10 Tips for Securing Your Supply Chain Against Cyber Attack

10 Tips for Securing Your Supply Chain Against Cyber Attack

While cyber attacks are becoming more common, more precautions are available today to protect your supply chain. Ensuring the best outcome against cyber attacks breaks down into three basic areas: avoidance, reaction, and preparation.

1. Take proactive moves to prevent cyber attacks. Move away from proprietary hardware and systems and shift to cloud services from established providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Google. These companies treat security as a main component of their core business, which you can leverage.

2. Shield your system, protect your data. Transition to a browser-based user interface using APIs or CGI scripts to transfer data to and from the servers via firewalls. Browser-based systems are far more secure—they were initially developed by the U.S. Military to ensure data security and remote access speed.

3. Implement tighter controls on logins. Requiring strong, frequently updated password controls is essential, as is controlling who can create user logins. Monitoring this helps avoid human error that can leave your system vulnerable.

4. Work through Other platforms. Swiftly work through alternative software platforms while you identify the main system issues. This helps reduce the severity of the attack because it enables business continuity with minor impact on your customers. Our experience has shown us that customers who are open to working on alternative platforms significantly minimize their cargo flow disruption.

5. Leverage AI data ingestion tools. Use these tools to conduct major data input. This can replace or substitute for EDI connections in the short term by facilitating the process of importing large, assorted data files from multiple sources into a single, cloud-based storage medium.

6. Secure the main system. Ensure the main system is fully backed up and operational and free of viruses. Returning to the main system prematurely can create additional problems that negatively impact both customers and employees.

7. Vet platforms before an attack. When looking for the right platform, ask key questions, such as: How much of the core business can be supported on this platform? Do you need more than one? Does this align with my business objectives?

8. Integrate an emergency platform into your main system. The fail-over platform, which is a standby system available if the main system fails, should run as a mirror of the live environment. Cyber attacks often result in losing access to current data, which is a huge problem. Transitioning to live data saves an enormous amount of time and minimizes the impact on the customer. Keep in mind that advanced set up reduces transition downtime and helps maintain continuous operations. It is important to establish two-way connectivity between the systems so the backup system is up to date and new data can easily be restored to the original platform. Remember to have a data mirror in place prior to an event; this serves as insurance.

9. Implement a training program. With a small investment in training, employees can quickly learn how to work in a new, unfamiliar environment—which saves time and money in the long run. Conduct training for entire teams while applying a more frequent and comprehensive approach for key users.

10. Conduct occasional fire drills. Practicing how to handle a challenge that requires a calm, swift response ensures the team is prepared during a real-world crisis. There is a reason all children must practice fire drills at school. This is to prevent panic and ensure everyone knows how to quickly transition to a safe environment. The same is true with core systems as well.

Source: Bryn Heimbeck, Co-Founder and President, Trade Tech