How Supply Chain Partners Aren’t Always the Cybersecurity Weakness

Weak links in your company might lie with your partners and suppliers. A supply chain attack, also known as a third-party attack, is when someone infiltrates your system using outside partners or providers who have access to your data and systems. The attack surface on the typical enterprises has changed dramatically with more suppliers and providers having access to sensitive data.

For a long time now, the risk of cybercrimes associated with a supply chain has been high due to the types of attacks, increased mistakes from supervisors, and the growing public awareness of these threats.

As much as companies believe that hackers can infiltrate their company’s network by first breaching the weakest link in the third-party chain, which in most cases are small businesses, researchers have proven that that is not the case.

Supply Chain Cybersecurity Statistics

In the current digital world, new risks are arising every hour of the day. Just connecting to the internet opens up the chances of your company being targeted by cybercriminals. Large companies believe that their weak links lie in the supply chains; however, according to a new study, they are actually the ones to be blamed for many cybercrimes that happen.

The (ISC)² report stated that 54 percent of the companies said that their third-party breach resulted from their large partners; this is compared to 46 percent of small businesses.

In addition, 14 percent of large companies blame their small business partners for their data breaches; however, the number even goes up when it comes to large partners.

The difference might not be substantial; however, it solves the myth that small business partners are usually to be blamed for any data breaches in the supply chain.

According to (ISC)² COO Wesley Simpson, the best way to address this issue is by establishing a robust cybersecurity culture with the correct practices to enhance a company’s security. In addition, Simpson stated that protecting the company data must be a collective role between the large corporations and their supply chain partners.

Enterprises should also have high confidence in their partners’ security practices and must have contracts detailing data storage, access, and transmission by supply chain partners.  

The study also revealed that almost 95 percent of large companies have vetting procedures for small business partners’ cybersecurity abilities before giving them access to their systems. The vetting methods used include on-site inspections, RFQs, and evaluations by a security team or provider like an IT company in Tulsa, OK.

The Problem of Supply Chain Partners and Digital Security

For any supply chain partner, the ability to protect data can be highly flexible. Cybercriminals are looking to take advantage of the smallest weak points, and most companies are not fully alert of this problem.

Sensitive and confidential data can take many forms. The obvious one is personal data from customers like their credit card numbers which can be easily changed into money in dark markets. Large companies can be affected by data breaches where millions of sensitive information are compromised when data is stolen.

And when the cases are solved, it becomes evident that the large corporations get affected financially. According to (ISC)², small businesses are even more aware of cybersecurity because they know its impact on their companies.

The size of an organization will not matter when it comes to its risk profile. Instead, putting cybersecurity measures in place like training their employees, encrypting sensitive data, and trusting the professionals are more important aspects to consider. 

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