The 3 Main Digital Supply Chain Risk Management Strategies to Consider


RiskXchange provides a powerful AI-assisted, yet simple automated and centralised unique 360-degree cybersecurity risk rating management approach.


Most businesses are always in the process of digital transformation – technology is updating, changing, and evolving daily so it is important to adapt with it. The “latest” challenge presents itself in the guise of cloud services which yield a great deal of cyber risk. 


Cloud services and applications often rely on vendors to enable their businesses. In this scenario, cyber risk is similar to health risk your system connects to an increasing number of vendors whose activities are outside of your control which increases your cyber risk. In the same way, you take steps to protect your physical health upon increased exposure, similar steps should be taken with cyber risk. 


Devising a digital supply chain risk management strategy is key to reducing cyber risk and protecting your business against attack. Let’s take a closer look at the three main areas that should be considered when creating your digital supply chain risk management strategy: 


1. Regular patching cadence


Patching cadence determines how many vulnerabilities are evident on your system and how many critical vulnerabilities are still to be patched. The process involves the time it takes to apply security updates to your networks, systems and software.


A large percentage of data breaches occur because an organisation fails to update their networks, systems and software. Organisations should apply security patches within 30 days of the software’s release to reduce cyber risk. However, most businesses are not applying patches within that time period because they fear interruption to their organisation or believe that they won’t be able to cope with the work required.


The sheer number of software updates can become overwhelming and not all of them are equally important. Some additional features that make the user experience better while others fix glitches that can improve connections between programs. There are easily found glitches, but also vulnerabilities that are harder to find. Managing and prioritising these decisions is key to business success and reducing cyber risk, but they can also be complex and time-consuming at the same time.


The main problem arising today is that businesses know they need to take action, but they often lack the staffing or the technical ability to do so. A detailed digital supply chain risk management strategy should provide insight into how your extended supply chain partners manage their security patch update processes to ensure your own security and to reduce cyber risk. 


2. Protect the perimeter with network security monitoring


Network security can be software or hardware that prevents unauthorised access to an organisation’s system. Anti-malware and firewalls fall into this category of security measures and are the best-known for reducing cyber risk. Hackers focus on exploiting vulnerabilities in an organisation’s network security because once they gain access they can move around inside the system between applications and programs, targeting other vulnerabilities and stealing information. 


As part of your digital supply chain risk management strategy, you should ensure that your business and all supply chain partners adopt the appropriate security measures.


Antivirus or anti-malware software and firewalls prove an extremely effective deterrent for cybercriminals and helps to reduce cyber risk. Most organisations use firewalls as a threat mitigation strategy and include anti-malware and antivirus software.


Many organisations also use a “whitelist” strategy which allows data from certain websites and web domains to enter their system. Organisations usually whitelist “google.com”, for example, because most employees will need access to the internet and search engines as part of their job. On the other hand, organisations have the ability to “blacklist” domains as part of their digital supply chain risk management strategy – Facebook is a prime example as it could lead to malware and other security breaches on the system.


Network security tends to operate side-by-side with patching cadence. Almost all protections require continuous monitoring and regular updates as cybercriminals evolve and update their methodologies daily. Managing network security risk is a complex issue, one that may never be 100% secure. Therefore, it is important to bring in the best in the business to ensure that your network is tight and secure and cyber risk is at a minimum. 


3. Web application security


Web application security protects services like user portals and websites from cyberattacks. Most organisations today use a complex variety of applications that rely on the internet. A human resources application to allow employees to update their personal information is one of the most common web-based applications. Cybercriminals have become adept at being able to exploit vulnerabilities within this application and gain access to networks. 


It’s important to take a stand against the following:


SQL attack


An SQL attack is when an attacker inserts malicious code into a login page to collect the user’s ID and password. Once cybercriminals obtain this information, they can access the application and steal the information stored there. 


Cross-site scripting


Cross-site scripting, or XSS, attacks target users’ browsers rather than the applications. An XSS attack installs malware on the user’s browser, then leaves the malware on the application and the device. The aim of the attack is to steal information in a similar way to an SQL attack. 


About RiskXchange


RiskXchange provides a powerful AI-assisted, yet simple automated and centralised unique 360-degree cybersecurity risk rating management approach. We generate objective, quantitative reporting on a company's cybersecurity risk and performance, that enables organisations with evolving business requirements, to conduct business securely in today's open, collaborative, digital world. 


RiskXchange is an information security technology company, that helps companies of all sizes fight the threat of cyber threats by providing instant risk ratings for any company across the globe. RiskXchange was founded and is led by recognised experts within the security industry, who have held leading roles within companies such as IBM Security. 


Find out more here.

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