How to Effectively Manage Supply Chain Risks


The advent of digital transformation has enabled businesses like yours to reap numerous benefits, including simplifying inventory management and order processing. Even so, this transition to technology also makes you more vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches. Consequently, any breach throughout your supply chain could have dreadful ramifications for your company. So, how can you ensure that your business is adequately safeguarded from such dangers?

Investing in security technology is essential to protect your business, but more is needed to ensure secure operations. The complexity of today’s supply chains makes it extremely difficult to find and mitigate risk factors.

When considering how to improve the protection of data flowing through your organization, you must recognize that cybersecurity and data protection are broad issues requiring both technical and human-based solutions. Every link in your supply chain should be considered when developing preventive measures and formulating corrective action plans.

Integrating supply chain security into corporate governance should be a priority.

Rather than sporadically dealing with supply chain risks, making them an integral part of security processes and regulations is essential. A solid security process will ensure that employees comprehend the need for coordination with external providers and know what safety activities to execute.

Supply chain cybersecurity strategy best practices include:

• Defining who is responsible for holding vendors and suppliers accountable

• Creating a security checklist for vendor and supplier selection

• Specifying how to evaluate and monitor suppliers’ cybersecurity practices and how often

• Setting up a mechanism for measuring performance and progress

Take compliance seriously

Organizations must take action to guarantee secure links in their supply chain, including compliance with various regulations. The defense industrial base, for instance, needs to follow the guidelines of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). Additionally, other regulatory compliance measures such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS need to be adhered to depending on the industry sector and point of focus.

To ensure your company follows all regulations, performing regular evaluations, creating necessary documentation, and using best practices is essential. Making it a requirement for vendors to also comply with these stipulations will help your organization stay up to date with its responsibilities.

Having a firm understanding of applicable laws is essential. It will not only bolster the safety of your digital infrastructure and data security but also guarantee that all staff members stick to the same rules. In addition, with regulations consistently in flux, it is vital to maintain an awareness of current industry standards.

Deploy comprehensive and layered security systems

When you rely on multiple vendors for services, anticipating security threats can be tricky due to the wide range of possible entry points. Consequently, having a well-structured, multi-dimensional approach to defense is essential for protection. 

Layered security is a more holistic approach that protects each layer of your IT infrastructure with a different solution or method. So, even if one solution fails, you have others to fill the void. 

Layered security, of course, is only as good as the people who maintain it. That is why your employees must be trained and tested regularly. They need to be able to identify potential threats and take appropriate action.

Adopt and enforce international IT and data security standards

Interacting and collaborating with vendors is an unavoidable part of modern supply chain operations. Often the process brings a substantial amount of data exchange, which frequently includes delicate customer information such as medical details, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and financial data. Maintaining the safety of information consists of the practice of securely cataloging it. Then, with continuous monitoring and real-time alert systems, these practices can mitigate risks and threats.

When it comes to data security, how does one guarantee safety? Adopting and strictly adhering to widely accepted standards like GDPR and HIPAA are key. These regulations ensure organizations keep tabs on sensitive information acquired, demonstrate proper documentation when called upon and possess effective security measures. Moreover, before selecting a software-as-a-service vendor, asking whether they are SOC 2 or ISO27001 compliant will ensure the vendor remains up to par with industry requirements.

The best way forward

At a time when supply chains continue to become increasingly interconnected, it is essential to be aware of and secure any vulnerable points in the chain. While the amount of dedication and effort needed for this task can often be overwhelming for businesses, that’s where an IT service provider like us comes in. We are here to help keep your data safe while ensuring compliance with necessary regulations through layered security measures. Contact us today for a free consultation!