Technology influences commerce in such a major way and this is why emphasis is placed on the importance of cybersecurity. It’s specifically crucial in the supply chain industry as it’s a field that consists of networks of providers, vendors, transporters and managers. Potential threat from just one weak link is enough to put the entire “chain of custody” at risk.
Cybersecurity is every role player’s responsibility, regardless of which type of service is performed or which products you manufacture and transport. As technology begins to dominate both our personal and industrial lives, security of our networks, and personal & corporate data – it has become important to cement cybersecurity in several sectors.
Considering cybersecurity risks and making them a priority is important because what is really at jeopardy is not something that has a fixed, one-time value. Stock can be replaced and what is instead at stake is always something that your profitability is dependant on. It’s possible that you might lose crucial organizational and client data, intellectual property and trade secrets. It also happens in some instances that you attain blame and responsibility for damages if formal laws and guidelines state so.
The main aim when tightening security against cyber threats in the supply chain is to employ three tactics, namely, “Anticipate, Mitigate, Improve”. Here are a few pointers to follow when carrying out higher security standards.
Familiarize yourself with industry-specific regulations
The supply chain field has regulations that belong strictly to the industry, particularly when you operate in areas such as foods, beverages, medicine and vaccines, medical devices and other biotechnological & pharmaceutical interests. The integrity of the data linked with these goods is important to look after and that has seen cloud providers finding themselves bound by very strict guidelines. These regulations serve as a good basic benchmark for supply chain cybersecurity and may highlight a few threats you may have not been aware of.
Determine which vendors have access to your network
Being in business with multiple parties at the same time makes you vulnerable to certain types of risk, but, the most preventable remains to be unauthorized or unnecessary access to your network and assets. Vendors along with other role players in the supply chain usually share digital properties and access the same data. However, your supply chain cannot be protected against cybersecurity risks until you have figured out which parties have access, the level of their credentials and privileges. Unauthorized, malicious actors in your organization might have unsecured or unlimited privileges, a risk factor that has caused private enterprises to face financial losses over the years.
Create cross-functional roles and teams to oversee risk
There’s been a call for the creation of cross-organizational teams and specialists who know how to answer specific risks as they apply to each of your business partners and processes. For example, some role players within the supply chain might have a greater chance at coming across counterfeit products or might have stricter requirements for the onboarding of the new vendors and contractors. Your ability to respond to risk should it consistently be dispersed across your organization should be swift in the case that the worst takes place.
Be explicit about security requirements in your contracts
Proactive measures are very important and outlining your expectations as you enter into new business with new supply chain partners is the first step to take. Be specific in your use of language and rope in a lawyer to assist with legally binding documents in order to ensure your partners know exactly what is expected of them. They should be aware of what you anticipate when it comes to how they access and handle your data, with legal consequences should they fail to adhere to set expectations.
Monitor your technology providers and other partners
The best supply chain practices today still need old-fashioned checks and balances. This simply means that after setting expectations and guidelines, there needs to be a way that ensures that your third-party partners are following through by continually monitoring their performance. The end-goals of each monitoring solutions are:
- Maintaining awareness of emerging threats and vulnerabilities
- Establishing communication protocols between partners within the supply chain
- Analysing organizational risk on a sufficient-enough frequency to guard against new risks as they appear and to make changes as needed
- Proactively evaluating the likely effectiveness of your risk responses to new threats
- Evaluating recent changes, and proposing new ones, for physical and digital infrastructure
Each company is unique and has its own needs that might make the approach you pick a customized one. The point of it all, in the end, is to keep aware, knowledgeable and up-to-date with the wider world of cybersecurity.
Additionally, here are 4 Ways To Keep Your Assets Safe Along The Supply Chain.
Source: veridian solutions