What is a Supply Chain Breach?
A supply chain breach can occur when an organization or a business experiences a cyberattack in the form of attackers gaining access through third-party vendors. When organizations outsource or begin to work with third-party vendors, they become susceptible to the cyber threats that face all the stakeholders involved. Once attackers have gained access to a company’s sensitive data they can then be able to disseminate malware and continue to gather customer’s information that can expose them to further theft or fraud. While a company can have the most secure policies and practices that can prevent these cyberattacks, the question comes down to the security level that their third-party vendors employ. If there are vulnerabilities of any sort, attackers will be sure to exploit them and cause further damage with the private information that they secure.
How to Avoid a Supply Chain Breach?
The best and most efficient method of preventing supply chain breaches from occurring is for businesses to ensure that the vendors that they work with comply with their security measures. These policies can monitor the level of access that vendors have to a company or an organization’s internal data. Below are common practices that protect the networks of organizations.
- Screen Vendors: The most important act in establishing a secure network for a company or a business is the vetting process that each third party vendor must go through. By carefully assessing the structure of the vendor and researching if they work with additional subcontractors, an organization can seemingly be hands on and alert if any security breaches occur.
- Network Segmentation: One of the best practices that companies can employ is the act of segmenting networks to invoke a system of checks and balances. By separating and authorizing specified access to vendors, this creates a series of boundaries that can allow for an individual or group to utilize the information that is only relevant to their work. Without the intentional design to create a hierarchy of access and authorization, an equal layout can be threatened and carry vulnerabilities attackers can easily infiltrate.
- State Agreements Clearly: Working with third-party vendors means ensuring that they conduct responsible and secure practices when dealing with a company’s network of data. To prevent any vulnerabilities for cyberattacks, companies must clarify the expectations, responsibilities, and boundaries that all vendors must abide by.
- Audit Vendors: For businesses getting into contracts or agreements with third-party vendors, it is essential that all parties understand the expected security standards and assessments. Prior, or during contract, to dealing with vendors, companies may request that a cybersecurity audit be conducted to ensure that the vendor is prepared and not susceptible to any attacks. In addition, companies can purchase software that monitors their vendors through their activity within internal networks. Activities such as rate of password use or potentially vulnerable employees. These softwares can provide alerts and notifications if risks are detected through the activity demonstrated by internal employees but most importantly by third-party vendors.
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