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Supply chain and Cyber Security risks

The cybersecurity risks associated with a supply chain have never been more prominent, as cybercriminals are regularly targeting third party entities involved in a supply chain as a means of gaining direct access to organisations.

With growing public awareness of threats, attackers have become increasingly more complex and in this technology-led day and age, they are armed with a wide variety of resources and tools at their disposal to successfully infiltrate your company’s supply chain. 

As the very nature of a supply chain is large, complex and involves a number of departments liaising to exchange sensitive information, there’s a critical need to ensure each segment of the supply chain is well aware of the risks cybersecurity could impose. Keep reading this post as we discuss the findings from a recent cybersecurity risk survey, and how business owners can maintain the necessary level of control and security over their supply chain to prevent cyber attacks from occurring in the future.

Risk Factory’s Supply Chain Survey

Supply chains present a weak link for security concerns because most organisations of such a large scale can’t always control the security measures taken by third-party partners. Ashley Page has recently joined forces with leading cyber risk management company, Risk Factory, to give our readers an insight into the findings of their latest supply chain survey – where 75 risk management professionals employed in the UK were asked a number of questions regarding their organisations’ approach to cybersecurity risks in the supply chain. 

Out of the participants, just 70% reported that their organisations have provided their employees with supply chain risk awareness training. Whilst that may seem like a substantial figure, that also leaves 30% of employees liable to the risk of not recognising common cybersecurity concerns. Keep reading below as we address some of the most common cybersecurity threats to a supply chain and how companies can put procedures in place in an attempt to prevent them from happening.

Common Types of Supply Chain Security Risks

Third-Party Software Providers

In the normal course of a supply chain, business owners naturally have a number of different vendors and software providers across their supply chain – each performing different tasks, unfortunately, some third party softwares don’t necessarily have your companies best interests at heart. Whilst they may appear harmless, third party software can manipulate your companies vulnerabilities and exploit your whole supply chain, to gain access to confidential data. Supply chains must carry out thorough due diligence before hiring third party providers and consider testing the networks and systems to ensure the providers didn’t set weak passwords or easily penetrable accounts. At Ashley Page, as part of our cyber risk management solution, we offer business owners security penetration testing, as well as vulnerability scanning – to make sure your software services and confidential supply chain data is watertight.

Website Builders

Cyber attackers in the form of malicious website builders may use a supplier’s website to host dangerous malware. As cybersecurity continues to become an evolving challenge for website designers and developers, hackers can exploit a designer’s vulnerabilities and send code to an unsuspecting user. Once an account visits the site, these malicious, planted codes can gain access to sensitive information that is shared by the account with the website. This information can then be used to hijack or deface your supply chains website. Not only is a company’s own data at risk, if the flawed software is embedded into a product, it may also cause even more security problems down the line.

Ways to eliminate supply chain security risks

Further results from the Risk Factory survey, suggest that although organisations across the UK take data security seriously – still, 24% of respondents identified 5 or more security incidents still occurred in their supply chain over the last year. This clearly illustrates the need to invest in cybersecurity risk management services to prevent such attacks from occurring so frequently. Here are a few ways supply chain businesses can take steps to eliminate the risk of cybersecurity attacks.

  1. Conduct a cyber-risk assessment of your supply chain

At Ashley Page, we can help business owners conduct a cyber-risk assessment of their supply chain by helping and supporting you to reduce the likelihood of a cyber-related incident. Our Cyber+Insure can provide services such as security vulnerability scanning and security penetration testing, to ensure your current software services aren’t posing any current risks.

  1. Plan, and predict the impact of a successful attack

One of the ways to successfully avoid a cybersecurity attack is to assume that an attack is inevitable. This way of thinking shifts focus to help supply chains put practices and procedures in place in the event of an attack. Being prepared can help minimise any damage and can also give employees the chance to remain well versed and up to date with existing security policies. At Ashley Page, we specialise in straightforward cyber risk advice to help prevention, detection and response. 

  1. Train employees.

Taking the time to put all supply chain personnel through relevant cybersecurity training, especially the employees who have direct access to your sensitive data, helps supply chains create a first line of defence against security incidents. Ensuring staff are sufficiently trained and up to date with the latest cyber preventative measures also increases the chance of a security issue raised prematurely, before it becomes a much bigger issue – as the staff who have more consistent access to software will be able to flag up any discrepancies, whereas prior to training, they may not have noticed any signs.

At Ashley Page, we recognise the importance of protecting yourself against cyber attacks – and whilst you cannot protect yourself 100%, implementing a robust, top-level cyber risk management plan can help with protection, detection and prevention.

If you’re considering investing in a level of cybersecurity management, Ashley Page can offer a comprehensive security model that is individually designed to meet all your supply chain needs. Chat to our team of experts today for a free quote.

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