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Only 13% of businesses review cyber risks posed by their supply chain, are you one of them?

A supply chain attack is a cyber attack that targets the less secure elements or vulnerabilities of a company’s supply chain. The aim is to exploit the vulnerability and to cause serious damage for those on the end of the attack or to gain unauthorised access to a company's data or systems.

Criminals choose this type of attack as they are able to gain access to sensitive information of multiple organisations within one attack which can have a significant reach. The latest government data shows just over one in ten businesses review the risks posed by their immediate suppliers (13%), and the proportion for the wider supply chain is just 7%.

Whilst the impact of supply chain attacks can be rather widespread, there are some very simple steps that businesses can take to improve their resilience to these types of attacks.

How can you improve your supply chain cyber security?

  • Protect your internal systems via the installation of firewalls and virus-detection programs to block malware from accessing your systems.

  • Regularly back up your files and databases in the event that a cyber-attack deletes any trace of them.

  • Train your employees so they are able to recognise attempted cyber-attacks and know how to respond if their devices are affected. Your employees do not need to be cyber experts but should be educated on the dangers of opening suspicious emails, clicking on unknown URL’s, links, and email attachments.

  • Lockdown permissions on devices so that employees are unable to download unauthorised software and applications that could potentially damage your firewalls.

  • Be careful of those who supply your supply chain, ensure that they regularly conduct security audits or have security certifications and put this within a contract.

  • Manage the risks with a cyber security policy that is regularly updated and adopted, you also should have an incident response plan that provides a process that will help your business, charity or third sector organisation to respond effectively in the event of a cyber-attack.

How will securing my supply chain benefit my business?

  • Improving the resilience and strength of your supply chain will help reduce the number of business disruptions your supply chain will suffer and the damage they cause; financially, loss of working hours and your reputation.

  • If you can develop partnerships with your suppliers and work with them to adopt your cyber security stance as their own, there is a stronger potential for success than if you were to mandate them to comply with your terms.

  • Adhering to GDPR and the Data Protection Act is a key outcome of securing your supply chain. If you’re able to demonstrate that your business is in compliance with these regulations, you are more likely to win new contracts as a result of the efforts you’ve made too secure your supply chain.

How does The South East Cyber Resilience Centre work with SME's to tackle the threat posed by cybercrime?

We provide many free resources designed to improve your #online security, from checklists to Incident Response templates, there's something for everyone. Get yours today and receive our FREE welcome pack here

We hope this will be useful for you but if you have any further questions or would like to know how we can help your business, please get in touch.


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