How to Protect Your Supply Chain from Cyber Attacks

Supply chains are subjected daily to numerous risks. From incorrect orders to delayed shipments to inventory loss, the list goes on and on. More recently, a major risk has materialized in the logistics industry: cybersecurity. Logistics, like many industries in the 21st century, involves electronically transferring sensitive information. Sending this information electronically is beneficial to any supply chain as it streamlines business and communication. On the other hand, it also makes the sensitive data susceptible to cybercrime.

North American supply chains are a small part of a complex global system of interconnected data and information that can be shared through cyberspace. These series of connections in the logistics industry are an attractive target for cyber-attacks. The more links in a supply chain, the more vulnerable it becomes, which amplifies the importance of secure handling and data storage.

Since the effects of cyber-attacks on the supply chain can be detrimental to all parties involved, it is critical that logistics companies invest in ways to safeguard sensitive data and information. The following list provides a few ways in which supply chain security can be improved.

 

Protecting Your Own Internal Systems

To help protect your internal systems against malicious software, or malware, install firewalls and virus-detection programs. These tools block most malware and should prevent access to your internal systems. Be sure to only use tested and trusted software, to ensure you are as secure as possible. To support your company’s systems, install this software using a reliable security system with password protection, two-factor identification, and the ability of a user to take control.

In addition, be sure to regularly back up your files and databases in order to save your data and information in the event of a cyber-attack. After all, the best offense is a strong defense!

 

Employee Training

It is absolutely crucial that all personnel be trained on the proper cybersecurity procedures. Employees should be aware of potential cyber interference or hacking attempts, signs of an attack or what these may look like, and next steps to address the issue as quickly as possible. May companies require annual training for employees to know best practices when faced with an attack. It is also smart to prevent employees from downloading unauthorized software and apps, since these could potentially damage, weaken or infiltrate your security walls.

 

Collaboration with Supply Chain Partners

Sometimes cyber threats inadvertently come from partners within your supply chain network, or even your own company. In order to increase efficiency in the logistics industry, typically you must share access to shared online platforms, which presents new vulnerabilities. Although you cannot control other companies’ security measures, you can ask your partners whether they conduct regular security audits or have external security certifications for your own knowledge and preparedness. Some companies even devise a contract that requires their partners to adhere to basic cybersecurity measures to prevent any malicious activity.

 

Hire a Cybersecurity Expert

While the aforementioned methods will significantly reduce the cyber risks your company may face, you must always stay vigilant. There is always more you can do more to strengthen your security, namely, having a skilled cybersecurity expert on your IT team. Cybersecurity professionals have been trained to protect data and are not just IT professionals with some knowledge of cybersecurity.

 

Manage the Risks & Have a Plan

Secure a plan for your company’s risk mitigation that includes protecting against cyber threats.  Many companies even go so far as to establish and implement long-term strategies to decrease the possibility of a cyber-attack not just for today, but way down the road.

 

Each day we hear about new cyber threats or attacks, so improving your company’s cybersecurity should always be a high priority. The best and most trustworthy logistics companies are well-aware of all possible cyber risks and use the necessary cybersecurity measures to protect the data they hold and share.

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