Why Digital Security Concerns Could Mean Big Trouble for Supply Chains

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As companies expand their global reach and develop increasingly complex supply chains, they have greater chances of attaining worldwide success, yet they also take on substantially heightened security risks. While many businesses have taken steps to improve their supply chains, not all have taken the steps necessary to address significant digital security risks. Learn how digital security concerns can impact supply chains and how businesses can make their supply chains more resilient.

Recent Digital Security Breaches Have Affected Millions

In the past five years alone, numerous digital security breaches have made headlines around the world. In 2013, a large-scale attack on Target’s payment system affected 40 million customers and compromised the retail store chain’s reputation. More recently, an attack on retail chain Debenhams exposed the private data of more than 25,000 customers.

Security experts suggest that while high-tech supply chains should be able to prevent these breaches, many actually create additional avenues for attackers to access sensitive information. Fortunately, businesses in all industries can learn from these attacks and take steps to mitigate their risks moving forward.

Well-Rounded Digital Security Plans Are Essential

With so many digital security risks on the horizon, it isn’t always easy for businesses to know where to focus their energy or resources. As Paul Kurtz, co-founder and CEO of TruSTAR explains, simply securing computers and smart devices or protecting email accounts isn’t enough. As businesses adopt a more smart technology, they must assess and secure each piece of equipment, even the HVAC system, which attackers used to access Target’s systems in 2013.

Along the same lines, companies whose supply chains rely on managed service providers (MSPs) or cloud services must ensure that the vendors they choose can meet their security needs. Since MSPs and cloud services have become frequent targets for cyber attacks, it’s essential for companies to understand how prepared their vendors are to combat attacks and protect client data. Businesses should also be prepared to clarify whether these vendors comply with regulatory requirements or if they have sufficient incident response plans.

Businesses Must Develop Resilient Supply Chains

For companies large and small, building resistance often starts with developing a reliable plan for finding and dealing with supply chain vulnerabilities. Businesses should consider working with their information technology teams to design methods for spotting security breaches early on and create timelines for warning relevant parties or taking other prescribed actions.

Small businesses may find that establishing effective supply chain security practices is too much for a small team or a limited budget to take on. However, partnering with peers may give small businesses better opportunities for increasing supply chain resilience and improving security practices for the industry as a whole.

While companies have a few options for improving and securing their supply chains, one thing is certain. Since cyber attacks can affect virtually any sector, businesses in all industries must remain proactive about identifying and addressing security issues. By taking steps to make supply chains more resilient and security networks more robust, businesses can mitigate these growing risks.

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