We have been looking at cyberattacks in our previous articles and today bring us to another form of cyberattack known as the ‘supply chain attack.’ We will be going in-depth as usual to show you more about this kind of of of cyberattack.
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What Is A ‘Supply Chain Attack?
This is a type of cyberattack that aims to cause damage to its target by exploiting the vulnerabilities in its supply chain network.
The attacker continuously hacks and infiltrates the network to access its target’s network to damages and outages that harm the company. Over 40% of cyber-attacks recorded in 2020 came from extended supply chains.
The main idea behind this kind of attack is that the attacker suspects the company’s key suppliers are likely more vulnerable to attacks on the target itself. This makes the suppliers a weak link to the company’s overall network.
Supply chain attacks are more commonplace than attacks targeted at companies and originate through hacking attempts or the use of malware.
What They Do
In recent times, the supply chain network of companies has become a prime target for cybercriminals.
This vulnerability arises from the fact that a weak link within a company’s supply chain can serve as an entry point for cybercriminals to infiltrate larger organizations, leveraging the data supplied through these chains.
Such attacks highlight vulnerabilities within the target’s supply network, indicating that the security measures are as weak as the least secure link in its chain.
The adoption of various technological means has led to a substantial increase in the volume of data, exchanged electronically through platforms such as the Internet, smartphones, and cloud computing.
While this electronic exchange of data enhances efficiency, it also introduces a certain level of risk, making companies susceptible to cyber theft.
Cybercriminals, recognizing the value of this data, employ various means to acquire it. Once successful, supply chain attacks empower cybercriminals to infiltrate affiliated companies.
An illustrative case is the 2013 Target breach, where attackers exploited third-party security credentials, compromising Target’s security measures.
Gaining access to login credentials and network entry points, the attackers infiltrated Target’s computer system, compromising the personally identifiable information of over 70 million customers.
This breach inflicted significant damage, totaling $200 million, leading to the resignation of the CEO.
This incident underscores the critical importance of fortifying security measures throughout the entire supply chain to mitigate the risks associated with cyber threats.
One can take several ways to make sure their systems are well protected from supply chain attacks. Here are some of them that you can use to protect yourself.
- Understand and Assess Your Supply Network: It is imperative to establish a level of trust with your supply chain vendors concerning information access on your systems. This collaborative relationship enables the tracking of risk factors, including ownership, supplier relations, and potential attack surfaces. Utilizing open-source tools, continuous monitoring throughout the supply cycle, and employing multidimensional analytics can enhance the assessment process.
- Identify Risks of Third-Party Suppliers: To preemptively address potential supply chain attacks, it is crucial to identify valuable assets that could serve as motivators for hackers. This proactive approach aids in understanding which components of your supply chain systems require protection. This knowledge is essential for effective prioritization of your cybersecurity budget.
- Response and Remediation Planning: Integrating your supply chain into your response and remediation plan is paramount. Despite thorough pre-monitoring efforts, overconfidence can be detrimental, as unforeseen risks may persist. It is unwise to assume that suppliers will autonomously handle security. A comprehensive response and remediation plan should account for potential vulnerabilities and include collaborative measures with suppliers to fortify security measures.
Safeguarding against supply chain attacks is crucial, as they have become increasingly prevalent due to their effectiveness as a gateway for unauthorized access.
It is imperative to implement comprehensive safety measures to mitigate these risks and protect valuable intellectual assets.
Leaving nothing to chance in securing your supply chain is paramount to maintaining the integrity and security of your company’s sensitive information.