Cybersecurity Supply Chain Best Practices

5 min read
July 5, 2023

As supply chain companies rely more on digital tools and storage, they become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Malicious attackers use many strategies to breach company systems and steal sensitive data or other targets. The average cost of a data breach is over $4 million, making it vital for supply chain organizations to protect themselves.

Cybersecurity frameworks help businesses manage cyberattacks. These processes identify and resolve risks, keeping online systems safer. Robust security frameworks protect your business's reputation, help meet compliance guidelines, and reduce downtime. Learn more about cybersecurity supply chain best practices.

What Is a Supply Chain Security Framework?

A supply chain security framework is a comprehensive set of guidelines, processes, and controls that organizations use to mitigate risks and protect the integrity of their supply chain. Frameworks monitor every supply chain stage, including suppliers, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution. These security approaches ensure the secure and efficient delivery of products and services while maintaining customer trust and regulatory compliance.

A crucial component of supply chain security is cybersecurity. Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management (C-SCRM) involves identifying and reducing risks within supply chain networks and software systems. Cybersecurity frameworks reduce the impacts of cyberattacks and ransomware, keeping supply chain companies more secure.

Why Are Cybersecurity Frameworks Important?

Cybersecurity frameworks empower businesses to protect themselves against risks. These structures assist with:

  • Identifying threats before they become worse: Cybersecurity frameworks monitor your systems and networks constantly. The different processes and technologies let you identify threats as soon as they occur. By catching risks right away, you prevent them from growing into more severe threats. For instance, you might notice an unauthorized user trying to gain access to company systems. You can address the issue before they have the opportunity to break through security defenses.
  • Protecting your company's reputation: Your company is responsible for protecting internal data. Data breaches have lasting consequences, especially on company reputations. It can be difficult to rebuild partnerships after losing a significant amount of data. A cybersecurity framework protects your reputation and helps you maintain integral partnerships with clients and suppliers.
  • Assisting with compliance regulations: All supply chain companies must meet industry standards and regulatory requirements. Robust security frameworks protect client and supplier data, helping you meet these requirements. For instance, supply chain security software could track potential threats to your system and alert you when they occur. You can address these risks and keep unauthorized users away from sensitive data.
  • Reducing disruptions or stolen properties: Severe cyberattacks can disrupt access to company networks and operations. You might be forced to stop operations altogether, causing you to miss deadlines and lose revenue. Cybersecurity frameworks keep your supply chain resilient. By prioritizing security, you reduce the possibility of successful cyberattacks and can maintain operational efficiency.

4 Supply Chain Risk Management Best Practices for Cybersecurity

Your supply chain company can protect itself from cybersecurity threats by implementing robust security measures. These are four examples of cybersecurity best practices:

1. Conduct Regular Risk Assessments

Regular risk assessments help you understand the most pressing threats facing you at one moment in time. These evaluations map out every component of your supply chain and analyze potential risks at each point. You can list every supplier, warehouse, transport route, distributor, and other key leaders for your supply chain operation. In addition, consider each of their security measures and technology types. 

Use the end-to-end supply chain display to identify inefficiencies and potential risks. For instance, you might notice a partner uses an outdated security system or another with limited security features. Some of your hardware and software applications might be vulnerable to cyberattacks, making security upgrades necessary.

After determining all the current and potential cybersecurity risks, you can evaluate them by level of severity and their impact on your organization. You should prioritize the risks that negatively affect your business the most. As you develop cybersecurity strategies, remember these require more thorough protective responses.

2. Enhance Internal Training Measures

After identifying the threats that endanger your company most, you can develop response plans to address them. One of the best security strategies is to strengthen your training methods. Employees must understand the severity of cyberattacks and take necessary protective measures to prevent them.

Human error can play a significant role in data breaches — one study found that more than 80% of breaches involved some element of human mistakes. Attack strategies like phishing target employees by posing as authoritative sources.

By training employees to recognize common attack measures, you can reduce attacks formed from within. In addition, an open and communicative atmosphere facilitates more discussion about risks. Remaining transparent about cybersecurity risks lets employees take more responsibility for their actions. If employees understand the threats more closely, they can take security measures more seriously.

Cybersecurity training should occur during onboarding procedures. In addition, you can provide ongoing training to keep employees aware of cybersecurity threats and trends. 

3. Implement Thorough Authentication and Access Controls

Access controls are a crucial security feature, only allowing authorized users to log into company systems and applications. These components make it much harder for malicious attackers to access sensitive data or documents.

You can strengthen your organization’s authentication measures to add even more protection against attackers. Features like multifactor authentication (MFA) require users to enter more than a password to access their accounts. MFA accounts are often linked to phone numbers or emails, tightening security measures and access.

In addition, strong passwords are necessary to prevent attackers from breaking into accounts with brute force. Requiring all your employees to use effective passwords adds another layer of security protection. For instance, strong passwords should be:

  • A combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Eight or more characters in length.
  • Different on every account.
  • Changed every few months.

4. Emphasize Collaboration Among Supply Chain Partnerships

The supply chain relies on collaboration to succeed. However, the more partnerships you have, the more vulnerable you are to cyber breaches. Maintaining close collaborations with your suppliers helps you stay more secure. You can work together to form response plans that benefit all related parties.

For instance, if you uncover a threat within a supplier’s cybersecurity plans, express your concern to them. It’s important to work with officials that prioritize security, or you could face more vulnerability against attackers. 

It often helps to define your cybersecurity expectations at the beginning of your partnership. You can outline the data they can access and the protective measures you expect them to use throughout daily operations. If a partner has lacking security methods and seems unwilling to change them, you might need to look for other options.

Learn More About Osa Today

Security in the supply chain is critical for success. A comprehensive security framework protects your assets and prevents downtime, increasing your success.

At Osa, we understand the importance of cybersecurity for the supply chain. We provide an industry-leading supply chain visibility platform that gives you an end-to-end view of your operations. You can easily monitor business performance, identify risks, and take necessary measures to secure your supply chain. Our Unified Commerce Collaborative Visibility Platform connects with other programs and software to build a comprehensive solution.

To learn more about our solutions, contact Osa today.

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