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Supply Chain Security: Defending Against a Data Breach

What a wonderful world this would be if protection from cybersecurity threats were contained within the four walls of your business. But the hard truth is every entity on your company’s supply chain list – from the most active vendor account to the least – must be fully vetted to ensure they are protecting theirs and subsequently your data.

It stands to reason that the longer the supply chain, the greater potential for security breaches, translating into the need for proactive risk management efforts. The domino effect of a sloppily secured branch of your supply chain tree can have a devastating impact on your business because if a breach occurs on your vendors’ end, it becomes your breach by default.

So how do you avoid this potential for company/brand ruination? First, identify all supply chain partners, then vet each one for their cybersecurity capabilities. This due diligence should include all present and potential vendors. Each vendor should have the trinity of security in place – technology, psychology, and policy.

Technology includes implementing a line of defense (anti-malware, anti-spam, endpoint detection), the cost of which is rather inexpensive coming in at about $15 a month and a roughly $700 outlay for a good firewall.

The psychology component is trickier since it deals with human behavior. The goal here is to change the way people think about what they do. Hackers rely and prey on habitual practices, such as opening bogus FedEx emails, so educate your supply chain.

Policy speaks to a security posture, defined in company policies and procedures so everyone in your supply chain is on the same page about protecting data.

The negative impact resulting from a data breach can haunt a business for years. Setting a protocol in place that identifies and defends against these very real threats is a must for your business and all others on your supply chain roster.