Many small and medium-sized business owners (SMBs) think that supply chain attacks won’t happen. While SMBs might not be the initial target of a supply chain attack, they can easily get caught up in the crossfire and become collateral damage.
In a supply chain attack, a hacker targets a single supplier. This is usually a supplier of IT software and services. The hacker compromises their networks and then moves laterally to compromise the networks of the supplier’s customers and partners. Many of these customers may be SMBs.
SMB’s need to be on alert because supply chain attacks are rising in popularity. For cyber-criminals, these attacks are incredibly efficient. They break into one business and get access to many others.
A report from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) found that 668 entities were hit by supply chain attacks which affected over 27 million individuals. The number of these attacks increased by 42% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to winter 2020.
Why Are Supply Chain Attacks Becoming More Common?
Supply chains are core to modern-day business operations. No matter how big or small your company is, you likely depend on a mixture of partners and suppliers for digital and physical services. This means businesses are more connected than ever before. The modern supply chain is like a complex web with many companies linked up. If a hacker can get into this web, the damage they can do is devastating.
Modern-day supply chains are often opaque which makes things more complex. You might know who your suppliers are but do you know who their suppliers are and who their suppliers are? If you don’t, you’re not alone. Research indicates that over a third of businesses don’t know how many external suppliers they use.
Top Supply Chain Security Vulnerabilities
There are many types of supply chain cyber risks. One of the most common is ransomware which is a variety of malware that enables attackers to hold the data and files on your computer for ransom. It leaves you unable to access those files until you pay the ransom.
Ransomware variants like REvil can quickly spread through thousands of computers. To enable this type of ransomware, all it takes is for your supplier to fall for a phishing attack.
Another supply chain security threat that can impact supply chains is the risk of unpatched security vulnerabilities which enable attackers to manipulate systems and data. Here are other threats that could affect the supply chain:
- Third-party service providers or vendors with poor access controls
- Poor employee training practices which lead to successful social engineering attacks
- Compromised software or hardware that you purchase from a supplier
- Software security vulnerabilities in the supply chain ecosystem
Supply Chain Cyber Security Strategies for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses
Supply chain security threats can make SMBs feel powerless. Even if they’re not a target of an attack, they could end up suffering a data breach due to a third party.
The good news is that there are ways to improve your security and tackle supply chain issues. The best strategy is a holistic one where you focus on thoroughly vetting your partners and bolstering your own security defenses. One of the most important solutions that you can put in place is threat detection and response to raise alerts if an attacker breaches your systems.
While these solutions can be a huge help to SMBs, many business leaders don’t have the time or resources to dedicate time to creating a thorough security strategy. This is where managed security services become essential.
Rather than haphazardly managing supply chain security, you can hand over your cyber security to a dedicated partner like us. We can help you with protection from end to end by implementing a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution that is designed to eliminate the majority of threats your business might face.
Our managed UTM solution utilizes these firewall and antivirus tools to prevent threats from entering your network while eliminating any malicious software that does manage to sneak through due to supply chain vulnerabilities. Our antivirus and firewall solutions are continuously updated with the most recent threat definitions so you can keep even recently discovered issues from becoming a bigger problem.
Get a Cybersecurity Network Audit to Protect Your Business
It only takes one threat to expose your entire network infrastructure to the outside world. Neither you or your company can afford to allow this to happen. In order to ensure the further success of your business, we recommend that you reach out to Sound Computers for a network consultation.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.