Assessing cyber risk in your supply chain

Many companies in the supply chain control large quantities of data and are therefore at risk for various cybersecurity pitfalls. Whether that's being attacked directly by hackers (such as with ransomware), being victimized by a rogue employee with proper access or through an accidental data breach, the financial and operational fallout can be significant.

With that in mind, it's absolutely vital to consider the ways in which you may be at risk for cyber incidents, and the following steps will help you gain a better security posture overall:

1) Think about older software and hardware

One of the easiest ways for outsiders to intrude into your systems is if you are running years-old legacy software or hardware that manufacturers have stopped supporting, according to Signal Magazine. When you're no longer receiving regular security updates and other patches, there may be holes in your firewalls against attacks or leaks. If so, it's time to upgrade those programs or equipment to the latest and most secure versions possible.

Make sure there are no hidden risks in your data security policy.Make sure there are no hidden risks in your data security policy.

2) Never consider yourself safe

An all too common misconception among people and businesses alike is the idea that you're either too small to be targeted or that you've spent enough on cybersecurity to be fully insulated, Signal Magazine added. Millions of average people have been affected by online identity theft, and if major businesses with huge security budgets or staffs like Home Depot can be hit with data breaches, there's no target too big or small.

3) Think about your contractors

As a logistics company, you likely give a lot of people access to your data or systems, whether physically or virtually, and that puts you at risk, according to CSO Online. For that reason, you need to fully vet everyone who is authorized to tap to your critical information and make sure they only have access to the data they need. Furthermore, training them on how to properly utilize that data may also be critical to success here.

4) Improve relationships with supply chain partners

Just as you are likely giving contractors and other third parties access to your information, effective supply chain management involves data sharing between various partners throughout the chain, CSO Online advised. Consequently, it's important that you revisit your data-sharing agreements and make sure everyone is getting the information they need expediently, but with no additional or undue access granted that could pose an additional security risk.

5) Get buy-in from your managers

While it's vital that you take a top-down organizational approach to a redoubled cybersecurity posture, there's only so much to be done in this regard, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Beyond that, you have to ensure managers know what is being asked of them on a day-to-day basis, and are communicating that information to staffers regularly.

6) Make sure employees understand risk points

Finally, it's not just enough that employees know what they need to do to uphold stronger data security, but also why, the NIST noted. That way, they can identify potential risks before they become problems, more effectively creating a front line against various mistakes that could otherwise lead to breaches.

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