“With up to 80% of cyber-attacks now beginning in the supply chain, breaches at even the smallest vendors can have big consequences for enterprise-level operations.”
The Supply Chain oversees providers of components, systems, software suppliers, and services. With so many uniquely venerable layers in the process, the need to prioritize security at each step can be the difference between smooth operations and massive losses to data and public standing.
Who is impacted by the Supply Chain?
Essentially all businesses exist somewhere on the supply chain. And contrary to some thinking, supply chains aren’t limited to physical goods either. Supply chains are transforming to become as much about the flow and exchange of information as they are about goods and services.
“Global supply chains move millions of tons of cargo and allow products to be delivered at ever-faster speeds.” Simultaneously these expansive networks of suppliers and partners provide cybercriminals countless entry points to attack critical systems and secure customer data.
Within the supply chain, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. If cybersecurity is not prioritized by every unit in the chain, from the vendor to suppliers and everyone in between, all parties are at risk.
How to play the long game
Author Gary Williams writes, “Cybersecurity is a journey, not a destination: Security can never be viewed as a one-off project. New threats, attack techniques, and technologies are continually being developed, so security protocols must be regularly reviewed and updated.”
In order the meet and defend against the growing risks from across the spectrum its critical to effectively convey risk to, Vendors, Service Providers, and supplies in their unique languages with special concern to the specific industry pressure points.
As no sector is safe from attack, the key becomes how to contextualizing cyber risk to all parties and deeply understanding the connectivity of every sector.
“The safety and reliability of critical infrastructure have always been a priority for the companies that manage these services. When the electric power does not work, neither does almost anything else. Financial, transportation, telecommunications, water, and sewer networks all depend on electric power at some point in their product or delivery cycle.
- Continuously monitor and update cybersecurity education for employees
- Adopting a holistic view on their supply chain and vetting their partners and suppliers
- Creating a culture of cybersecurity across the organization
- Building cybersecurity into technology applications from inception rather than as an afterthought
- Developing business continuity plans to mitigate the damage of cyber attacks
- Tapping available public and private resources and cybersecurity partnership opportunities
- Using cyber insurance policies as needed and ensuring that policy wording matches the nature of the company’s exposure
According to odix CEO, Dr. Oren Eytan, in a recent panel at the 2021 Timber & Technology Conference “The supply chain has become increasingly digitalized, which has brought countless cost-saving and data-centric policies that are providing protection capabilities to businesses at large. Simultaneously, this process has opened up a broad range of opportunities for hackers to compromise ‘secure’ data. In truth, within the supply chain, each element must be hyper-conscious of cyber risk and take every step to mitigate it at all costs”
How to turn words into action
“By remaining vigilant and ensuring that partners and suppliers are aware of and prepared for emerging cyber risks, executives will be better positioned to proactively protect against cyber threats and, in the event of a breach, mitigate the fallout from any cyber-related business disruptions.”
To communicate risk and instill a culture of cyber resilience and vigilance across the supply chain, invested players at all levels must Combine traditional IT Architectural Review and Operational Design Review Groups with an overarching perspective and realization of the critical importance of risk management in both IT and Operational Technology. This can only be achieved by working closely with all elements, supplies, and vendors across the supply chain to form a responsive and cross-functional, and cross-disciplinary commitment to prioritize awareness of cybersecurity issues, and demand that employees internalize cybersecurity risks daily.