Protecting your Business from a Supply Chain Data Breach

Research shows 80% of all cyber breaches can be traced back to an organization’s supply chain. Supply chain data breaches cause significant financial struggles, loss of consumer confidence, drops in stock price and more.

Unfortunately only 30% of large-scale organizations are concerned about security within their supply chain. Continue reading to discover the most common attack methods and how to take control of your supply chain security.

Top 3 Supply Chain Attack Techniques

Malicious Software

Parties within your supply chain can be targeted by malicious software, or ‘malware’. Hackers can embed malware into a supplier’s system, which is unknowingly activated during updates and installations. Hackers then move through the internal network from system to system, exploiting vulnerabilities until access is gained to critical systems.

Credential Theft

Hackers often target an organization’s seemingly reliable and trusted source, suppliers. For example, in 2014, 40 million customer credit and debit card details were stolen from a supplier within Target’s supply chain, causing widespread damage. So how is this information stolen? In some cases, hackers will pose as genuine employees, but in most cases, dangerous softwares, such as those discussed above, are used.

Wireless hotspots

Hackers often pray on a warehouses wireless hotspot to collect data and track supply chain activities. As wireless data is transferred through waves rather than physical infrastructure, you must ensure your Wi-Fi is not easily penetrated. Failing to do so can lead to leaks of important information, such as transport routes, resulting in hijackings and delivery thefts.

Securing your Supply Chain

Evaluate Suppliers and Vendors

As a business’s supply chain grows, so can the potentials for security breaches. Even if your organization has efficient security controls in place, suppliers and vendors may not. Despite this, only 34%of large-scale businesses require cyber-security standards from their supply chain. A company must identify every current and future third-party and evaluate their cybersecurity competence. Here are the three questions you need to ask:

1. Who are the supplier’s partners and subcontractors?

2. How do they manage their own supply chain risks?

3. Who do they purchase parts and services from?

Establish Guidelines and Protocols

Companies must ensure all supply chain partners share their same security standards. To do so, a comprehensive supply chain management policy for all third-parties must be put in place. Reviewed twice a year, this policy will establish security monitoring requirements which must adhere to. In conjunction, yearly security audits for each vendor and supplier will ensure data security measures are consistently monitored and maintained.

Prevent Internal Attacks

Companies need to mitigate risks of both external and internal attacks. Host organizations must oversee‘privileged users’ of technology, those allocated significant powers within the computer system. There are a number of ways to reduce this risk.

Firstly, enforce a ‘separation of duties’, whereby no one employee can perform all privileged actions for a system. Secondly, always implement a strict password policy for all users, making it harder for attackers to hack credentials. Finally, always log, monitor and consistently audit employee online actions to detect suspicious activity before it’s too late.

Technology has become an integral aspect of manufacturing and logistics processes. With advancements in the sophistication of perpetrators, it’s important to actively protect your business against a supply chain data breach.