secure supply chain

Cybercrime: Protecting your digital supply chain

With more and more companies following the trend in digitalising their supply chains, the potential risks of data-leaks and cyberattacks also increase.

Cybersecurity - the protection of computers, systems, networks, stored data and programs from digital attacks - is certainly not a new concept. Cyberattacks occur more frequently within organisations where data is sensitive and can be easily accessed, changed and destroyed or can be used to extort money from companies and users.

But as procurement is increasingly making changes to digitalise their operations to automate certain activities, resources need to be allocated to ensure the technology around these systems is secure to avoid any possible risks and vulnerabilities.

The right balance between digitisation and security is hard to find and maintain, but keeping the supply chain safe in order to minimize possible disruptions can also save money. According to the some publications, Cybercrime and Cyberattacks will cost around $6 trillion USD globally in 2021.

Start to Protect the Supply Chain

The UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre created this guide proposing a few principles and steps to help companies and procurement departments to keep control of and better secure their supply chain.

The principles were divided into stages below: 

  1. Understand the Risks

Before starting to take action to protect the supply chain, it's important to have a clear picture of it to understand what needs to be protected and why. Procurement must know the sensitivity of the contracts they are negotiating and what value each information has, especially the information shared with suppliers.

It's also important to know in depth who the suppliers in the supply chain are right now and how their security looks – this can be negotiated on the contract to ensure that the supplier and their sub-contracts are providing the security requirements asked of them.

And the most important step to understanding the risks is to know the possible sources of it and work with suppliers to create a security profile with each one of them. This can be achieved by studying the impact and possible loss that a security problem would cause with those suppliers. Keep track of where the threats can most likely come from, which service the supplier is providing, how sensible is the information he has access to, etc.

  1. Establish Control

After understanding the risks of the supply chain and gaining control over it, it's important to identify if there are suppliers that continuously fail to meet the security expectations established. 

In this stage, communication is the key: create a risk matrix with the supplier and communicate clearly what are the security requirements. 

  1. Continuous improvement

As the supply chain grows, security needs to be improved at the same rate. The suppliers will need time to achieve security improvements, but procurement needs to encourage them in order to keep the supply chain safe.

Supply chain management is a shared issue and all the involved parts need to be on the same page when it comes to protection and security. Continuous improvement and clear communication can be one of the most effective tools. 

To find out how using the Maistro platform can ensure your supply chain meets all your security requirements, get in touch for a demo

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