Cyber attacks against companies in the supply chain are on the rise around the world, and experts say a big part of the reason why is that they may not be as well-equipped to handle such intrusions into their systems. As a consequence, it is now critical for businesses at every step of the supply chain to make sure they're doing more to get out in front of these threats and proactively address them sooner than later - or else risk becoming hackers' next victims.

Part and parcel with such risk is the fact that companies in the supply chain necessarily have to share large amounts of potentially sensitive information with one another to push efficiency to its peak, according to Accenture. Simply put, if one company in a given supply chain is affected, it's possible - or even likely - that many of their partners could be as well. With more data than ever moving into the cloud, companies sharing critical information need to be assured that what they freely share with partners can be safeguarded against unwanted intrusion.

Another problem here is that logistics companies are increasingly ensuring they get a better view of the entire supply chain by investing in the internet of things, the report said. That creates more targets for hackers even as companies get better insight into their own processes.

Hackers pose a real threat to supply chains.Hackers pose a real threat to supply chains.
A growing threat
Moreover, with so many companies now investing heavily in new technology, they have to make sure they're getting the authentic offerings they believe they are, according to Venturebeat. Studies have found as many as 1 in 6 companies have purchased counterfeit tech, and the vast majority of companies now report feeling unprepared for the fallout from an attack, if it were to take place.

With attacks on the rise, vigilance is needed in every aspect of adoption, but in the rush to avoid these issues before they arise, companies may make a major misstep, the report said. While the most recent trends in these incidents seem to suggest hackers are increasingly targeting hardware for attacks, rather than software, there is nevertheless a need to keep tabs on all fronts as these threats develop.

Improving industry standards
If companies are aware of these issues, it stands to reason that the federal government is as well. As such, it should come as little surprise that the U.S. Department of Defense is eager to beef up its security posture as it relates to the supply chains it relies on for all manner of products, according to Breaking Defense. DOD acquisition undersecretary Ellen Lord recently laid out a new plan by which partners will have to adhere, known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, or CMMC. Given that the department partners with many small and medium-sized businesses for necessary products, it is providing a long runway for compliance, while stressing the importance of getting onboard sooner than later.

As these threats continue to emerge, companies need to do more to make sure they are acutely aware of the unique challenges they face, and have solutions in place to address those concerns on an ongoing basis.
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