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How To Improve Supply Chain Security To Protect Your Business

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supply chain security

Is your supply chain security keeping you up at night?

You’re not alone.

With cyber threats rising and global supply chains becoming more complex, businesses are increasingly vulnerable to disruptions and breaches.

According to recent reports, over ten million people were affected by supply chain attacks that targeted 1,743 organizations.

If that doesn’t convince you to take a zero-trust approach to your supply chain security and implement stronger measures, you’re in for a bad time.

The good news is that this guide is here to help.

We’ll cover practical tips and proven strategies to help improve your supply chain security and strengthen protection for your business.

Let’s make your supply chain security airtight and keep your business thriving with the four tips below.

Supply Chain Security: What Is It?

Supply chain security is an important aspect of supply chain management, focused on managing risks across vendors, suppliers, transportation, and logistics.

When working with other supply chain entities, supply chain security aims to determine, analyze, and mitigate inherent risks.

Supply chain security includes cybersecurity relating to software and services and physical security for products.

Supply chains vary significantly depending on each group, with many organizations involved. It means that there is no set standard for best practices and guidelines.

The best way to develop a complete supply chain security strategy is to closely follow cyber defense and risk management principles.

You must also consider account protocols from government agencies, such as the customs regulations for international supply chains and the Department of Homeland Security.

4 Ways to strengthen your supply chain cybersecurity

While the supply chain involves physical components, we’ll focus on cybersecurity in this guide.

Check out the tips below to help you improve your supply chain security and fortify your company’s protection.

1. Secure your privileged access management

Many cyber attackers move laterally through your ecosystem after breaching your defenses to find privileged accounts.

Attackers commonly employ the Privileged Pathway attack to breach privileged accounts and access confidential resources.

Privileged Access Management (PAM)

One way of preventing this attack is to disrupt your attacker’s progression on this pathway by securing your Privileged Access Management (PAM).

A solid PAM framework can disrupt the attack trajectory, keeping breach attempts and, in turn, supply chain attacks from succeeding.

However, to strengthen your supply chain security, you must protect your PAM internally and externally.

External PAM

External PAM defenses are proactive approaches to prevent threats from getting injected into your supply chain ecosystem, including the following:

Staff education

Cyberattackers target employees to carry out code injections because staff can be tricked into giving hackers access to the ecosystem via phishing attacks.

Educate your staff about common cyberattack methods, such as social engineering, ransomware, and clickjacking attacks. It equips them to identify and report breach attempts instead of becoming victims.

Spot vendor data leaks

Deploy reliable third-party data leak detection solutions to promptly spot and remediate potential vendor data leaks. Doing so helps keep the attacks from becoming full-blown supply chain attacks.

Internal PAM

Internal PAM defenses are crucial since these add a layer of protection to your network if breach attempts slip past your external PAM defenses.

Internal PAM defenses can include the following strategies.

Identity Access Management (IAM) implementation

Manage multiple access privileged accounts in one interface to simplify keeping track of all privileged access. It helps ensure all your accounts are accounted for and reduce dormant account exposure risks.

Internal data encryption

Encrypt all your internal data with the Advanced Encryption Standard or AES algorithm. The encryption makes it hard for attackers to establish the backdoor necessary to exfiltrate data in a supply chain attack.

2. Deploy honeytokens

Honeytokens fake resources that pose as sensitive data and act like tripwires that alert your security team of suspicious activities in your network.

Attackers can see these decoy resources as valuable, sensitive assets.

A signal activates when attackers interact with a honeytoken, alerting your teams of attack attempts.

Honeytokens give your teams advanced warnings of potential data breaches and provide each breaching method’s details.

Your team can leverage this to isolate the targeted resources and implement your incident response measures to prevent the cyberattack methods from pushing through.

Honeytokens can even reveal your attackers’ identity and location if they don’t operate behind a firewall.

Implement honeytokens or work with vendors who use these as a measure to help keep your assets, business-critical data, and supply chain secure.

3. Initiate regular risk assessments of third parties

Vendors within your supply chain don’t always take cybersecurity as seriously as your business.

You must take proactive measures to ensure your supply chain is well-protected.

Initiate third-party risk assessments to disclose your vendors’ security posture, including existing vulnerabilities that need immediate remediation.

Ideally, use third-party risk assessments with a vendor security rating system to verify all risk assessment responses

4. Implement storing software and hardware measures

Effective cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

Do your part by implementing hardware and software measures. It helps protect your data and systems and keeps attackers out of your network, and, in turn, improves your supply chain security.

Leverage cyber threat intelligence tools to help protect endpoints such as your phones, computers, cameras, and other devices across your supply chain network.

Also, consider using Managed Cybersecurity Service Provider (MCSP) that offers cloud-based security.

MCSPs can help you identify vulnerabilities in your system and develop strategic actions and plans to address those weaknesses.

You can work with MCSP providers specializing in your specific industry or business.

Strengthen Your Supply Chain Security

Supply chain security is critical to business protection, and implementing the tips in this post can go a long way in improving your supply chain security.

Assess your vulnerabilities, establish clear security policies, utilize technology, and collaborate with your vendors and partners. Doing so can significantly reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions, data breaches, and other security incidents.

Remember, security is not a one-time fix but an ongoing effort that requires constant vigilance and adaptation to stay ahead of emerging threats.

Stay informed, be prepared, and keep your supply chain and business secure.