The same report by Crowdstrike also highlights that nearly 59% of enterprises that witnessed software supply chain attacks for the first time did not have a response plan implemented to minimize the impact. Ability to recognize an attack and a clear plan of responding to an attack as timely as possible. The “golden goose” of supply chain attacks is using the software supplier as the vehicle to distribute the malicious code to the masses. To minimize financial disruption, companies need to know when an attack happens. Everyone needs to know what is considered malicious and learn about it as soon as it enters the software supply chain. Finding these attacks early in the chain will allow the most negligible impact.

Also Read: Securing the Software Supply Chain in the Modern Era

“The response is also very important, as these attacks can use malware that makes it very hard to detect just what they did when executed. Having a good forensic team dig into the breach will be necessary to ensure there are no lurking bad actors in the systems,” says Tzachi Zorenshtain, Head of Supply Chain Security at Checkmarx.

Education and zero risk tolerance are the keys to minimizing supply chain attack

Risk tolerance changes for software security leaders. Attacks are happening on applications anywhere on the software supply chain. Because of this, as an industry, we need to educate everyone who touches software that the threat against companies is real and help them understand how to protect against it. Developers are the frontline in this battle as they are the targets of software supply chain attacks. If a developer pulls down a malicious package, the whole enterprise is at risk from that point on.

Air-tight cybersecurity posture

Modern enterprises’ digital supply chain attacks are not restricted to business applications. Cybercriminals have expanded their horizons and started infiltrating the business network through the web of related third-party applications, integrations, and services. The report also highlights that almost 36% of the enterprises have evaluated all new and current suppliers for security in the last 12 months. Such supply chains have fewer risks because they will be exposed to known vulnerabilities for which they can have a strategic plan. SecOps teams must ensure that they design and enforce stringent governance and security strategies to strengthen cybersecurity by overcoming all gaps. CISOs need better visibility into all the applications, assets, and business networks connected to third-party vendors and partners. It is crucial to have stringent processes to evaluate the nature of every integration to determine the potential risk level and exposure to make more confident decisions. Businesses need effective threat detection and mitigation strategies that identify and mitigate the threats in earlier stages of infiltration.

Also Read: Why The Board Needs to be the First Line of Defense Against Cybersecurity Threats

As the world has successfully embraced digital-first business models, supply chains will be exposed to more threats than ever. Enterprises should have an in-depth understanding of these potential threats within their supply chain to mitigate threats before it disrupts business operations.

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