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Supply Chain Visibility: The Key To Robust Cyber Security

Supply Chain Visibility: The Key To Robust Cyber Security

Cyber security has become an increasingly high profile issue over the course of the past ten years. Shifts in global politics, combined with evolutions in digital technology have heightened awareness of the threat of cyber crime and the various forms it can take.

In today’s globalized markets, digital technologies are detrimental for the future success of any operation, but also generate unique vulnerabilities. Any business with a supply chain faces additional vulnerabilities - and every business has a supply chain in on form or another. For this reason, Supply Chain Visibility is vital, and the key to truly robust cyber security.

What is Supply Chain Visibility?

Historically, Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) was simply the way in which businesses worked to ensure that the risk of supplier delay or disruption was minimized and focused heavily on internal and third party logistics. While this is still necessary – particularly for those operating in the manufacturing or product sales industries – Supply Chain Visibility today is also about the cyber security of those third parties.

Supply Chain Visibility is essential to prevent and act on cyber-attacks such as:

Phishing

Emails, phone calls, text messages or social media interactions designed to trick the recipient into sharing information that will enable the sender to perpetrate a theft.

Malware

Malicious software that infects computer systems for the purpose of causing harm or collecting information without permission. 

Logic bombs

Similar to malware in that they are malicious programs smuggled in to computer systems but are designed to be triggered by a specific digital even within the system. 

Data tampering

The unauthorized alteration of data inside a computer system.

Ransomware 

A form of malicious software infection that enters your computer system, and locks your network and files, preventing access. A demand is then made, usually financial in nature, for the restoration of normal operations. 

In today’s business world, one of the most significant risks faced by business is cyber crime committed within the supply chain, providing an onward point of entry for criminal enterprise.This is the new reality of Supply Chain Visibility – making sure your third party connections do not leave your business vulnerable to cyber attack.

Third Party Risk Management

With the question now being, ‘How do you achieve robust cyber security in light of this increased third party risk?’ The focus must turn to third party risk management strategies.

For such strategies to be successful, then Supply Chain Visibility is required, at a granular level. 

There are several factors to consider when assessing the risk profile of a third party and, by extension, the risk exposure of your own business in maintaining that relationship:

  • Business size
  • Commodity
  • Location 
  • Banking and financial practices
  • Stakeholders and executives
  • Compliance history.

With these factors to consider, a comprehensive system of data management is required, and this is provided by Third Party Risk Management Software. This solution provides a broad range of tools designed to enhance your Supply Chain Visibility and optimize your risk mitigation processes.

Far from being your last line of defense against the threat of cyber crime, Third Party Risk Management Software can form the core of your Supply Chain Visibility strategy. Implemented through a phased, carefully managed roll-out, the package can play a key, foundational role in making your cyber security measures as robust as possible, through the mitigation of risk, and the optimization of related administrative tasks.

The digital inter-connectedness of business is only increasing in our newly emerging post-pandemic world, so the protections afforded by such stringent, wide-ranging, and granular third party risk assessment are the most efficient and productive way to future-proof your organization. 

Dan Townsend

No Longer with Scanmarket

Dan has been a leading executive across all areas of Contract and Compliance Management applications since 2001 in both Sales and Implementation. Dan has over 30 years management experience in a wide range of business applications such as ERP Implementations, Business Process Reengineering, and Operations Management.