Supply chain breaches are an often overlooked aspect of cybersecurity. Nevertheless, an attack of this kind, one that punches its way into your user’s mainframe and system, by way of your “certified” software is incredibly damming — for multiple reasons, the least of which is the fact that on an average an attack of this nature will cost a company over 4 million dollars. Your brand, your identity, and the trust your users have in you are broken by such an attack. This article will discuss how you can mitigate the risk of these breaches by using a process for assessing and mitigating risks.
What is a software supply chain breach?
A software supply chain breach is a cyber attack that takes place in the software development process. It can happen when a hacker gets access to the software and modifies it before it is distributed to the end-user.
The supply chain of software is long and complicated, so there are many points where a hacker can get into it. There are many different types of software supply chain breaches, but one of the most common ones is called a “man-in-the-middle” attack. The latter is a type of attack in which the attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other. The attacker can read or modify all messages passing between the two systems. This kind of attack can be done either by exploiting security vulnerabilities in a computer system, such as those related to the design of a protocol or by physically being present on an insecure network and inserting oneself as a man in the middle.
Supply chain breaches are a major concern for many companies. They can happen in several ways, but the most common reasons are:
- Poor data security: The company’s data is not secure and it is vulnerable to hacking. This can lead to sensitive information being leaked or stolen.
- Faulty software: The software that the company is using might have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. This could lead to data being breached.
- Incorrect handling of personal information: Personal information stored by the company might be mishandled and leaked out, which could also lead to a breach of confidential information.
- Inaccurate records: If the company does not keep accurate records on their suppliers, there is a risk that they will inadvertently be working with suppliers who do not follow the same
How to prevent supply chain breaches?
Software supply chain breaches can be prevented by implementing a set of best practices. The company should have a policy that defines how software is installed on their infrastructure and how updates are applied. The policy should also include the installation of antivirus and malware protection software to prevent threats from entering the network.
It is also important for companies to have an inventory of all their software, hardware, and other devices. This will help them identify any potential vulnerabilities in their system.
Here are some strategies, besides the basics, that companies can employ when dealing with supply chain breaches.
Honeytokens are a form of currency that is specifically designed to be used in the online world. They are given to people who do tasks and complete surveys, or for completing actions on social media platforms. Honeytokens have been implemented in many different ways and can be used as a reward system in many different types of organizations.
Honeytokens are the newest form of currency for rewarding customers. They have been implemented by companies such as Facebook, Walmart, Amazon, and Starbucks. The tokens can be used for a variety of things like getting discounts or free items from participating stores and websites.
In cybersecurity, these sorts of tokens are given out to staff members so they can access key parts of the software supply chain. They are non-fungible, are easy to tract, and have an expiration date.
Secure Privileged Access Management Framework
The Secure Privileged Access Management Framework is a set of processes, policies, and technologies that help safeguard against software supply chain breaches.
Software breaches can happen anywhere from the developer’s laptop to the final user’s device. It is up to companies to take precautions and implement a secure privileged access management framework that will protect them against software supply chain breaches. They have to determine who has access to what and for how long.
Implementing Zero Trust Architecture
In the past, organizations have been able to operate with a “trust everyone” mindset. This is no longer the case. With the increase in cyber-attacks and data breaches, it has become necessary to implement a Zero Trust Architecture approach.
A Zero Trust Architecture is a model that requires authentication before granting access to any network resources or services. It requires you to identify and authenticate users before they can access any network resources or services, even if they are on your internal network.
- Requiring authentication for all users accessing company networks from outside of those networks
- Requiring authentication for all devices connecting to company networks from outside of those networks
- Requiring authentication for every service accessed by employees (e.g., email, file…)
Identifying potential insider threats
It’s important to comprehend that sometimes the threats come from within. Not all are malicious. Most breaches are a result of an accident or a miscalculation. Like the saying says: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” That has never been truer than with supply chain breaches.
Minimizing access to sensitive data
You should always have your sensitive data locked tight — and only a few, a very small few should have continuous access to it.
The advantages of mitigating the risk of software breaches
There are many benefits to mitigating the risk of software supply chain breaches. One of the most important benefits is that it can result in a decrease in security vulnerabilities. By implementing a process for assessing and mitigating risks, you can eliminate some of the vulnerabilities that might exist in your software supply chain.
Software supply chain breaches are becoming more common and more severe, which is why it’s important to mitigate this risk before it becomes an issue. They are more often than naught incredibly expensive because they often result in loss of data, liability issues, and system downtime.