When a supply chain is compromised, everyone is impacted: buyers, suppliers, and users, as illustrated by recent ransomware cybersecurity attacks. These and other attacks are becoming more frequent and powerful. It is evident that supply chain security necessitates robust oversight and control to ensure security.
Supply chain security, unfortunately, encompasses a wide spectrum of risks, from physical attacks to cyber-attacks, as well as the risks associated with dozens of business collaborations. It will take a complex, coordinated, and holistic approach to properly handle supply chain security.
Supply chain risk mitigation is becoming increasingly complicated. As businesses grow, so does the possibility for risk. Large and complicated worldwide networks should be balanced against staffing and budget limits, not to mention unforeseen disruptions when it comes to supply chain security. At the same time, enhanced transparency and visibility into the supply chain are in high demand from governments, customers, and employees. Each of these touch points raises the opportunity for risk and should be evaluated, managed, and mitigated.
Industry experts believe that not many supply chain specialists are well prepared for future disruption, leaving most companies unprepared for whatever comes next. As companies grapple with the fallout from recent supply chain security breaches, they should concentrate on what can be done ahead of time to identify risk, limit potential interruption, and plan for the unavoidable and unforeseeable impact. Here are a few ways businesses can improve their supply chain security strategy in the future:
Identify and plan for vulnerabilities
Every good strategy starts with an evaluation of existing policies and processes. Organizations should examine what they can control and cannot control when assessing supply chain risk and compliance, including third-party risk, data privacy, and regulatory gaps. They should also undertake vulnerability scans of technology policies and training methods to uncover potential security risks. Supply chain security requires developing security threat recognition capabilities and building incident response plans in the event of an attack.
Assess third-party risk
Supply chains are intricate webs of business networks that allow businesses to trade goods and data while also exposing each of them to additional risk. As businesses grow, they should broaden vendor risk management to encompass security and enable risk assessment and monitoring throughout the lifecycle of the partnership.
Increase data visibility to reduce risk
It’s critical for businesses to have guardrails in place that allow them to choose who they share data with and what each permissioned party can see. To improve end-to-end performance reporting, organizations should centralize workflows and data across the entire business, enhancing data visibility and transparency across the supply chain and, as a result, lowering risk.
Digitize and automate processes
Today’s businesses have advanced well beyond manual data tracking and security measures, and there is no time to spare on human error. The digitization of vital manual processes is critical, and allowing automation across complicated workflows can help to improve supply chain security. Most manual processes aren’t nimble, and when something goes wrong, the capacity to adapt and modify fast can make all the difference. Even a single unique process in the supply chain that is modernized can provide businesses a competitive advantage.
Embrace agile technologies
Supply chains are under a lot of pressure to deliver high-quality products quickly. Organizations can combine data throughout the whole supply chain for faster, more informed decision-making by embracing agile technologies such as no-code and automating workflows. Using no-code technology also allows businesses to tap into current employees or resources, allowing them to respond more swiftly in the event of a crisis.
Today’s supply chains confront a number of threats, some of which have just surfaced and others that are still lurking beneath the surface. Organizations should examine current supply chain policies and processes, as well as update programs to include a holistic focus on security, in order to be prepared for potential future disruptions. This will allow organizations to plan ahead of time for disruptions and be better prepared to respond when they occur.