Supply Chain Attack Risks and How to Prevent Them

Despite the events of the past two and a half years, hackers have had plenty of opportunities to create worldwide chaos. As people got used to ‘the new normal, the technology industry dealt with one of the 21st century’s biggest cyberattacks. SolarWinds had devastating effects on the supply chain, affecting the United States government and thousands of other entities.

While these attacks have happened for several decades, they’ve increased in severity and frequency within the last ten years, even within the Android app development space. Here, we will discuss what supply chain attacks are and how to prevent them.

What’s Involved in a Supply Chain Attack?

Attacks on the supply chain occur when bad actors infiltrate organizations, exploiting the weakest links in the supply chain. Outside vendors are often to blame, as they have access to companies’ systems and may expose certain vulnerabilities via substandard security practices. When suppliers are compromised, their entire networks are at risk—so even a minor software update can be used to gain access.

These attacks are so effective because they use legitimate processes to access private networks. Supply chain attacks affect businesses of all sizes, and anyone using infected software can get caught up.

Common Cyberattack Risks and Prevention Tips

In the sections below, we will examine the four most common supply chain risks while offering tips for increased security.

  • Using disreputable and unverified suppliers. For some organizations, supply chain protection is as simple as signing a piece of paper. Vendor relationships are trust-based, but that can be risky, as these vendors have access to all the company’s sensitive information. To avoid these risks, choose reputable, easily verifiable suppliers and ensure that their data and systems are protected.
  • A lack of training for employees. A company’s cyber defenses are only as strong as its employees. When workers do not receive regular awareness training, companies become more susceptible to attacks. Team members at every level should know how to handle sensitive data and recognize the signs of a cyberattack.
  • No risk assessment. This is a reference to the measures vendors, and companies take to ensure that software isn’t vulnerable. Without regular risk assessments, the chances of a supply chain attack increase. Companies must have robust defense systems that include regular vulnerability assessments and appropriate cybersecurity measures.
  • Ineffective management. Most companies lack dedicated supply chain protection teams, and even when personnel are in place, these teams are often underfunded and understaffed. With a risk management team, a company is better equipped to protect itself from cyberattacks.

How can companies protect themselves from cyber threats? The answer is obvious: choose partners and suppliers carefully. With the common-sense tips listed above, companies can do a little work now and prevent a lot of problems later.

Supply Chain Protection is Every Company’s Responsibility

While we all wish they would go away, supply chain attacks are, unfortunately here to stay. By addressing these risks strategically and securely, from cloud to code, companies put themselves in better positions to protect the supply chain.

About the author

Sarah Donnelly
Community Outreach Coordinator & Content Lead

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