Challenges and Solutions: Cyber Security and the Digital Supply Chain

When it comes to the modern supply chain managers have a relatively new risk to consider, cybersecurity. As major logistics providers from all around the world struggle with keeping their private data secure, businesses are investing time and resources to address this serious concern. From shutting down major ports to the risk of losing private client data, the time is now to address cybersecurity in the supply chain.

Let’s dive into the challenges and solutions in regard to cybersecurity for the modern supply chain.

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Challenge #1 The Connectivity Rush
New technology is all around us and in nearly every industry imaginable. When it comes to the supply chain, connectivity is key. Having the ability to monitor and maintain key supply network operations from anywhere in the world is critical as supply chains continue to become more complex. Businesses are looking at the Internet of Things as the 21st century gold rush but at the same time leaving themselves open and vulnerable. Finding a balance between connectivity and security is a monumental challenge for any modern Supply Chain professional or organization.

Solution:
Considering a systems security before implementing any new service will be vital to ensure cybersecurity. Consulting with the technology provider to understand what precautions should be taken can go a long way in understanding the vulnerabilities that exist and how to address them. It will be imperative to address these concerns before taking the next step and investing the time and money to make these systems a critical component of an organization. Addressing cybersecurity at the beginning of a modernization overhaul can avoid serious and costly issues down the road.

Challenge #2 Untrained Staff
Even with the most advanced firewalls, secure devices and systems an individual with inadequate knowledge of cyber threats can lead a business toward a catastrophic cybersecurity incident. Phishing emails and security shortcuts can make even the most secure supply chain a target for a clever cyber criminal. With these relatively new threats emerging at an incredible pace, it can seem as though training an entire staff to avoid cyber threats is nearly impossible. However, with a few bits of knowledge and a willingness to learn, any individual can understand and learn to avoid these serious risks.

Solution:
Training the staff on proper cybersecurity procedures is absolutely essential when conducting business throughout the modern supply chain. Offering them information on the latest Phishing email scams and other inherent cybersecurity flaws can go a long way in protecting a business and the resulting supply network.

Challenge #3 No Plan
Even the most cyber secure facilities and networks have the potential to experience a cyber attack. Whether it was an ‘open door’ due to a staff member or a new update in a software adding a new vulnerability, the chance is always there. Assuming a network is 100% protected from a cyber attack and having no plan in place can make recovering from the disruption a nightmare.

Solution:
Coming to the realization that no network is entirely cyber secure and formulating a plan to react if one were to happen is essential. Consulting with technology providers to discuss the best practices and procedures to address cyber attacks can go a long way when developing a plan. Having an action plan in place and ensuring staff understands how to react appropriately if a supply network is complicated will be crucial in order to quickly bounce back from any disruption.

Overall the modern supply chain faces numerous challenges and businesses must adapt to rise above these emerging risks. Understanding the risks can help a supply chain come up with solutions to ensure business will continue to run smoothly well into the future.

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