How To Secure Your Supply Chains Against Modern Attacks

National Supply Chain Day, which was recently observed on April 29, serves as a dedicated day to recognize the critical role supply chain networks play in our everyday lives.

A supply chain is the intricate network of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources that work together to transform raw materials from the supplier to the finished end product required by the customer.

Damage or disruption to supply chain operations could lead to uncontrolled costs, chaos within delivery schedules, and loss of intellectual property. As supply chains modernize, increased reliance on digital systems simultaneously raises surface risks of these chains to a variety of cyberattacks.

Securing Your Supply Chain

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Efforts at bolstering supply chain security require close collaboration and execution between involved parties, presenting its own set of challenges.

Regular Security Assessments

To assess supply chain risk and compliance, you need to evaluate existing security governance – including data privacy, third-party risk, and IT regulatory compliance needs and gaps – against business challenges, requirements, and objectives. Additionally, security training of involved personnel are necessary to meet regulatory standards and compliance.

Vulnerability Mitigation and Penetration Testing

Supply chain parties can identify basic security concerns by running comprehensive vulnerability scans. Fixing bad database configurations, poor password policies, eliminating default passwords, and securing endpoints and networks can immediately reduce risk with minimal impact on productivity or downtime. Employ penetration test specialists to attempt to find vulnerabilities in programs, IT infrastructure underlying the supply chain, and even people, through phishing simulation and red teaming.

Maintaining Awareness of Compromised Credentials

Maintaining awareness of compromised credentials is crucial for securing your supply chain. According to a report by Verizon, 80% of data breaches involve compromised credentials. In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline, a major fuel pipeline in the United States, fell victim to a ransomware attack that disrupted fuel supplies along the East Coast. The attack was facilitated by a single compromised credential, allowing the attackers to gain unauthorized access to the company’s systems and infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline attack serves as a stark reminder of the importance of implementing measures such as multi-factor authentication and regular credential monitoring to detect and mitigate potential security threats.

Secure Modernization of Supply Chain

It’s hard to secure data while relying on outdated technology. Solutions such as encryption, tokenization, data loss prevention, file access monitoring and alerting that make it convenient to bring security, reliability, and data governance to exchanges within the enterprise as well as with clients and trading partners. Additionally, supply chains parties can expect other involved parties to meet a certain security threshold while bringing along teams and partners for joint security awareness and training.

Data Identification and Encryption

Data protection programs and policies should include the use of discovery and classification tools to pinpoint databases and files that contain protected customer information, financial data, and proprietary records. Once data is located, using the latest standards and encryption policies protects data of all types, at rest and in motion – customer, financial, order, inventory, Internet of Things (IoT), health, and more. Incoming connections are validated, and file content is scrutinized in real time. Digital signatures, multifactor authentication, and session breaks offer additional controls when transacting over the internet.

Permissioned Controls for Data Exchange and Visibility

Supply chain networks can ensure secure and reliable information exchange between strategic partners through privilege- and role-based access. Identity and access management security practices are critical to securely share proprietary and sensitive data across a broad ecosystem.

Trust, Transparency, and Provenance

Supply chain partners can take steps to ensure proper transparency from multiple enterprises to track and provide accountability for the flow of data and materials from source to end customer or consumer.

Third-Party Risk Management

As connections and interdependencies between companies and third parties grow across the supply chain ecosystem, organizations need to expand their definition of vendor risk management to include end-to-end security. This allows companies to assess, improve, monitor, and manage risk throughout the life of the relationship.

Incident Response Planning and Orchestration

Supply chain partners can prepare by having a robust incident response plan for data breach, shutdown/ disruption events. You can share incident response expectations and plans while provide metrics and learnings your organization to aid in decision-making to prevent disruptions between parties.


Ultimately, a strong focus on supply chain security not only protects sensitive data and intellectual property but also safeguards against disruptions that can impact operations and customer trust. Embracing best practices, continuous monitoring, and adaptation to evolving threats are key strategies for staying ahead in today’s interconnected and dynamic supply chain landscape. By prioritizing security at every level, organizations can build resilience and confidence in their ability to navigate complex supply chain challenges securely.

Media Disclaimer: This report is based on internal and external research obtained through various means. The information provided is for reference purposes only, and users bear full responsibility for their reliance on it. The Cyber Express assumes no liability for the accuracy or consequences of using this information.

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