Supply Chain Often “Weakest Link” for Hackers to Exploit

Supply Chain Often “Weakest Link” for Hackers to Exploit

No company wants to fall victim to hacking, yet many firms fail to take the necessary precautions to keep risks to a minimum. Focusing on securing your own weak points is essential, of course, but you also need to take a look at the entire supply chain to ensure there are no vulnerabilities.

Weak points in a supply chain can lead to hacking incidents that have very far-reaching ramifications. This is what happened in the widely publicized Target incident that took place in 2014, when the details of more than 70 million customers were hacked through the supply chain.

The hackers managed to get through using a third-party HVAC service after determining it was vulnerable. In fact, the supply chain is where the majority of data breaches are believed to originate. Big companies like Target have thousands of product and service suppliers, and it only takes a slip-up by one of them to make the entire company vulnerable. With so much of the information traveling through the supply chain being digital, the potential for havoc is tremendous. Some hackers do this for financial gain, while others do it to collect sensitive information for competitive advantages. Even when the hacking is done just for “fun”, it can be a PR nightmare.

Minimizing the Risk

Cyber attackers are becoming increasingly savvy, and it’s simply not possible to eliminate these attacks entirely. However, there are plenty of measures that can be taken to help reduce the chances of being targeted.

First of all, companies need to identify their suppliers and partners’ cyber security risks and make sure to only use approved vendors that follow acceptable protocols. It is also vital to evaluate suppliers on a regular basis in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses. A strong familiarity with contracts and agreements make it easier to keep tabs on what suppliers are doing.

This blog post was based off of an article from Supply Chain Digital. View the original here.