In recent years, there has been an increasing trend of cyber attacks against supply chains. The interconnectivity of the various vendors with organizations within both the private and public sectors has brought forth good in terms of efficiencies and productivity; but there is a flipside, it has also brought a plethora of bad cyber actors attacking the supply chain in order to exploit security weaknesses.

The cause and effect from the increase in volume and complexity of cyber attacks has distinguished those organizations that have prioritized security stewardship with a definite competitive advantage.


Supply Chain Trust 

Trust by default is a thing of the past, period.

The types of businesses being sought these days have an established reputation of secure and sustained resilience within the everchanging hostilities of the cyber world.

Executives factor cybersecurity into their strategic direction and investment decisions. Uncertainty with regards to your organization’s cybersecurity posture may become a distinct factor to your ongoing viability.

Does your organization have a supply chain cyber security competitive advantage?


Competitive Advantage Defined

In the introduction, security stewardship was referenced as something that had been prioritized in those organizations with a definite competitive advantage. So, what characteristics define a security steward?

  • Accountability
  • Responsibility
  • Governance
  • Frameworks
  • Policies
  • Processes
  • Monitoring
  • Audits
  • Assessments

These are all elements of a traditional security program.

Those organizations with a definite competitive advantage are indicative of a security mindset that is both cultural and cultivated and ultimately are not merely playing house with security as a responsibility to those with the word “security” in their title or job description.

In today’s cyber world every company is an IT company. Every executive now needs to understand and manage cyber risk as part of their responsibility and accountability.


Supply Chain Cyber Security Competitive Advantage 

The key is to make sure that specific levels of security assurance for cybersecurity are being enforced across the entirety of the supply chain. Just as most organizations would not buy a crucial hardware component without making sure that it meets their relevant requirements, so must they ensure that their supplier’s cybersecurity is assured to a mutually acceptable level in order to minimize the risk.

This is not a simple task for organizations that have numerous supply relationships from the onset, especially when assessing the existing supply chain while implementing a vetting process forward for a much-required level of assurance for cyber health and resilience.

Points to consider:

  • Cookie-cutter templates for assessing suppliers in the supply chain can obscure information that may be truly relevant for the required cybersecurity assurance levels;
  • Cyber threats have differing degrees of impact on organizations; and
  • Measure twice, cut once by defining the requirements to meet the specific levels of security assurance and require relevant substantiating artifacts. The review process and approval maps into the risk management framework.

The importance of the supply chain had been mostly misinterpreted to its traditional definition which transformed into digital and cyber components of interconnected systems communicating in the information superhighway.

Supply Chain Risk Management is the new world order for cybersecurity and resilience.

After all, the security of the supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link!