In the world of manufacturing, distribution, shipping, and other related industries, supply chain risk management is a key operational goal. Focusing on supply chain risk management reduces the chances that a disruption will have a direct impact on a company's productivity — and profitability. It allows a company to maintain business continuity, either providing goods and services to other businesses or consumers, by reducing the possibility of errors, malicious incursions, and many other problematic issues.
The process of mitigating this risk has been a primary driver in digital transformation for procurement organizations and supply chain partners, especially since the global coronavirus pandemic has caused massive disruptions among supply pipelines. In fact, the Association for Supply Chain Management notes that risk prevention and resilience will combine to enable companies to pivot faster than competitors to reduce the impact of disruption in the future.
As noted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cyber supply chain risk management is not simply an IT issue. It touches on all aspects of the industry, including transportation security, vendor management, and continuity and quality.
Cyber Security Best Practices for Supply Chain Risk Management
There are many risks inherent in supply chain operations. Third-party partners with access to data, from janitorial staff to software-as-a-service providers, can pose an issue. Compromised IT components — either hardware or software — purchased from suppliers, software security vulnerabilities, counterfeit hardware or software, and more can all increase your organization’s risk of compromise or breach.
Typical best practices include:
- Ensure security requirements are outlined in detail in each contract and request for proposal.
- Appoint a security team to work with accepted vendor partners onsite to address security gaps and vulnerabilities.
- Establish a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to counterfeit vendor products or those not matching specifications
- Get the source code for all software you purchase
- Control all purchases of components and make sure they are from pre-approved vendors.
- Automate any testing and manufacturing processes to reduce the risk of human error or intervention.
- Ensure you can trace and track all systems, components, and parts to establish clear provenance.
- Provide legacy support for all platforms and products through the end of life, including assurance that authorized IP parts and components are used for replacement and repair.
- Limit access to software and hardware to authorized vendors.
- Ensure that cyber security is a part of every aspect of your operations — from the product development lifecycle through distribution.
One of the premier ways to ensure strong cybersecurity across all platforms is to partner with a competent Managed IT services provider.
Managed Service Providers — Your Partners for Strong Cyber Security
A managed services provider (MSP) that understands cybersecurity will assist you in developing even stronger protocols and strategies aimed at reducing your risk of data exposure and minimizing the chance of future disruption.
Experienced MSPs will ensure your legacy infrastructure is properly supported, and that any components added are thoroughly vetted, tested, and tracked. Remote and continual monitoring of systems and components results in an additional layer of security, as does routine maintenance and installation of updates and patches that correct vulnerabilities.
Importantly, partnering with an MSP will help you get access to the cyber security strategies you need at a cost that is predictable, making risk management not only effective, but also affordable.
Let Blue Technologies Help You Protect Your Supply Chain Today
Cyber security for supply chains is an ongoing concern as more cybercriminals take advantage of post-pandemic disruption to develop new ways of getting to sensitive data or causing additional disruption.
Fortunately, protecting your business continuity — and your sensitive data — can be easier and more cost effective with the help of a Managed IT partnership that emphasizes cyber security. At Blue Technologies, we ensure that you have access to leading-edge cyber security technologies and protocols to protect your legacy systems and build a stronger, more resilient infrastructure for the future.
Our team not only understands the importance of cyber security, but we also have targeted knowledge to help you maintain compliance with current regulatory requirements such as DFARS, ISO 27001, GLBA, NIST, PCI, SOC 2 TYPE 2, and many others.
Don’t take cyber security for granted. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and learn how our Managed IT services can help you manage risk cost-effectively.