When the phrase "security threat" comes to mind, one of the last things you imagine being affected is the supply chain, unless, of course, you work directly with it on a consistent basis.
Supply chain security is a significant concern, especially considering there are many parties involved and just as many regulations. Also, security challenges run the gamut from cybersecurity to cargo theft. You need to be able to trust a range of individuals or organizations along the chain.
Furthermore, supply chain security touches upon nearly all locations, assets, and vehicles in your fleet. It's just as important, for instance, to have reliable protection for your transport fleet as it is for your warehouses - whether they are yours or third parties.
And since threats continually evolve, resulting in the emergence of new attacks, vulnerabilities, and threats, you need to stay on top of it all. So, how do you secure your supply chain? What are some ways you can reign it in and muster more control and protection?
Every Supply Chain Is Affected
Another misconception about supply chain security is that it only concerns physical goods or services. However, that's not true, is it? Software, mobile apps, and digital content also go through their own, albeit different, supply chain.
Before making it to the consumer and being made available for download or use online, the software changes hands quite frequently among development teams, quality control members and even public or private Alpha and Beta testers.
Then, it's distributed exclusively via a web portal or another application. Other times, software is made available across several platforms and portals, like through third-party distributors and retailers.
It's increasingly common - as happened recently to Avast - for hackers to exploit a digital supply chain to plant heinous or malicious code, leaving it hidden behind an official software download. This damages not only the reputation and trust of the company involved but relationships they have with partners, distributors and others.
How to Secure a Supply Chain?
According to the Department of Homeland Security, securing supply chains is not only necessary for the parties involved, but also the security and economic prosperity of our country. But, again, how do you secure it?
First, it starts with the parties and individuals involved. You need to check and monitor firms along your supply chain, which means background checks for drivers, employees, and even partners. You'll also want to research the reputation and details of insurance agencies and other firms you'll interact with. Just because a party seems to be on the up and up doesn't necessarily mean they are. Even worse, they could be a fantastic company to work with, but regarding security, they are just negligent.
Next, the aim is to develop an efficient process to identify, understand, and resolve threats as early as possible. This helps strengthen the security of all aspects, from physical infrastructures to the conveyance and processing of information assets.
Then, there’s the security of everything else, which includes the following:
- Monitoring supply chain players and ensuring they are adequately educated and prepared for security threats
- Authentication procedures for all parties involved, including video and license plate recognition for fleet vehicles
- Protecting the perimeter of supply chain locations including warehouses, transfer or supply depots and more
- Staying informed about modern attacks and vulnerabilities experienced by others in the industry
- Fleet security, including everything from the performance of your vehicles to risk mitigation
Secure All the Players
As we've already touched upon, there are many players in a supply chain, whether it's digital or physical. The most crucial aspect of protection and security is making sure these players can be trusted. In some cases, that might mean educating partners on how and where to beef up their security and possible supporting them in doing so. Don't be afraid to audit their processes and check up on their safety measures.
But don't leave it as an afterthought. It's a continual process that involves continually watching, assessing, and engaging with chain players. The moment you have a lapse in preparations is the moment your business is at its weakest.