Five Ways to Secure the Supply Chain in Times of Conflict
Rising inflation, surging commodity prices, an uncertain economic recovery and an ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis — the global economy has had a pretty rough start to 2022.
Against such a volatile backdrop, supply chain companies face enormous risks and significant pressure in terms of business disruptions, security and safety of infrastructure, theft or loss of confidential data and a barrage of cybercrime including ransomware and other forms of malicious cyberattacks. Security researchers have identified at least four different types of “wiper malware” (malware that wipes systems and destroys information) unleashed during the Russian conflict. The truth is, our world simply cannot afford another NotPetya type of cyberattack known to result in catastrophic collateral damage and a level of disruption capable of erasing up to half a year’s worth of profit or more.
Because our global economy is so tightly interwoven, cyber fortifications must not happen in isolation. Instead, they must encompass the entire cyber ecosystem, including that of supply chain partners and other layers like sub-suppliers. Organisations and suppliers together must form a collective resilience that proactively neutralises cyber risks as they manifest. So what can organisations do to help mitigate potential risks and be better armed?
- Consistently review supplier inventories
- Perform routine risk assessments
- Focus on high-risk – or undefined risk – suppliers
- Implement a process for terminating suppliers
- Practice your incident response plan
The reality is that supplier disruptions are nothing new and the pendulum of instability will always swing back and forth. Certainly, as more and more organisations embrace hyper-connectivity supplier cyber risks will only intensify. For businesses to become resilient to volatility and disruptions, they must invest in a proactive process that identifies supplier risks throughout the entire lifecycle, from acquisition to termination. As John Locke once famously quipped: “The only defence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.”
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