Supply chains are a vital component of every organization’s business operations and the backbone of today’s global economy. However, security chiefs everywhere are concerned about how open they are to an abundance of risk factors. A range of valuable and sensitive information is often shared with suppliers, and when that information is shared, direct control is lost. This leads to an amplified risk of its confidentiality, integrity or availability being compromised.
Do you know where your information is?
Security is only as strong as its weakest link. Despite organizations’ best efforts to secure intellectual property and other sensitive information, limited progress has been made in effectively managing information risk in the supply chain. Too often data breaches trace back to compromised vendor credentials to access the retailer’s internal networks and supply chain. Mapping the flow of information, and keeping an eye on key access points in order to continuously manage information security risks, will unquestionably remain a crucial part of building a more resilient organization.
Do you know if your suppliers are protecting your company’s sensitive data as diligently as you would protect it yourself? This is one obligation you can’t outsource because in the end, it’s your liability. By looking at the structure of your supply chains, determining what information is shared, and assessing the probability and impact of potential breaches, you can balance information risk management efforts across your enterprise.
Organizations of all sizes need to think about the consequences of a supplier providing accidental, but destructive, access to their corporate data. Information shared in the supply chain can include intellectual property, customer or employee data, commercial plans or negotiations and logistics. Caution should not be confined to manufacturing or distribution partners. It should also embrace professional services suppliers, all of whom share access, often to your most valuable assets.
To address information risk in the supply chain, organizations should adopt strong, scalable and repeatable processes — obtaining assurance proportionate to the risk faced. Supply chain information risk management should be embedded within existing procurement and vendor management processes.