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Supply Chain Security

Read Time: 3 min.

Supply Chain Security is gaining in importance as the risks of attacks across the supply chains grow every year.
Learn about the solutions that supply chain security can provide.

Supply Chain Security
Supply Chain Security

Supply Chain Security Threats

As digital technologies cover all areas of business around the world, supply chain security is becoming a critical component for almost any today company. The consequences of cyber attacks on businesses can be devastating. Hacks on the information perimeter of an organization lead to data theft, viruses that can immediately destroy all information, also break the supply chain itself and lead to loss of money, and in the case of some organizations, have even much more serious consequences.

Want to have an in-depth understanding of all modern aspects of Supply Chain Security? Read carefully this article and bookmark it to get back later, we regularly update this page.

The very striking example became the successful attack on business software developer SolarWinds, revealed at the end of 2020. It turns the most resonant event of the year in the field of information security, since the list of victims of the attack comprised the most important departments of the US government, including the National Nuclear Security Administration. For months, hackers monitored employee emails sent through Office 365 to the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The investigation led to SolarWinds. It turned out that hackers gained access to the SolarWinds Orion build system, added a backdoor to one of the update files, and before the final stage of the build. The DLL file containing the malicious code was digitally signed and easily distributed to customers via the automatic update platform. After implementation, the backdoor carried out checks to make sure it was running on a real corporate network, but not on the analyst's computer. And even checked the environment for running security-related processes.

Then, after a randomly selected delay time elapsed, it contacted the remote server in order to receive the task for execution on the infected computer, which was at the complete disposal of the attacker. The Microsoft Azure cloud was also attacked, where hackers gained administrative access to the victims' Active Directory. Many companies should consider shifting their focus to data security in order to provide their customers with the most secure solution.

To identify a backdoor of the type introduced during an attack on SolarWinds, you need to analyze traffic in the cloud, analyze logs and, most importantly, discover and monitor all you digital assets. However, not all cloud providers provide internal traffic or a sufficient level of logging for analysis. The risks to supply chain security are growing every year and more and more hackers use it to carry out attacks on companies. Strict information security requirements for integrators and software developers will reduce the risk of attacks across the supply chain.

How To Provide Supply Chain Security

Safety should be the part of the entire product life cycle, from product development to continuous use of the product every day. The backbone of local supply chain security is safety as planned during the product development phase. It is also important to ensure safety during production. Each layer needs to be protected, but companies also need to prepare for cross-layer threats.

The starting point for defining responsibility for supply chain security should be identifying the weak links in the holistic model. From the attacker's point of view, the weak points will be exploited to harm the entire chain. Each of the participants in the supply chain then takes on a role that should depend on who has the competence and who has incentives, which may include monetization. Industry players each bring their own advantages that they can use to provide an integrated solution. For instance:

  • Application developers can use their control over apps interfaces or client access as an advantage when defining low-level architectures.
  • Device manufacturers operating at a lower level of architecture can use their hardware protection design capabilities to develop software security.
  • Network equipment manufacturers are benefiting from the fact that many of the key security competencies at the transport layer are applicable to the application layer. In addition, they can leverage their hardware design capabilities to offer an integrated solution.

Finally, a concept is required to protect products after they are sold. To this end, companies need to develop a strategy for providing security patches for products in this area, for example, through updating capabilities. Ensuring the supply chain security throughout the entire product life cycle requires organizational and technological changes. The organizational component implies clear responsibility for cybersecurity in the production environment.

Typically, a toolbox is made up of a combination of products from large and numerous specialized small software companies in the supply chain. These applications enable efficient supply chain management and security by connecting players of different industries and sizes. Information flows into a single centralized repository, a database, from which users subsequently draw data to manage, design and optimize flows.

Companies must implement a single visible contact for cybersecurity notifications or complaints. A response plan is also needed for different attack scenarios. The consequences of an unprofessional response to an incident are often more devastating than the infiltration incident itself beyond the security perimeter of the company. You need maximum protection, because, having seized information, some can find out all the company's data, including confidential ones, and by infecting such an object, they can completely paralyze the work even of a transnational corporation.

AI and Supply Chain Security

Artificial intelligence learns on billions of data from various sources. Using machine learning and deep learning technology, AI improves its knowledge to identify risks and provides the best protection for networks, rather than just blocking suspicious files or threats.

AI eliminates time-consuming analysis, reducing the time it takes to make decisions and eliminate threats. It establishes the relationship between threats such as malicious files or suspicious IP addresses. This analysis takes seconds or minutes, allowing security analysts to respond to incidents tens of times faster.

However, the use of artificial intelligence presents a number of challenges for companies. Resources are needed first. Companies require significant investment to build computing power to build and support artificial intelligence systems. AI models are trained using large datasets, but not all companies have the resources to get the data they need for learning.

Here at ImmuniWeb we widely use true artificial intelligence and machine learning in our AI Platform. By using one of the solutions or a set of proposed solutions from ImmuniWeb, with reliable and affordable provision of cybersecurity and, in particular, the supply chain security, companies relieve themselves of the need to deal with this problem and invest huge resources in the development of their own artificial intelligence systems to protect their information system.

What else Empowers Supply Chain Security

While it is nearly impossible to be 100 percent secure against digital threats, there are many different ways companies can dramatically improve their cybersecurity posture. Strengthening IT security does not mean investing exclusively in information technology. Companies also need to take a step towards developing good risk management strategies and train their employees to identify potential threats and avoid such situations. Companies can take precautions to keep their data safe:

  1. Staff training. Leaders of organizations should ensure that knowledge and skills related to security become a standard requirement for employees in information technology, product development and manufacturing. Employees should be well aware of what potential threats look like. Every employee must keep a close eye on their actions when they open suspicious attachments from unknown users, answer unidentified emails and phone calls, or insert unverified USB drives into their work computers.
  2. Use of proven software. The use of only proven modern software with a reliable security system that ensures the security of passwords, as well as a complex chain of user authentication and control will help protect company data. Regularly backing up your data to external servers is also a great strategy to help preserve your data in the event of a cyberattack.
  3. Investing in a cybersecurity expert. According to various sources, on average, just over 60% of companies have a cybersecurity specialist. Hiring a qualified professional to continually test security can help a company avoid potential cyberattacks.
  4. Risk management. Implementing long-term, well-managed strategies to reduce the likelihood of malware intrusion is critical to a company's planned cybersecurity. In general, no one is protected from possible hacker attacks. If your company has not developed an IT security plan, then you should think about it to protect the company as a whole.

Also, in order to create a solid security scheme, you need to look at your company through the eyes of a hacker. Do you know what weaknesses in your systems and applications can be exploited by attackers? Penetration testing of web apps and mobile applications will help you to get an answer to this question.

Penetration testing simulates a realistic cyberattack. The verifier uses the same techniques as the attackers. This can be phishing, detecting open ports, creating backdoors, modifying data, or installing malware. Thus, the company gains a comprehensive view of the vulnerabilities in the infrastructure and can protect its systems and sensitive business data, as well as customer data.

Supply Chain Security May Affect Company Shares Value

The topic of cybersecurity of the supply chain is vast, multifaceted and promises interesting prospects for those who will deal with it, because with the speed with which data appears in our world, data security will always be something or someone threatening. To invest actively in supply chain security, or wait until you have an incident, is always exclusively your choice. This should be done now.

You have the ability to move forward and make the safety of products, manufacturing processes and platforms a strategic priority. The supply chain security and the entire product life cycle affects the value of your company in the eyes of investors, their mood, and therefore the value of your shares.

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