There are many issues companies have to juggle when they work in the supply chain, and one that may occasionally be overlooked is the importance of protecting their data. They may maintain huge data stores for themselves - and their partners - so protecting them should be Priority No. 1 for just about any supply chain organization.
The following steps will help any company achieve those goals:

1) Train employees in proper security methods
The biggest weaknesses any company may have when it comes to cybersecurity is that a lot of people have access to critical files, according to Swivel Secure. That's a lot of potential points of entry for a would-be hacker, so you need to be careful to properly educate workers and managers alike about what constitutes good security practices. While this isn't a foolproof method - for a million different reasons - it will still be quite effective.

You can never do too much to boost your supply chain security.You can never do too much to improve your supply chain security.
2) Make the right software investments
Likewise, you should make sure every device that connects to your system is loaded with proper antivirus, anti-malware and firewall programs to ensure most potential intrusions are turned aside, Swivel Secure said. While there may be a good-sized price tag associated with getting to this point, compare it with the cost of dealing with a data breach, and you'll see why it's an important investment.

3) Make employees change passwords regularly
Another way hackers often gain access to vulnerable systems is by guessing an employee's login credentials, according to Swift Systems. For that reason, it's important to make sure workers have strong passwords - made up of long strings of numbers, letters and symbols - and change them on a regular basis. While this might be a headache, it's certainly better than the alternative.

4) Back up critical files every day
An increasingly common security threat is called ransomware, which locks companies out of their systems until a large sum of money is paid, Swift Systems advised. To mitigate that threat, you should back up your data consistently to ensure you have access to it even if such an attack affects you. While you would still need to deal with the problem, it reduces the number of issues that arise from it.

5) Get your partners involved
As mentioned, your company likely relies on a lot of data coming in from your supply chain partners on a regular basis, and vice versa - so security measures should apply to all such companies, according to Maker's Row. That old saying about a chain only being as strong as its weakest link certainly applies here, so you should demand strong security postures from all businesses with which you share data.

6) Put together a response and recovery plan
Unfortunately, even if you take every conceivable precaution, data breaches are still likely a question of "when" rather than "if," Maker's Row warned. As such, you need to codify what your response will be in any given situation, so that when something does go wrong, you can react properly and swiftly.
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