Building a Secure Future: Strategies for Managing Cybersecurity in the Supply Chain
According to recent research, 68% of computer applications use open-source software libraries without the knowledge of the company. Another study by Argon Security shows that the supply chain attacks have grown up to 300% in 2021 compared to 2020. It increases the chance of vulnerabilities in the company’s network
The growing interconnectedness of the global economy and the increasing number of cyber threats make it essential for organizations to assess and manage the risks posed by their supply chain partners.
This article aims to provide an overview of CSCRM (Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management) and the various techniques and practices organizations can use to manage their supply chain risks.
We will discuss the challenges and benefits of CSCRM, the importance of having a comprehensive plan, and the role that technology can play in helping organizations manage their supply chain risks. But, before anything else, let’s get a better understanding of how cybersecurity works and how it can be applied to combat online threats.
Table of Contents
An Overview of Cyber Security
Cyber security can secure computers, servers, networks, mobile devices, and data from cyber-attacks resulting in data theft or loss. Several technologies, procedures, and practices are implemented to secure the supply chain assets against unauthorized access, disclosure, use, disruption, modification, or destruction of information.
Therefore, cyber security is essential to protect crucial information such as personal data and financial information from supply chain attacks. It is also useful to ensure the availability and reliability of systems critical to business operations. Cybersecurity in the supply chain is not a single tool or technique but involves a series of methods and software to protect the entire network. There are five stages in cybersecurity, which are briefly explained below.
In this stage, all the assets of the organization’s supply chain are identified and invented. Such assets include hardware, software, and data stored in the network. It helps to decide which assets you should protect and from what kind of supply chain attacks.
It is the next stage, where the supply chain security controls are placed to secure the identified assets of the organization. It includes firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption.
In the detection stage, the company’s supply chain network is monitored round the clock to secure the identified assets. Here, the security monitoring software looks for signs of cyber-attacks like unusual network traffic, suspicious user activity, and other security incident indicators.
It is impossible to eliminate supply chain incidents. Therefore, every organization should have an incident response plan in place. When a supply chain attack takes place, the response plan should be activated immediately. The response actions may include isolating affected devices, containing the spread, and eliminating the threat.
It is the final stage in cyber security management. In this phase, the organization tries to restore business operations like before the supply chain attack. Some important steps in this process include restoring the recent data, rebuilding the damaged systems, and securing the network. The security controls are frequently reviewed and updated to prevent similar incidents in the future.
These basic steps are involved in cyber security management. However, it is not essential that these phases are to be linear. The organizations may execute individual steps based on the requirement and upcoming cyber threats.
NIST Cyber Security Framework
The NIST is otherwise known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It is a cyber security framework that is comprised of guidelines and best practices to help organizations minimize cybersecurity risks.
The NIST framework involves a flexible and repeatable process for organizations to identify, assess and prioritize their cybersecurity threats. Also, it is suitable for all businesses irrespective of their size and process. Therefore, organizations can apply the NIST framework according to their needs and requirements.
In 2022, the National Institute of Standards and Technology updated its SCRM guidelines titled “Software Supply Chain Security Guidance.” The major takeaway from the latest update is that companies should not only consider the safety of finished goods but also consider that of the individual components. It also encourages the automation of risk management.
This update came in response to the expanding threat landscape, such as cyber-attacks and increased shifting towards cloud-based storage and services. The NIST SCRM framework provides a systematic guideline upon which the organizations are advised to tailor their own supply chain security process. It includes identifying the vulnerabilities, analyzing the possible impact, and executing the response plan to mitigate the impact.
It extensively covers the topics like cloud-based services, third-party software libraries, and SaaS (software as a service). Most of all, it does not have a ‘one size fits all’ approach instead leads the organization to create its framework. Also, companies are expected to automate their supply chain security so that the entire process is secured without disruptions caused by cyber-attacks and data breaches.
What is Supply Chain Management?
Supply Chain Management is also known as SCM. As the name implies, SCM manages the supply of goods, services, and information from the provider to the customer.
This process includes all the operations, like sourcing raw materials, product manufacturing, and customer delivery. SCM includes all the aspects of a supply chain, such as logistics, transportation, warehousing, and inventory management. An efficient supply chain management helps to reduce the cyber-attacks through well-defined framework and security systems in place.
Relation between Cyber Security and Supply Chain Management
Cybersecurity and supply chain management are coupled, as one cannot sustain without the other. Organizations depend on third-party vendors for their technology, components, or services. A typical supply chain includes product purchase, development, and delivery of goods and services, which increasingly use technology for processing.
Technological development also attracts more cyber threats that target companies’ sensitive data. It could result in threats like data breaches, loss of intellectual property, network shutdown, and more, which has adverse effects on the organization.
Therefore, it is essential to have a strong cyber supply chain security in place to identify the virtual assets, monitor for unusual activities, spot vulnerabilities, and take preventive measures or execute an incident response plan. Integrating cyber security with supply chain management helps reduce cyber-attack chances, thus enhancing business development.
Supply Chain Attack: What It Is and How Does It Work?
A supply chain attack is a type of cyberattack that targets the various components of an organization’s supply chain, including suppliers, vendors, and other third-party partners. A supply chain attack aims to gain access to sensitive information or systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in these third-party components. Here is how the process typically works:
Initial Entry Point
The attacker will typically look for an entry point to exploit the vulnerability found into the supply chain. It could be a software product or a hardware device with a known vulnerability or an employee at a supplier or vendor vulnerable to phishing or social engineering attacks.
Once the attacker has found a vulnerability, they will exploit it to gain access to the systems and data of the targeted organization. For example, they may insert malicious software into a product distributed as part of the supply chain or trick an employee into revealing their login credentials through phishing fraud.
Once the attacker has gained access to the systems and data of the targeted organization, they will use this access to spread their malware or gain access to other systems and data. It can involve installing additional malware, exfiltration of sensitive information, or disrupting operations.
The attacker will typically work to hide their activities and maintain their access to the systems and data of the targeted organization. It could involve using encrypted communication channels, using legitimate tools and processes to avoid detection, or deploying other techniques to avoid being detected by security tools and systems.
The impact of a supply chain attack can vary depending on the attacker’s goals and the attack’s specifics. Still, it can range from the theft of sensitive information to the disruption of operations and systems.
What is Supply Chain Risk Management?
Supply chain risk management is an approach to reducing the impact of external threats on the organization’s supply chain, eliminating disruptions in production, delivery, and availability of goods and services. The organization collaborates with several partners, associates, and vendors to accomplish regular business operations.
For example, a manufacturing company will collaborate with logistics vendors to transport its goods across several locations. With the increase in third-party vendors, the risk against supply chain management tends to increase. Here comes the need for risk management in supply chain security.
Supply chain risk management involves four steps,
- To identify potential supply chain threats.
- To assess the possibility and effect of these threats to the business operations.
- To implement the counteractive measures that minimize the potential risks.
- To have a continuous monitoring system and review process that prevents future attacks.
Organizations should communicate better in the supply chain, including suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. Supply chain risk management relies on preventive and proactive measures where regular monitoring helps eliminate upcoming threats. In contrast, a response plan helps mitigate the present threat’s impact.
What is Supply Chain Security?
In simple terms, supply chain security is the measures and practices implemented to secure the integrity and security of an organization’s supply chain framework. The security features start from initial acquisition of raw materials to the delivery of completed products to the consumers.
Supply chain security is increasingly important for companies to protect their brand reputation, comply with regulations, and maintain customer trust.
There are two types of security for supply chain security based on the threats that affect the flow of goods and services.
Physical security includes securing the organization’s physical assets, like warehouses, vehicles, and goods. Therefore, it emphasizes substantial security measures like lock systems, surveillance cameras, and workforce security services.
As the name implies, cyber security includes securing the organization’s virtual assets, like information systems, devices, and networks, from cyber-attacks. Since companies increasingly rely on online transactions, the demand for cyber security keeps increasing.
Supply Chain Management Vs. Supply Chain Security
Supply chain management refers to managing the organization’s overall activities, from production to the delivery of products or services. It includes planning, designing, executing, and monitoring the supply chain structure.
At the same time, supply chain security is a part of supply chain management that helps to ensure the security of the supply from threats like theft, counterfeiting, cyberattacks, and natural disasters. The objective of supply chain security is to reduce the risk of supply chain disruption to ensure seamless business operation.
Even though supply chain management and security have different goals, they are both essential for a successful business. The former aims for the continuous flow of goods and services to meet the demands, and the latter aims to mitigate the risk of disruption and losses.
Understanding The Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management
Let us understand supply chain risk management and its importance in business. Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management or C-SCRM is the process used to mitigate the risks faced by organizations while using third-party technologies, components, software, or services.
In recent years, hackers have been looking for their weak third-party vendors to enter into the target network instead of targeting larger companies. It is much easier to breach the small firms rather than directly attack the hard security of big firms.
The increased reliance on technology has made the supply chain structure an easy target for cybercriminals. The companies should assess the risk management of their third-party vendors to reduce such cyber-attacks or breaches.
Ensure your partners or associates have sound security practices, infrastructure, and effective incident response plans. Instead of implementing supply chain security as an additional feature, the companies should make it an integral part of the development process. This method suits IT and non-IT companies requiring safe and secured supply chain management.
Even though all companies need C-SCRM as part of their cyber security framework, it is crucial for companies that deal with more sensitive information like finance, healthcare, and government sectors.
Why Do We Need Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management?
Cyber supply chain attacks have been a growing concern recently as attackers increasingly target organizations through their suppliers, vendors, and other third-party partners.
The statistics show that these attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent, that they can significantly influence organizations, and that many organizations are not adequately protecting themselves against these attacks.
According to a 2019 report, 61% of organizations had experienced a supply chain attack in the previous 12 months. As per Kaspersky report, in 2020, there were 28% MSPs managed service providers suffered from a supply chain attack.. A report from Symantec found that supply chain attacks had increased by 40% in the previous year.
The impact of a supply chain attack can be significant, ranging from the theft of sensitive information to the disruption of operations and systems. A study from Trend Micro found that 70% of organizations that had suffered a supply chain attack in the previous two years had suffered a data breach.
As per the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) found that many organizations are not adequately protecting their supply chains, with most organizations relying on traditional cybersecurity measures like firewalls and antivirus software. A report from Kaspersky found that the most common attack vector for supply chain attacks was the insertion of malicious code into software products.
Supply chain attacks can target organizations in any industry, but some industries are more vulnerable than others are. A Trend Micro report shows that technology, financial services, and healthcare organizations were particularly vulnerable to supply chain attacks.
Organizations must secure their supply chains and protect themselves against these threats, including implementing robust cybersecurity measures and conducting regular risk assessments of their suppliers and vendors.
The Benefits of C-SCRM
There are several benefits to integrating cyber supply chain risk management with regular business operations. Some of the important benefits are explained below.
The C-SCRM helps reduce the possibility of cyber-attacks by identifying and eliminating potential threats. In turn, it improves the security strength of the organization’s supply chain.
Implementing a supply chain security framework also assists in meeting regulatory compliance for the organization. Therefore, the companies could reach industrial standards, thus eliminating the incidents of lawsuits or fines for regulatory violations.
Increase in Efficiency
Security-integrated business operation automatically improves the efficiency of the process by reducing security threats and related expenses. No cyber incident means no recovery cost incurred and no shutdown time, which results in more productivity.
Trustworthy customers are indispensable for any business’s expansion. An organization with a clean security record gains more reputation among the customers, partners, and stakeholders, which leads to business development.
Improved Risk Management
The C-SCRM is not a one-time process but a continuous cycle. It continuously monitors and assesses the cyber threats in the supply chain so that the organizations can mitigate the risk and improve the supply chain security.
Steps to Implement Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management
Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management aims to protect the organization’s virtual assets from cyber-attacks through third-party vendors and technology components. Such a framework can be merged with your business process with a few simple steps. They are briefed below,
Identify The Supply Chain
The first step in implementing the C-SCRM is to map the virtual assets and third-party technology to be secured from cyber threats. It may include components, third-party software, sensitive user data, intellectual property, or technological services. Prioritize those assets based on the possible degree of threat.
Assess The Risks
Before implementing any security measures, assessing the available security measures and potential third-party vulnerabilities is essential. Therefore, risk assessment helps determine the risk level and plan security accordingly.
Develop A Risk Mitigation Plan
The next step is to develop a well-crafted risk mitigation plan based on the earlier risk assessment. The vulnerability data helps to prioritize the security measures and to prevent spending money on security measures. The right risk mitigation plan gives maximum results with the optimal budget.
Implement Security Controls
The most crucial part of supply chain risk management is implementing technical and organizational control in business operations. Some effective security controls include data encryption, the least privilege policy, incident management, and more.
Monitor The Supply Chain
The supply chain security should be backed by a continuous monitoring system that checks over the third-party vendors and technologies. It helps to detect the threats at an earlier stage so that preventive measures are taken to contain the threat. Therefore, organizations can meet industry security standards.
Review and Update
Since C-SCRM is a cycling process, it frequently reviews the present security framework and updates patches to the latest security threats. Cybersecurity is a dynamic area where the attacking techniques change day by day. So, it is crucial to stay updated with the latest cyber threats.
Engage With Vendors
Apart from the organization’s measures, the vendors should cooperate to manage the supply chain risk. It is the responsibility of the companies to check their vendor’s security practices and regularly review and assess their security structure.
These steps help you to have effective supply chain risk management in place to protect your virtual assets, thus saving your reputation among customers and associates.
Various Cyber Threats That Affect The Supply Chain Management
As more companies rely on technology and digital systems in supply chain management, the cybersecurity risk is also increasing. Some of the common cyber threats that affect supply chain management are,
It is an attack in which the hackers use disguised identities to breach the company’s network. Email is one of the most common means of executing phishing attacks.
Here, attackers send emails with malicious attachments by pretending to be legitimate or official communication emails. It targets the employees in the supply chain to compromise sensitive information like user names, passwords, and financial information.
Malware attacks involve malicious software that infects computers and systems, compromising the database and networks. Such attacks are carried through software downloads from unknown sources, fake websites, malicious email attachments, infected USB devices, and more.
Furthermore, the hackers would encrypt the critical data and demand in return for the access key. The main objective of such an attack is to steal sensitive data, disrupt business operations and harm the company’s network. The malware attacks include viruses, spyware, and ransomware.
As the name implies, the organization’s insiders cause these threats. The employees or third-party vendors having access to sensitive information and the company’s network could misuse their authority to sabotage the business operations. In addition, the insiders may try to steal critical information, intellectual property, and trade secrets to their benefit or to sell on the dark web.
Third-Party Security Risks
Many organizations depend on third-party vendors for their business needs, like logistics, transportation, and warehousing.
Data breach and cyberattack risk increase when these vendors or associates do not have strong security practices. Therefore, if the attackers want to target a particular company, they could attack a weak vendor’s network to get into the primary target’s network.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)
Advanced persistent threats are otherwise known as long-term threats. Here, the attackers breach the network and stay concealed for several weeks to months.
Organized cybercriminals usually carry out these attacks as it requires more expertise to execute such cyber strikes. The IT teams find it hard to identify such threats as they are specially designed to hide inside the network. Since these threats persist for longer, it severely influences the organization.
IoT Security Risks
IoT devices are playing a huge role in supply chain management. It includes wireless sensors, tracking devices, software, computer devices, smart security systems, and more.
The criminals may try to hack IoT devices to access the organization’s network. Therefore, when these devices are not secured properly, it leads to cyberattacks and network breaches, disrupting the business’s supply chain.
Cryptojacking is a cyberattack in which hackers use the victim’s devices to mine cryptocurrencies. Even though it does not target user data, it drastically reduces the system’s efficiency. It is because crypto mining requires more processing speed which consumes more power. Implying this in the supply chain case, if the hacker uses the supply chain devices to mine cryptocurrencies, it will disrupt the entire supply chain network.
It is a type of attack in which hackers utilize various social engineering methods to identify the credentials of high-profile employees of the organization. For example, the hackers may follow any employee on social media and send fake emails to manipulate the staff into exposing sensitive information like login credentials.
This way, the hackers could easily enter the company’s network without needing hardcore coding or hijacking techniques. As it is easy to execute, it is one of the most common cyberattacks.
A data breach is said to occur when hackers have stolen critical information about the company or leaked it by accident.
In the first case, the attackers utilize the organization’s vulnerabilities to extract sensitive data to demand ransom or sell it online.
In the second case, the data could be exposed by the employees’ carelessness in handling data. In both cases, the impact of the data breach is the same, which could result in the exposure of personal information, financial information, and trade secrets.
DDoS attack is otherwise known as Distributed Denial of Service attack. In this attack, the hackers use bots to create fake traffic to overwhelm a network or website, making it unavailable to users.
This attack is mainly carried out to block the network traffic, affecting normal business operations and leading to financial loss.
Cloud Security Risks
As more companies move towards digital transformation for their supply chain management, the demand for cloud computing has increased. With the surge in IoT devices, application software, websites, and user interfaces, cloud infrastructures are becoming indispensable to supply chain management.
Even though they are highly useful, they are not free from vulnerabilities like unauthorized access, misconfiguration, and other cyber threats.
The accidental exposure of sensitive information is common news in the business.
Here, the simple mistakes of the employees can expose sensitive data like user information, financial transactions, or business details. For example, if a design engineer misconfigures the company’s database, it could expose vital information to the common user, which is highly risky.
The staff could also accidentally share critical information to a wrong mail-id. These are some common data breaches that occur due to accidents. Even though it occurs unknowingly, the impact is the same as the cyberattack.
Organizations can prevent or mitigate these vulnerabilities by placing effective cybersecurity measures like software patches, employee awareness, security audits, least privilege policy, multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and more.
Case Studies on Supply Chain Breaches
Some of the important examples of supply chain attacks are explained below
Solarwinds Supply Chain Attack
In December 2020, the US state department discovered that attackers had inserted malicious code into a software update of the SolarWinds Orion platform, distributed to thousands of organizations worldwide.
The malware allowed the attackers to access sensitive information and systems, potentially affecting a wide range of organizations, including government agencies, technology companies, and critical infrastructure providers.
The attackers could stay undetected for months, and the full scope of the breach is still being uncovered. This incident highlights the importance of securing the software supply chain. Also, the need for organizations to continuously monitor and update their security measures to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Accellion Supply Chain Attack
In late December 2021, a group of hackers compromised the Accellion File Transfer Appliance (FTA) product, a file-sharing tool used by many organizations. The attackers exploited vulnerabilities in the FTA software and were able to steal sensitive information from the organization, including sensitive financial and legal documents.
It affected several high-profile organizations, including government agencies, universities, and corporations. Accellion issued patches to fix the vulnerabilities and advised its customers to upgrade to a newer version of the FTA product.
Codecov Supply Chain Attack
In April 2021, the attackers compromised the software development tool called Codecov, a popular code coverage tool used by many organizations.
The attackers could inject malicious code into Codecov’s Bash Uploader script, which was used by organizations to upload code coverage data to Codecov’s servers. The attackers then tampered with the script to extract sensitive data such as environment variables, keys, and tokens from the client’s integrated database.
The attack affected thousands of customers, including some high-profile organizations, potentially exposing sensitive information and systems to the attackers. It emphasizes the need for a secure software development process.
Microsoft Exchange Server Supply Chain Attack
In March 2021, a group of hackers exploited multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server.
The attackers exploited the vulnerabilities in the organization server using Microsoft Exchange, giving them access to email communications and other sensitive information.
Microsoft issued patches and advice for affected customers, but many organizations were slow to apply the fixes, resulting in continued harm. This attack reminds the importance of frequent patch updates to your third-party software.
WordPress Supply Chain Attack
In 2021, the attackers targeted the popular content management system (CMS), WordPress. It involved compromising a third-party plugin called “wp-live-chat-support,” which was widely used by WordPress websites.
The attackers added malicious code to the plugin, which allowed them to gain unauthorized access to the websites using the plugin and steal sensitive information.
The attack was widespread and affected thousands of WordPress websites. To mitigate the risk, WordPress advised its users to update their websites to the latest version and delete the compromised plugin.
Challenges In Implementing Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management
Implementing Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management (CSCRM) can be a complex and challenging process, requiring organizations to balance security with the demands of their business operations. Some of the key challenges in implementing CSCRM include,
Lack of Visibility
Organizations often have limited visibility into their supply chain partners’ products, services, and processes, making it difficult to assess the potential risks they pose.
Complex Supply Chains
The global supply chain has become increasingly complex, making it difficult for organizations to track and manage the risks posed by their suppliers, vendors, and partners.
Implementing CSCRM can be expensive, requiring organizations to invest in tools, personnel, and processes. Organizations may be reluctant to allocate the necessary resources to CSCRM if they do not see it as a priority.
Resistance From Suppliers
Suppliers may resist providing information or implementing security measures, as it can add cost and complexity to their operations.
Organizations may struggle with the technical aspects of CSCRM, such as assessing the security of third-party components and implementing secure communication protocols.
Changing Threat Landscape
The threat landscape is constantly evolving, making it difficult for organizations to keep up with the latest risks and vulnerabilities.
Organizations must overcome these challenges to effectively implement CSCRM, as the risks posed by the supply chain are only growing.
Top 15 Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management Best Practices
It is essential to conduct regular assessments of the potential risks in the supply chain framework. That is, you should be aware of the security management of your third-party vendors to battle against cybersecurity threats.
You can also have a cyber-standard so that it becomes easy to adhere to it in the agreement with the vendor. Following a common security standard enhances the efficiency of the cybersecurity framework in your supply chain.
Strong Communication Channels
Have strong communication with your partners and associates in business. Stronger communication helps identify the threats in the initial phase and share the security information with the vendors in the supply chain.
Lack of communication leads to inefficiency in handling the cyber risks in supply chain management.
Even though it is impossible to eliminate all the cyber threats from the picture, an effective response plan helps mitigate the cyberattack’s impact.
Delays in executing the proactive preventing measures could disrupt business operations. Most of all, it has a devastating effect on the company’s reputation.
The response plan may include having backup suppliers, options for alternative sources, and quick responses to threats. So, it is crucial to have a proper response plan in place.
Data backup plays a vital role in C-SCRM. Almost all cyberattacks are targeted to steal or leak sensitive data. The absence of such data will have a direct impact on the business operation of the company.
So, the companies should have their data backup process so that the breached data can be stored and operations are resumed as soon as possible.
Utilize Latest Technologies
Adopting the latest technologies for better supply chain management is always smart. Revolutionizing technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), Blockchain, ML (Machine Learning), and Big Data help enhance the supply chain’s efficiency, visibility, and transparency.
Thus, these technologies automate business operations so that any loopholes in the supply chain can be spotted easily.
Nowadays, businesses are impossible without systems, software, and applications to back them up. With the tech comes the threats. They require regular updates to be safe from the latest cyber threats.
Therefore, apart from updating your network, it is also essential to ensure that the suppliers update their software and system regularly to protect against known threats.
Employees’ awareness plays a huge role in fighting against cyberattacks.
In business, nothing is more dangerous than an ignorant employee without cybersecurity knowledge. So, it is the responsibility of the companies to educate their staff regarding the cyber threat prevention and mitigation process. It not only helps to prevent accidental data breaches but also to spot the threats in the primary phase.
Consult with your stakeholders before developing an SCRM framework. It is hard to create an effective risk management policy without understanding the needs of the stakeholders.
For instance, the customers, regulators, service providers, and vendors are the potential stakeholders whose requirements and concerns are important for the business.
As we all know, cybersecurity is not a one time process. It requires undivided attention and active measures to prevent threats. Therefore, companies should have a continuous surveillance system to monitor the supply chain and identify unusual activities. It helps to find out the vulnerabilities and fix them immediately.
As the name implies, the multi-factor authentication framework consists of multiple security features before allowing anyone to access critical data. It may include user ID, password, OTP (one-time password), security questions, and more.
Such authentication prevents hackers from getting illegal access to the company’s network.
It is the most essential and effective method in securing the organization’s sensitive data, both online and offline. In this method, the companies can encrypt their data into ciphertext by using the encryption key.
Therefore, even if the hackers manage to steal the data, they cannot decode the data without the respective decryption key. Hence, it prevents hackers from selling or using the data for malicious activities.
Regular Review and Reporting
Apart from implementing cyber risk management, it is the company’s responsibility to regularly audit to understand the present state of the security measures. It helps to improve the SCRM processes to stay ahead of the upcoming risks and volatile market conditions.
A penetration test involves conducting a fake cyberattack on the company’s network to identify the vulnerabilities in the system and take remedial measures. It also helps to check the employees’ alertness against a cyberattack and the time taken to execute the response plan. Generating a report on the penetration test is handy for future reference to cyber threats.
Depending on one or two vendors for the entire business process have adverse effects on risk management. Your business will be at stake if that one is affected by any threats or vulnerabilities. So, it is vital to have multiple vendors on the table, to run a smooth business operation without disruption. When one vendor leaves the business, the other comes to the rescue.
First, you should conduct a thorough background verification before selecting the vendors or associates for your business. An unsafe vendor is a high risk your business can afford. Therefore, verify the security and trustworthiness of the suppliers and their employees, which includes background checks and reference checks.
How to Implement C-SCRM Strategies in Your Business?
In this digital era, most of the companies are dependent on their vendors for the production and distribution of goods and services. Even though the organizations are aware of the cyber supply chain risk management, they are usually hung up on where to start. Here, we give an easy way to start your process.
Assess Your Supply Chain
In this step, you must map your supply chain to identify the critical resources and cyber risks. Prioritize the risks based on their importance in the business and determine which component needs more attention.
Develop A Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management Policy
Create a policy to implement cybersecurity measures in supply chain management. Utilize the available risk assessment report to craft a C-SCRM policy that elaborates the purpose, roles and responsibilities, and methods to manage supply risks.
It should also define the criteria for selecting the vendors and the procedure to evaluate their risks. More of all, the policy should provide solutions to mitigate the risk associated with the supply chain. Without a proper risk management framework, your cybersecurity efforts may fail.
Execute The C-SCRM Strategies
It is an important step in the risk management process as it deals with the supply chain for real. So, ensure a well-defined program to assess, monitor, and communicate with your suppliers.
It should also include a system for reporting and tracking incidents and an effective incident response plan. Instead of making cybersecurity a separate process, merge the security practices with the supply chain operations for efficient risk management.
Evaluation and Continual Improvement
Cybersecurity is a continuous process that evolves along with the evolution of threats and vulnerabilities posed by cybercriminals.
So, it is essential to evaluate the C-SCRM framework and make necessary changes frequently. Conduct regular risk assessments and monitor supplier performance to update risk management policies and procedures.
Therefore, regular evaluation and improvement prevent your security measures from becoming obsolete.
Invest in Technologies
With the increasing threat landscape, it is crucial to have a cybersecurity system backed by the latest technologies. Use technologies like AI (artificial intelligence) and big data to automate the C-SCRM strategies.
These technologies help analyze huge volumes of data to monitor network activities and identify security threats, which humans can do. It saves much time and improves the efficiency of your business.
Collaborate With Industry Partners
It is important to collaborate with your industry partners so that you can stay updated with the latest security threats to your industry and relevant security measures. Cooperation is important in the battle against supply chain risks.
Future of Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management
The future of Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) is likely to see significant advancements and changes in response to the evolving threat landscape. Here are some of the key trends and developments that are likely to shape the future of SCRM:
Increased Focus on Third-Party Risk Management
Organizations will increasingly focus on managing the risks associated with their third-party suppliers and partners. It will require implementing more robust and comprehensive SCRM programs to identify, assess, and mitigate the risks associated with these relationships.
Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies will play a greater role in the future of SCRM.
AI and ML can automate many of the manual processes involved in SCRM, such as risk assessments and continuous monitoring, and provide more accurate and real-time insights into supply chain risks.
Greater Use of Blockchain
Blockchain technology has the potential to improve supply chain transparency and security significantly. By providing a secure and tamper-proof record of all transactions and interactions between organizations, Blockchain can help to reduce the risks associated with the supply chain and ensure that only trusted partners are included.
As organizations become more aware of the importance of SCRM, governments are likely to implement regulations and standards to help organizations manage the risks associated with their supply chain. It will include risk assessment, supplier selection, and incident response guidelines.
Development of New Technologies and Solutions
The SCRM landscape will likely evolve and change in response to new threats and vulnerabilities. It will require organizations to continuously assess their SCRM programs and make changes as needed to keep pace with the evolving threat landscape.
The future of SCRM will likely see an increased focus on third-party risk management, greater use of AI and ML, greater use of blockchain, increased regulation, and the development of new technologies and solutions.
Organizations that are proactive in adapting to these changes will be better positioned to manage the risks associated with their supply chain and ensure the overall security of their operations. In conclusion, the organizations that adopt these strategies have a better chance of developing their business and staying ahead of their competitors.