Defining your company's security requirements and having a cyber-risk management program to evaluate third-party services can reduce the risk of attacks on supply chain software.
Increasingly, hackers are using more sophisticated methods to attack companies' supply chain management software, ultimately disrupting operations and wreaking havoc on their networks.
Although there are steps organizations can take to minimize the damage caused by supply chain attacks, as well as to shore up defenses after attacks, the smartest option is to prevent these breaches from ever happening.
Cybersecurity best practices
"Today's enterprise must focus on these relationships and ensure that vendors and suppliers are taking security seriously and using the appropriate measures to instill trust in their business relationship."
There are a number of cybersecurity best practices enterprises can follow to reduce their chances of falling victim to supply chain attacks.
One thing supply chain managers must do is ensure that they're using reputable, industry-tested suppliers, said Justin Bateh, supply chain expert and professor of business at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
When using third-party service providers that have virtual access to information systems, supply chain managers and vendors must have a certain level of trust, as well as transparency about what data is available, who has access to the data and how it will be used, he said.
Jason Rhoades, a principal at Schellman & Co. LLC, a provider of attestation and compliance services in Tampa, Fla., agreed.
Today's enterprise must focus on these relationships and ensure that vendors and suppliers are taking security seriously and using the appropriate measures to instill trust in their business relationship, he said. Performing security assessments and validations, such as [Service Organization Control] examinations and ISO/IEC 27001 certifications, is a great way to build trust in the supply chain.
"However, trust isn't enough, and supply chain managers must ensure that there are hierarchical levels of access, compliance training is present, [and] auditing and evaluation mechanisms are utilized," Bateh said.
Supply chain management involves different processes within a business that are managed in different silos, but that are able to communicate with one another, said Alex Hsiung, a manager at Schellman.
"From end to end, when you're creating a new product, you want each piece of the supply chain to ultimately have the same minimum security requirements throughout," Hsiung said. "You have to ensure that there's consistent application of those security controls to mitigate the risks."
Consequently, organizations need some kind of internal cyber-risk management program in place, said Sean Peasley, a partner and leader in cyber-risk services at Deloitte & Touche.
"The program should include the types of risks they're trying to alleviate, [as well as] the various leading practices or standards or regulatory mandates that they're considering to manage those risks," Peasley said.
Jason Rhoades is a Principal at Schellman & Company. Jason is a SOC practice leader and assists with methodology and service delivery across all service lines including SOC, PCI-DSS, ISO, FISMA and HIPAA services. Jason also helps assist large and complex customers who have multiple compliances needs helping them strategically align their efforts to maximize cost and efficiencies. Prior to joining Schellman, Jason served as a project manager with a Fortune 500 company where he was responsible for design, implementation and security of critical applications supporting various business functions.
Alex Hsiung is a Manager with Schellman & Company, LLC based in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to joining Schellman & Company, LLC in 2015, Alex worked as an Associate at KPMG, specializing in Sarbanes-Oxley compliance audits and IT advisory engagements. Alex also led and supported various other projects, including business process and information technology readiness assessments, internal audit services and regulatory compliance engagements. Over 2 years of experience comprised of serving clients in various industries, including financial services, healthcare and manufacturing. Alex is a dedicated member of the ISO Service Team.
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