- The human element in an organization
According to security professionals, humans are the most significant vulnerability in any organization. Their vulnerability comes from intentional or unintentional misuse of resources, negligence, or ignorance on procedures that need to be followed when doing specific tasks. This can lead to a significant risk not just for the company where the employee works but the entire chain of supply. The problem can also emerge from disgruntled employees who want to get back at the organization for something wrong they feel was done to them by causing harm to the company or damaging its reputation. Employees are also a target of hackers through social engineering. The hackers exploit human’s known weaknesses such as trust and curiosity to get into the systems and steal information or cause damage.
- Mobile application attacks
Almost everything today has an application used to ensure customers, most of whom use mobile phones- access services. Attackers have devised ways of compromising mobile phone applications by pushing malicious updates that contain malware. These attacks bring a large attack surface against supply chain companies that have Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. An employee with a phone that runs a malicious app can, without knowledge, grant an attacker complete access to the systems, especially if there’s no proper policy around BYOD.
- Third-party vulnerabilities
Not all problems emanate from supply chain companies. Rather, some come from third-party providers who offer services and products to them. Some of the services may be in the form of digital businesses, payments, chatbots, advertising services, or APIs. These services introduce new risks to supply chains and make it difficult to protect against and ensure privacy. Most integrations lack adequate security controls against formjacking, cross-site scripting, and other attacks. This is a significant risk not only to supply chain firms but to all other industries too.
- Inadequate vendor risk management
For the supply chain to be truly secure, companies in this sector must collaborate with their vendors and third parties to ensure all risks are known, and policies are put in place to address them appropriately. This means that both the supply chain companies must always conduct comprehensive due diligence during vendor selection, oversight, and monitoring. Vendors must be vetted appropriately and ranked based on their reputation, policies, and risk profiles. Sadly, risks keep evolving while digital risk management processes are slow in keeping up with the change. This poses numerous risk challenges to digital supply chains.
Generally, the supply chain has continued to be more challenging as things become increasingly connected. For this reason, there is no single solution to the existing supply chain risks. Instead, the risks require multiple approaches if problems are to be solved comprehensively. This includes involving stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, and employees and investing in the right infrastructure, education, and policies. With this approach, supply chain firms have a chance to fight back.