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Risk and vulnerability of supply chain in cyberattacks
July 5, 2021
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How shippers mitigate cyber attacks

The major supply chains in the US which includes both the fuel supply chain and the food supply chain has been affected by the growing cyberattacks. A ransomware attack the JBS last June 2, 2021 which resulted in the cancellation of the shifts across the US plants, this was reported by The Wall Street Journal. These event has spark some fears of a massive food shortage, and with just weeks after this event that strike in the US the operation in the Colonial Pipeline was halted.

Colonial Pipeline was shutdown due to the recent cyberattack and has returned the issue of cybersecurity to the forefront of logistics conversations, reported by CNBC. Working with technology will help protect the supply chain and could enable the partners to reduce the risk through layered protection strategies such as layered communication methods, segmented systems that can be isolated and addressed when a possible attack occurs, and expanded breadth of mode and carrier offerings to bypass potential disruptions.

Supply Chain Cybersecurity Risks Continue to Exist Around the Globe

The cyberattacks has been increasing in an alarming rate, these has become a common fact when the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. And the need to expand remote work would increase the chances of many companies to be exposed to an attack. Here are some things that supply chain leaders need to know regarding the facts of cybersecurity attacks, as noted by Varonis.

  • Most successful cyberattacks are not some repeated attempt to gain entry to a system with advanced coding knowledge; they are the result of human error.
  • Up to 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by social engineering, using things like phishing emails or shared login credentials to gain access to a system.
  • The remaining cyberattack incidents can come from espionage, unpatched systems or other means.
  • Money is often the driving force behind cyberattacks, accounting for 86% of attacks.
  • The typical cyberattack and subsequent data breach cost was $3.86 million in 2020.
  • The average breach goes undetected for more than 50 days.

Cybersecurity is critical to keep the information safe, secure and keeping the product flowing in the supply chain. Defending the flow of goods and keeping the economy moving is the goal of 3PL companies. The fear most company have on cybersecurity is that the applications used or operational machines might affect and stop the flow of goods, or food, or impact the flow of the economy or essential goods.

How the Colonial Pipeline Attack Will Affect the Supply Chain

A massive fuel shortage along the East Coast was mostly triggered by the cyberattack in Colonial Pipeline which resulted to an increase of fuel average cost at $3 per gallon. An increase of fuel surcharges was due to the shortage that made the truckload rates to increase. Finding a fuel stations with diesel is a challenge for some drivers. These affects the transportation of the orders to be delay and the risk for making a customer upset.

What Can Shippers Do to Mitigate Cyber Attacks

These are some steps to help shippers protect their assets from cyberattacks, including:

  • Working together on security planning and testing with trusted 3rd parties like GlobalTranz who provide TMS or other applications. This is effectively achieved through outsourcing of the maintenance and patching of the systems to trusted digital transportation management partners.
  • Conducting penetration testing to identify and address vulnerabilities. Penetration testing is a biannual process at GlobalTranz and helps to root out risks before they become cyberattacks.
  • Leveraging a dedicated cybersecurity team to ensure accountability and protect customers from the risks of using any connected application, whether used as a standalone system or integrated within a tech stack.
  • Continuous scanning to find issues, quarantine affected systems and prevent subsequent disruptions. The reality is that an attack will happen, and the key to success rests in being able to mitigate the impact and protect customer information.
  • Ensuring that supply chains are not single-stream, leveraging multiple carrier, manufacturing, and delivery partners to create resiliency in the flow of goods and services.

Enhancing the supply chain cybersecurity with the ight software and solutions vendors with high quality information security processes.

These are the most important individual layers of security and processes that will help to build more robust supply chain security, including:

  1. Infosec policies to hold employees accountable for website and email use.
  2. Physical security measures to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing servers or applications.
  3. Using firewalls and secure networks/systems to prevent attacks from gaining entry to a system.
  4. Running automatic antivirus and vulnerability software to detect unusual lateral movement within an account or application to recognize a cyberattack.
  5. Maintaining strict access control and permissions to share files and applications.
  6. Backing data up routinely to account for possible losses when and if an attack occurs.
  7. Leveraging monitoring and notifications to alert dedicated staff of potential issues as soon as evidence of an attack appears.
  8. Employee training and testing to ensure their readiness to help prevent a successful attack

Enhance Your Supply Chain Cybersecurity With the Right Software Vendors and High-Quality Information Security-Based Applications

Cybersecurity is the top concerns for companies of all sizes. Causes of most attacks were from a mistake and a human error whether its by clicking on a link. Planning and rethinking for strategies that would help reduce the risk from cyberattack by training employees to reduce the risk of human error and ensuring that there will be partners who will back you up by protecting your assets and customer assets with the proactive supply chain cybersecurity.

Article inspired from the Logisticsviewpoint

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