• Chris Gevaux

Identifying The Most Common Cyber Supply Chain Risk Factors

A cyber supply chain is a complex series of interactions across the lifecycle of all products and services used by an organisation. Every time an organisation interacts with a supplier, manufacturer, distributor or retailer there is an inherent risk. As such, these businesses can affect the security of an organisation’s systems and their own products or services. If products or services access valuable systems, operate with privileged access or have control over a large portion of a cyber supply chain, they may represent a weakness that could be exploited by an adversary.


What is a cyber supply chain?

Like a traditional supply chain, the elements within a cyber supply chain can be integrated at different levels. Many different components and stakeholders are involved, which means that one failure could have a domino effect through the entire network. In addition, depending on the security of each part of the network, a supplier, manufacturer, distributor or retailer might actually be more secure than the network as a whole. In many organisations, critical business processes such as logging into websites or systems to make payments, or data centre access to run mission critical systems are maintained by third party contractors.


What are the risks to a cyber supply chain?

Lack of trust - Any business or person accessing a cyber supply chain is likely to have a vested interest in keeping its secrets and security mechanisms secret. Therefore, they may introduce software flaws that could be exploited by a malicious actor, and access sensitive data that could be used to exfiltrate money or sensitive data or access customer information for fraudulent purposes. - Any business or person accessing a cyber supply chain is likely to have a vested interest in keeping its secrets and security mechanisms secret. Therefore, they may introduce software flaws that could be exploited by a malicious actor, and access sensitive data that could be used to exfiltrate money or sensitive data or access customer information for fraudulent purposes.

How do organisations mitigate these risks?

Defining the risk The most common cyber supply chain risk is data theft or loss. This is very risky, as organisations could lose trade secrets, intellectual property, personal information or confidential business information if it is not secured. Therefore, security controls in place will need to protect against such issues. Protecting the supply chain from loss Because of the potential financial impact and reputation risk, many organisations will choose to dedicate a high proportion of their security resources to the management of data security. However, it is important to address the potential security threats across all aspects of the supply chain. This can be achieved through the implementation of security controls such as encryption, password management and identity monitoring.


Conclusion

Over the years, the role of information security has expanded, providing a new way for cybercriminals to conduct malicious activity and gain access to businesses and sensitive data. Businesses should never take the sanctity of their systems, data or customer information for granted. No organization can completely insulate itself from attack, and every business can do more to protect against cybercriminals, whose tactics are constantly evolving and will almost certainly find new ways to target enterprises.

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