Technology

How to Automate Digital Hygiene Across Your Supply Chain

In the modern supply chain industry where multiple stakeholders communicate and integrate with your systems every day, it’s critical to maintain digital hygiene to ensure supply chain security. 

Digital hygiene means security measures to ensure you and your supply chain partners and providers are compliant with cybersecurity rules and regulations and take all the efforts required to protect your data. 

However, many companies adopt a false mindset that if they once comply with industry standards like ISO 27001 or NIST, all risks are eliminated. A common error is addressing situational security measures when it would be more beneficial to stick to a long-term, continuous digital safety plan.

Why is managing practice digital hygiene across the supply chain so important?

Risks coming from third-party organizations are present in every industry, but in the supply chain, it is especially apparent. Even firms with advanced cybersecurity policies, personnel, and technologies can be affected unwittingly by a supply chain partner that has been the victim of a successful cyber-attack. 

According to the survey by Ponemon Institute and IBM Security, a single data breach can, on average, cost a company up to $6.45 million. Cyberattacks in global supply chains have dramatically increased since the start of 2020, as more firms migrate their data to the cloud, embrace remote work settings, scale digitalization, and increasingly adopt third-party system integrations. 

In addition, numerous large corporations acquire smaller businesses that typically lack the financial resources to invest in effective digital hygiene. This can present security problems for bigger businesses. 

If the information of couriers, customers, or vendors is disclosed, the company’s reputation can  be ruined, at the very least, and is in some cases followed by lawsuits, public controversies, and financial loss.

Best practices for supply chain digital hygiene

Working cooperatively to address security risks and having a responsible and proactive approach in this area is critical for supply chain businesses and technology suppliers.

Let’s explore the best approaches to fostering effective digital hygiene practices across your supply chain. “

Focus on risk prevention

If leaders fail to recognize the cyber dangers that exist now, they may not be able to lead resilient firms into the future. Leaders may take many initiatives to strengthen their digital hygiene in order to position their firms to tackle near- and long-term threats.

The best security a corporation can have is visibility into the cyber hygiene of participants at all levels of its supply chain, and independent verification of what it observes. According to the Marsh Microsoft 2019 Global Cyber Risk Perception Survey, only 5-15% of organizations feel qualified to deal with the cyber risks caused by third-party providers.

Companies should approach their digital hygiene efforts via a risk lens, with the goal of reducing risk and ensuring suppliers have the mechanisms in place to demonstrate that they are successfully addressing and enforcing increasing cybersecurity standards.

Raise awareness

Unexpected danger exposure can also be mitigated through proactive communication with employees and third parties to raise knowledge of vulnerabilities and emphasize prevention.

Security challenges are sometimes misunderstood as exclusively IT or software-related issues. Security may be built into every aspect of the supply chain, including operations, procurement, and the tasks of workers. 

As a result, security audits should be performed on a regular basis to keep track of any new security concerns. Any organization should have a clear and defined framework in place to limit the harm in the event of an attack that has already occurred.

Pay attention to high-risk areas

To eliminate risks before they become significant threats, businesses should update security architecture and exercise cyber diligence, providing third-party support mechanisms, and offering coverage against insider threats. 

In addition, for accelerated technology installations, companies need to consider fast-tracking important security solutions like multifactor authentication or mobile device management, especially for high-risk apps or connectivity platforms.

Outline threat response strategy

In order to effectively manage incoming threats, security incident response and after-action playbooks require an update. This includes modifications to call trees, points of contact, IT protocols, and system priorities used to alert management of an incident. 

Documenting existing response actions can provide information that can be used to influence future choices and indicate gaps and opportunities for improvement.

Digital hygiene with reliable software providers 

Reduce the number of fragmented systems and build up a centralized data architecture with high-level security as the first step towards improved digital hygiene. Software providers, like other third-party providers, should do security testing and adhere to the source-code policy, as well as secure-by-design development.

The main advantage of having a secure and centralized data infrastructure is that it allows companies to simplify every transaction, activity, and data unit that enters and exits the supply chain. As a result, supply chain predictability is improved, and new alarms are detected earlier.
A visibility platform like Agistix can help tackle your supply chain challenges. Our key advantage is a centralized data infrastructure and seamless integration that requires no change to your regular business flow. Learn more about Agistix secure solutions today.

Author

kateryna ponomarenko

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