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When The Weakest Link In Your Supply Chain is Cybersecurity

July 08, 2019


Your organization may have sufficient security tools and protection in place, but do your suppliers, and your suppliers’ suppliers, and so on down the chain?

Nearly 60% of organizations have suffered data breaches resulting from third-party vendors and suppliers. In today’s complex environment of digital buyer-seller relationships, automated processes and the Internet of Things (IoT), the weakest links in an organization’s supply chain are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks, threatening to bring down enterprise security on a massive scale.

Recently, a Zaventem-based manufacturer of aircraft parts named Asco was forced to totally shut down operations for two weeks following a ransomware attack on the company’s servers. With presences in the US, Canada, Germany, and Belgium, this was not only inconvenient for Asco and everyone Asco does business with, but dangerous. Although ransomware attacks are typically about extorting money, a company like Asco, which has connections in the defense sector, is a target for cyber espionage. In fact, 35% of all cyber espionage attacks target the manufacturing sector. But regardless of motivation, cybercriminals’ first job is to find your vulnerabilities—your weakest link— and then exploit these vulnerabilities to penetrate your digital enterprise. 

Examples abound in nearly every sector of the manufacturing industry. Many manufacturers acquire parts from thousands of small operations, some with shockingly weak security systems in place. When something goes wrong, consumers have very little patience for lost or stolen data, which can result in company and CEO reputations being ruined, and plummeting stockholder value. So where is the weakest link in your supply chain?

The more complex our networks become, the more important it is to have strong, cybersecure community foundations in place. Even if a CISO can't control the actions of vendors several degrees removed, they're still held accountable for the resulting security of the components they get from those vendors. This is why every CISO in the manufacturing industry should have a rock-solid supply chain management solution in place, and use cybersecurity technology to closely govern it from top to bottom.

Manufacturing is a massive industry spanning today's electrical and utility industry and medical devices to tomorrow's IOT and Manufacturing 4.0. Threats that impact one organization impact every company in the supply chain.

Celerium’s Cyber Defense Network helps managers learn about and address threats, view community response dashboards to see what others are doing, use and create automated bots to triage threats, initiate action, and help overburdened analysts focus on specialized areas from ICS management to the challenges of interconnected systems, Industry 4.0, and supply chain risk management.

Call us at 877-624-3771 to learn more about strengthening your defenses by joining a Cyber Defense Network.