Network security

Your supply chain: how and why network security and infrastructure matter

With digital transformation, the rapid adoption of cloud computing and IoT, and the global scale of today’s supply chains, cybercriminals have more points of entry to networks and access to networks. data than ever before. Last year alone, cyberattacks on the supply chain negatively impacted industries around the world almost four times Following than last year, with no slowdown in sight.

Business leaders and organizations should prioritize securing supply chains and be aware of their supplier security practices to mitigate critical risks that can hamper productivity, delay product delivery, or worse. But how can organizations be as sure as possible that their networks are highly secure and that the companies they work with have adequate security?

A security-focused mindset is necessary for the global supply chain

Supply chains connect suppliers, vendors, logistics and transportation to create goods or services. If any of these elements are attacked, it can have a trickle down effect, which is why securing every end point within a supply chain is a critical element in supporting the delivery of safe products to customers. .

Threats to the supply chain can take many forms, including malware attacks, hacking, unauthorized access to corporate resources and data, and unintentional or malicious backdoors injected into source code. software. In addition to these threats, the hyper-connected structure of global supply chains creates additional complexity for organizations to manage and protect.

While an organization may have a strong security infrastructure, other companies, vendors, and resellers with which it is in close communication may not. As supplier networks become interconnected, information sharing (both intentional and unintentional) will occur.

An accidental data leak indicates a weak point in an organization’s network, giving the green light to malicious actors looking for a way to break into it. Attacks can occur at any level in a supply chain, but most attackers will be looking for weak spots to exploit, which will impact the entire operation.

Having a security-focused mindset will help businesses stay ahead of threats. It means putting security at the center of the supply chain and making it a fundamental part. The old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link is more apt than ever.

Zero trust and 5G in supply chain security

Meeting the demands of today’s manufacturing and allocation models across industries requires advanced network reliability and visibility into every facet of the supply chain, from manufacturing to delivery, regardless of the location. ‘physical location.

Many organizations choose to implement 5G solutions in their operations as 5G networks are already transforming and improving mobile skills at scale, providing organizations with significant improvements in security capabilities such as:

  • Enhanced identity protection: 5G protects the connections of external devices imitating cell towers to discover the identity of the user,
  • Smarter software and virtual hardware: allowing more secure data routing via virtual hubs, and
  • Edge computing: Allows data to be processed closer to where it is created and consumed, thus increasing awareness of threat detection.

The 5G security architecture enables significant performance advantages and application diversity as it takes advantage of network slicing, cloud-based resources, virtualization, and other emerging technologies. However, as more businesses and industries embrace 5G to connect their operational devices and applications, the attack surface grows. To protect against potential new security threats, new security controls are needed.

Given the complexity and interconnectivity of supply chain operations, zero trust is an essential part of an effective cybersecurity strategy. Zero trust defends the notion of “never trust, always verify” in an organizational security architecture, further segmenting networks and allowing access to certain areas of a network only to those who legitimately need it.

With zero trust, the security state of an endpoint is not immediately trusted – denying access and authentication to a user – until the zero trust network can verify the user. and location. Implementing a zero trust strategy is beneficial for organizations of all types and sizes. Large enterprises with extensive supply chain operations spanning the globe should have the tools and infrastructure to implement this security framework in their network environment and should move in a zero trust direction.

Supply chain security strategy

The pandemic has sparked renewed interest in data security – in manufacturing, some may call this goal ‘smart manufacturing’ – which prioritizes risk and resilience as part of security in the workplace. production and execution process, rather than simply providing a technological element to operations. Manufacturers are now studying what attack and protection surfaces look like, as a guide to implementing the most effective strategies to secure the end-to-end supply chain and mitigate risk.

Another key element in developing a supply chain security strategy is working with external organizations. This involves making sure that each member of the chain has individually created and continuously maintains a strong cybersecurity program. Given the needs, regulatory requirements, budgets and priorities that each organization requires, it is paramount to work closely with suppliers in a global supply chain to determine the level of protection they offer to your organization and to customers, in addition to theirs.

Taking the time to confirm with internal teams and external vendors that there are strategies in place to address weak points in their chains will serve organizations better in the long run.

If business leaders are not careful and strategic in their approach to securing supply chain operations, they make themselves vulnerable to attacks that can have lasting effects on their brand reputation, as well as repercussions. damaging internal processes such as data and financial loss. Maintaining a meticulous security infrastructure enables businesses to preserve customer relationships, protect customer and employee data, and deliver safe and quality products to customers.

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