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Bridging Physical and Cybersecurity for Supply Chain Management

Posted by Blue Technologies Ohio on Jul 14, 2022 9:00:00 AM

No business system has been hit harder by the ongoing pandemic than our supply chain. Challenges, including delays and further disruption, are continuing, especially as supply chain actors continue to adjust to a new way of doing business. And now that more workers are demanding remote or hybrid work environments, businesses are having to contend with new weaknesses and vulnerabilities in their security infrastructure — both digital and physical.

Hackers, ever aware of the advantages that disruptive events bring them, are using the continuing shift to remote and hybrid workspaces to gain access to sensitive data. In recent surveys, 57% of companies are noting that at least half of their staff are working from home at least twice per week. And 20% of businesses have experienced a breach that originated from a remote worker. Furthermore, remote breaches are more expensive to mitigate — and take longer to detect — than in-office cyberattacks, making them a greater danger to business continuity.

What is even more interesting are the methods hackers are leveraging to get their hands on supply chain data. Not only are they using typical digital hacking techniques, but they are also using vulnerabilities in physical security. This methodology, called a phygital attack, can be frighteningly effective. 

Managing Phygital Security for Your Business 

With cybercriminals evolving new ways of threatening data comes the issue of creating effective physical and cybersecurity for supply chain management. First, we’ll examine the impending vulnerabilities and then discuss ways to defend against cyberthreats.

How Phygital Attacks Occur

Phygital attacks are simple to deploy, and many hackers use a technique known as warshipping to conduct them. In warshipping, the cybercriminal sends a physical hacking device inside of a package or hides the device in someone’s clothing or backpack. The device then attaches itself through your wireless network or, in the case of plug-ins like a USB device, is activated when a curious employee plugs it in. Once inside your digital system, the device can download malware, ransomware, or other malicious software to gain access to your data and disrupt business operations.

What You Can Do 

Understanding that these combined physical/digital attacks can — and do — happen is the first step toward taking a stronger stance toward data security. Besides having high-level in-house IT talent to monitor digital security or partnering with a Managed IT services provider, your team or provider must secure the overlap between your digital and physical worlds. Several methods exist to cover most possible points of entry:

  • Use scanning devices to audit mailroom deliveries
  • Use access control methods to grant or deny entry to visitors, such as personnel scanners
  • Bolster network security by adding monitoring, both on-site and remote,  for physical intruders
  • Provide security devices for physical connections such as Ethernet and USB ports

To help employees get used to some of these extra layers of protection, consider conducting regular educational programs on warshipping and other cyberthreats. The threat landscape is continually evolving, and your staff needs to know the latest best practices for both cyber and physical security to stay protected. Vigilance is especially important if your company is using a hybrid or remote work model, which typically involves staff and visitors gaining access to on-site operations at irregular times.

Blue Technologies Can Provide Both Physical and Cybersecurity for Better Supply Chain Management — and Protection

Many Chief Security Officers (CSOs) are laser-focused on the cybersecurity aspect of keeping data safe, leaving physical security vulnerable. And some companies are functioning without the guidance of a CSO — or any in-house IT assistance, putting them at greater risk of cyberattack. 

At Blue Technologies, we not only have a Managed IT team that is up to date on evolving threats and emerging security technologies, but we have experts in both cybersecurity and physical security. Our team works together to develop a comprehensive security plan that can keep your assets protected from phygital attacks, as well as other security needs. With remote work and disruption both factors in our “new normal” business landscape, developing and deploying security protocols that take your entire environment into account is critical for better supply chain management, business continuity, and data protection. 

Get the most comprehensive security for your business. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and discover how our mix of physical and cybersecurity products and knowledge can keep your data safer.

Topics: Managed IT, #SupplyChain, #cybersecurity, Cyberattacks, cybersecurity in supply chain, warshipping, phygital

About Blue Technologies

Blue Technologies is an award-winning office technology solutions provider. Since 1995, we have offered office hardware, managed print services, document management, and IT solutions to businesses throughout the state of Ohio, becoming the region’s most reputable office technology provider in the process.

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