Maintaining a secure supply chain can be a challenge. Within a supply chain, numerous people, companies, third-party suppliers, and nations are likely involved, which can lead to serious security issues in logistics.
Many companies depend on their own resources as well as industry standards to fight security issues. Depending on the industry, companies can be subject to security issues in logistics such as cyberattacks, theft, fraud, terrorism, sabotage, and more. A 2018 Ponemon Institute report found that 56% of companies suffered a breach caused by one of their third-party vendors. Although breaches in a supply chain are common, many companies remain unprepared.
Why is supply chain security important?
Attacks to the supply chain are twofold. The first is usually meant to disrupt or cripple actual supply chains logistics. The second is to use supply chains as a channel to attack potentially thousands of connected partners and suppliers. By finding and exploiting weak links within the supply chain, attackers can jump between linked systems, stealing data and sabotaging businesses.
Tech, defense, financial services, and energy are favorable targets for hackers, but no industry is immune. In fact, there are now what experts call “island hoppers” who aren’t just attacking one organization, but instead multiple.
A security issue within the supply chain should be a high priority for companies considering any incident or breach could greatly damage or disrupt operations; vulnerabilities could lead to unintended costs, inefficient delivery schedules, and a loss of intellectual property.
Threats to supply chain security are on the rise across all industries, with nearly two-thirds of companies reporting a breach—spiking 78% last year-over-year. The top threat: cyberattacks. In fact, a recent report found that 56% of respondents have experienced a cybersecurity breach from a third-party supplier. But risks can occur at all stages—design, development and production, distribution, acquisition and deployment, maintenance, and disposal.
Once an attack occurs and disrupts the supply chain, a company’s reputation can be damaged. From that point on, it can sow doubt into consumers’ minds about reliability, productivity, and their security, including financial and personal information.
How can companies protect themselves from security issues in logistics?
Companies must be proactive in developing defense protocols and standards for supply chains. To ensure your company supply chain is secure, the proper management and safety regulations need to be put in place. For the majority of organizations, poor risk management is often a result of resource scarcity and ineffective processes.
As most breaches are caused by third parties, third party risk assessments—along with an efficient vetting software for suppliers—can reduce the threat of security breaches in a supply chain. Organizations should identify and categorize suppliers who either have direct access to their internal network or access to critical enterprise data.
Segregating third-party vendors according to their functional role can also help organizations better understand who these contributors are, the type of information they have access to, and how they are connected to the company framework.
Additionally, companies need to define specific data ownership requirements for every vendor. All the stakeholders across the value chain need to be clear as to who maintains the ownership of data being shared and the acceptable use of that data—doing so can greatly improve security issues in logistics.