Shipping Logistics, Supply Chain, Technology

Supply Chain and Cyber Attacks

computer program software which can be affected by cyberattacks and can also ruin supply chains
supply chain

As many aspects of the world’s supply chains are increasingly becoming more digitalized, the chances that your company’s supply chain is at risk of cyberattacks may also be rising. Criminals understand that most businesses operate by computer and see it as an ideal place to strike. Ignoring these types of attacks may potentially be a threat to the confidentiality of your company and cost thousands to millions in profit. The cost that it will take to get your business running back to normal may also be immense.

How does it happen?

When planning a cyberattack, hackers tend to look for points of easy entry. This could be a phishing scam which is a mass email sent to employees or seeable passwords that give entrance to a company’s system. The entry into a company’s system may not only be directly but indirectly from a third-party source. For example, if your company is in constant communication with a supplier company, a hacker can get classified info by secretly monitoring conversations between the two and intercepting private info. Another example where this could happen is if a customs broker is in contact with a client online that needs assistance with freight forwarding. Unknowingly, Information about the freight may be accessible to a discreet hacker.  A person that works for a business may also leak private information from their database for their own self-interest. Other methods of cyber threats include:

  • Ransomware – This kind of malware blocks access to your computer until a fee or “ransom” is paid.
  • SQL Attack – A hacker adds a dangerous SLQ code to a database to control and take private company information.
  • Trojan Horse – This is a type of malware that conceals itself as a regular file but when downloaded, can take financial info.

Lowering the risks of cyber attacks

Employees must have a good understanding of how cyberattacks happen and have knowledge of what they can do to prevent these risks. Third-party suppliers to a company should be educated on the risk of cybercrime as well. It is also important for companies to make sure that their suppliers are secure by holding them up to a standard to comply with. Security processes should be updated frequently. This is because cyberattacks methods such as viruses and ransomware are constantly changing. System passwords may also have to be changed regularly and be intricate to prevent password attacks.

For the scenario that a cyberattack does occur, a contingency plan can be put in place which details the course of action being taken and who to contact. Some companies even create cyber-crisis jobs to protect against risk. All parts of a supply chain are holistically intertwined to achieve a particular goal and the right steps should be put in place to avert any hindrance to that goal such as cyberattacks.

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