Why You Need to Start Worrying More About Supply Chain Breaches

Why You Need to Start Worrying More About Supply Chain Breaches

A couple of decades ago, if we’d said the word ‘supply chain’, you probably would’ve thought of consumer products, retail and manufacturing. The term referred to physical supply chains that supported the production and distribution of goods.

While these supply chains still exist, digital supply chains are just as prevalent today. The digital supply chain refers to the increasing interconnectedness between businesses, which rely on each other for digital services, like software, applications, etc. 

As with all things digital, this supply chain is vulnerable to security risks. Below, we’ll explore the risks surrounding digital supply chains, how they could impact SMBs like you, and how to improve your defences against these attacks.

Why are digital supply chains vulnerable to cyber-attacks?

Digital supply chains are kind of like a holy grail for hackers. Essentially, they enable attackers to get a foothold into one business and compromise many others. As an example, let’s look at the Kaseya cyber-attack of last year. Kaseya is an IT software provider with hundreds of clients.

In this instance, attackers managed to breach Kaseya’s systems and then injected ransomware into one of its software updates to clients. Consequently, thousands of companies were impacted by the breach. With the ransomware in their systems, they couldn’t access their data or files, which disrupted operations. 

Moreover, the Kaseya attack wasn’t an anomaly. Hackers are increasingly targeting supply chains. Research shows that 97% of companies have been affected by a cybersecurity breach in their supply chain, while 93% note that they suffered a direct cybersecurity breach because of supply chain vulnerabilities.

This is scary for SMBs as, even if you’re not directly targeted in an attack yourself, you could end up becoming collateral damage in a more significant breach. 

Why SMBs need to be concerned about supply chain attacks 

The rise of supply chain attacks is a significant cause for concern for all businesses – especially SMBs. Essentially, even if you’re not directly targeted in an attack yourself, you could end up becoming collateral damage in a bigger breach. 

Moreover, while large organisations might have the resources and security solutions to combat such a breach, most SMBs don’t. This means you could end up being the worst impacted.

Research shows that the average cost of a data breach for SMBs is around $2.98 million in 2021. This is enough to put many companies out of business. 

With supply chain threats on the rise, SMBs cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand about cybersecurity. The mindset of ‘it won’t happen to me’ is outdated. Even if a breach doesn’t happen to you, it could happen to one of your suppliers, partners or customers – and you could end up getting caught in the crossfire!

How to protect your business from supply chain attacks

We recommend a two-pronged approach to supply chain security. The first aspect focuses on building up trust and assurance between you and your partners to reduce the likelihood of a breach. The second part is ensuring you have the solutions, policies, and procedures to reduce the impact of an attempted breach. 

Let’s take a look in more detail below.

Build a supply chain security risk management programme: Can you say with certainty that your suppliers and partners are thorough about cybersecurity? If not, you may need to look at security risk management. This is about gaining a deep understanding of your ‘supply network’: who your partners are, who their partners and so on. With this view in place, you can then take steps to identify and manage potential risks. You can also establish security expectations with partners to boost supply chain resilience. 

Improve your company’s security posture: If you’ve put security on the back burner up until now, it’s time to make a change. Security threats are everywhere. It’s not a case of if you will be attacked, but when. So, make sure that you’ve got a solid set of security defences in place. It will be much more challenging for hackers to exploit your company if you do this. Here’s the thing. Just because an attacker attempts to get into your systems doesn’t mean they have to be successful. With the right security solutions in place, you can stop hackers in their tracks – before they cause any disruption! 

We understand that many SMBs don’t have the expertise, time or resources to create a thorough supply chain security programme, or even to manage their security! That’s why we offer managed IT and security services.

With a provider like us by your side, you can focus on running your business, confident that your security and supply chain are as secure as can be. 

We’ll handle your supply chain security planning, so you can focus on your business

GKM2 can help your Sydney area business with incident response planning and responding to security incidents

Contact us today to learn more. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.