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All You Need To Know About ‘ Supply Chain Attack’ And How To Prevent Them

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.

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 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

The supply chain network of companies has been the main target for cybercriminals for some time now. This is because a weak link inside a company’s supply chain can allow cybercriminals to access larger organizations through the data supplied to them by the supply chains.

The attack exposes a problem inside the target’s supply network, which lets the attackers know that the target’s security is as weak as that of the lowest supply link in its chain. There has been an enormous amount of data in various forms that have been brought about due to the adoption of various technological means.

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Through multiple platforms like the internet, smartphones, and cloud computing, companies can now acquire data electronically and share the data with their business partners and other third-party vendors.

This makes the exchange of data electronically carry a certain amount of risk resulting in cyber theft. Cybercriminals are also aware of the value of these companies’ data and so try all means to acquire such data.

When supply chain attacks and cybercriminals manage to steal data, they can use it to infiltrate companies affiliated with the particular supply chain.

One example of a supply chain attack was when Target (the company) became a victim in 2013. The attackers were able to breach its security measures through its third-party security credentials that got compromised.

The attackers gain login, password as well as network access to Target’s computer. The vendor that had weak and questionable security allowed the attackers to gain entry into Target’s computer system, and they made away with personally identifiable information of over a 70million customers of the company.

The attack also resulted in an enormous $200 million worth of damage for the company and the resignation of its CEO.


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.

  1. Understand and assess your supply network – There must be some level of trust between you and your supply chain vendors about who and what has to access information stored on your systems. Such a relationship can help you and your vendor track risk factors like ownership and supplier relations and available attack surfaces. You can also perform continuous monitoring throughout the supply cycle and deep multidimensional analytics with open source tools. 
  2. Knowing associated risks of your third-party suppliers- To determine how attackers may try to attack your supply line and disrupt your businesses, you should be able to identify your valuable assets that could be a source of attack motivators from hackers. This will help you know your supply chain systems that need to be protected and how you should prioritize your cybersecurity budget.
  3. Response and remediation plan- You have your supply chain included in your response and your remediation plan. Being overconfident due to your pre- monitoring work can prove fatal since there could still be some risks lurking somewhere. Never assume that your suppliers will take care of security for you.
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Supply chain attacks have been on the rise since they are the easiest ways a company can be hacked. It is imperative to ensure that all safety measures are put in place, and nothing is left to chance to protect your valuable intellectual assets.

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