It’s no surprise that cybersecurity and the supply chain go hand in hand. For every day that we continue to work more closely with technology, the need for advanced cybersecurity becomes more important. The recent attack on 3CX, a VOIP software provider, is a perfect case study of why investing in cybersecurity measures is a must, where hackers used thousands of fake executive accounts on LinkedIn to trick users into opening malware disguised as a job offer. And while we’re used to hearing about cyberattacks impacting banks and individuals, the likelihood of a supply chain being impacted is, unfortunately, just as likely, the consequences of which can be devastating. As these threats continue to threaten the industry, there are steps organizations can take to ensure they put their best foot forward to combat cyber attacks.
#1 Foster a Cyber-Aware Workforce
Unfortunately, human error plays a pretty big role in cyber attacks, which is another reason why training is critical. The 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) states that 82 percent of breaches involve a human element, whether it is via phishing, misuse, stolen credentials, or just an error. There are many examples of the human element being a risk, like when hackers breached a colonial pipeline with a single compromised password or when Maersk’s systems were infiltrated through a single infected computer.
While these stories highlight how human behavior can have a negative impact on cybersecurity, it also shows how critical training and education are for an organization’s safety. There are different steps organizations can take to make their employees aware and turn them into cybersecurity assets.
- Create a cybersecurity awareness program, and ensure this training is given as part of employee onboarding. Don’t wait to have awareness training after an attack, proactively train employees early on to save yourself future headaches and money down the line.
- Take steps to make the training engaging and accessible, and don’t let the content get old. We all know technology is always changing and adapting, which means new cyber attack methods are going to emerge too. Stay informed so your employees can always be aware of the next trend.
- Provide employees with resources and foster a safe environment where employees feel they can ask questions and come to leadership with any concerns. You want employees to know they are supported so they are comfortable reporting something that may seem questionable before it’s too late.
#2 Maintain Strict Cybersecurity Standards for All
Once you have developed cybersecurity standards and trained employees, it’s essential to ensure your partners and vendors are also following the same level of protocol. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the top supply chain risks are “Third-party service providers or vendors — from janitorial services to software engineering — with physical or virtual access to information systems, software code, or IP.” Because of the interconnectedness of supply chains worldwide, it’s important to monitor any suppliers or vendors you work with to ensure you don’t inadvertently open your organization up to third-party breaches. This is one reason why investing in supply chain visibility technology, like a Product lifecycle management (PLM) software, that manages data and processes at every stage of production, servicing, and sales across the supply chain, can be beneficial; it’s an excellent way to know what’s going on in the supply chain to protect against cyberattacks.
#3 Continuous Monitoring
Implementing cybersecurity measures is a huge step, and a vital one, but just as important is the need to assess these measures with a fine-tooth comb. Organizations should have regularly scheduled audits of the systems in place to ensure they are still working, but also to see if any other measures can be added, improved, or escalated. This assessment must be holistic, and look into all of the hardware and software employed to ensure there are no potential gaps malicious parties could take advantage of. If possible, consult with experts on the subject to develop a cybersecurity strategy so everyone can feel confident.
Securing your supply chain isn’t easy. Training, creating standards, and continuous monitoring are key. With these programs in place, not only will you safeguard your organization’s security, but you will also empower employees to do their best work. Cornerstone Edge provides custom, role-specific training sessions tailored to your unique needs and operations. If you’re looking for assistance training employees in cybersecurity, specific software, or any other business needs, reach out!