Manufacturers and others in wholesale/distribution/logistics arena have seen evidence that supply chains are becoming a prime target for hackers. In fact, experts predict that by 2025, almost half of worldwide organizations will have been attacked through their software supply chains — an increase of more than 300% since 2021.
As with many hacking attempts, attacks aimed at supply chain entities focus on unencrypted data moving between companies as well as unsecured connections. A complicating factor is the limited understanding of cybersecurity best practices, as well as lack of control over data and its access. Fortunately, the fact that these vectors are rather common means that the same cybersecurity principles and strategies used to protect your wider IT infrastructure can be adopted and applied to your supply chain technology.
The Search for Better Supply Chain Cybersecurity — Best Practices to Apply Now
With supply chains and the businesses they serve becoming more global — and infinitely more complex — there are many more vulnerabilities and weaknesses available for exploitation by cyber criminals. There are both internal and external threats to consider. For example, an attack could be directed at a production facility by impacting operational technology to effect a plant shut down. Or access can be gained through a third-party vendor, allowing hackers to make their way into your infrastructure — and your data. To manage your risks, consider the following:
DevOps refers to the method of combining processes and technologies to help developers coordinate more closely with the operational teams they serve. In a supply chain setting, DevOps is used to test, integrate, deliver, and validate necessary code continuously in a pre-production setting. DevOps is by nature fast paced and continually developing, which makes it a challenge for security managers. However, for improved security posture, security managers are including cybersecurity strategies in the planning and design stages of the DevOps cycle to catch weaknesses and vulnerabilities earlier in the code development process.
Share Responsibility Across Platforms
Everyone in your supply chain, including software developers, hardware providers, and third-party partners must share in the responsibility for data security. There must be interface with your cybersecurity team and your security managers must be able to mobilize quickly in the presence of a threat. Security testing and control should be performed on a regular basis to ensure all applications are still secure and to promote transparency of your security posture.
Invest in Continual Monitoring
Importantly, cybersecurity is not a “set it and forget it” type of strategy. As the threat landscape expands and evolves, so must your cybersecurity strategies. Many in-house IT teams are overburdened by day-to-day activities and fall short of the constant vigilance required to keep hardware, software, and networks secured. Routine maintenance — including updates and security patches — should be performed as required. But it is also important to include remote monitoring for suspicious activities as well as monitoring of vendor systems to ensure that they have the appropriate safeguards in place. Partnering with a competent — and secure — third party managed services provider (MSP) can help take the burden off in-house staff. In addition, a partnership with a company that targets cybersecurity can help you gain access to high level talent and knowledge that an in-house team just can’t match.
Blue Technologies: Your Cybersecurity Experts
In today’s increasingly disruptive and complex marketplace, it is difficult to manage all aspects of a manufacturing organization, which is why cybersecurity oversight sometimes falls to the wayside. However, letting your security stance weaken is a bad idea, as there are any number of bad actors standing by to take advantage of these lapses.
At Blue Technologies, we hire only the highest level talent to work on our Managed IT team. Our team members are up to date with the latest security protocols and fully understand the current — and evolving — threat landscapes. As such, we have the latest technologies and expertise that we can apply to your IT infrastructure to help keep your data — and your business — secured.
Don’t let a supply chain weakness allow cyber criminals access to your data! Contact a Blue Technologies consultant to explore how our cybersecurity experts can help safeguard your infrastructure today.