Third-Party Logistics and Cyber Security

Third-Party Logistics and Cyber Security

Let’s say that you are trying to ensure maximum security in an office. You might, therefore, be sure to run lots of red teams/blue team simulations, to hire pen-testers, to keep your software all up-to-date, and to train your staff in identifying potential security risks.

But if you haven’t updated the software in your IP CCTV camera, then this might have a vulnerability. And if that’s the case, someone can hack into it and get a live feed of your office. It’s only then a simple matter for them to watch someone enter a password, and they’ll then have access to your server!

This is all part of the complete system and that means you need to consider every single element: even things that you might not initially consider to be part of your business model!

Cyber Security in Logistics: How to Protect Your Supply Chain

That also means you need to think about every link to the chain. In the case of many e-commerce businesses, services, and more, that can mean third party logistics.

In other words: if you outsource storage, delivery, and tracking to a third-party, how can you be sure that they’re doing their part to uphold maximum Cyber Security protocols? In this post, we’ll explore what you can do to protect your supply chain, and ensure that there are no data leaks.

Third-Party Logistics and Cyber Security

The first thing that you need to do, is simply looking for a business that takes precautions when it comes to its cybersecurity. In other words: is this something that it talks about? Is it something that is in its marketing? If not, then you should ask whether it is a priority and what steps the company is taking to ensure that your data is kept private, and your items are getting to the right addresses.

If you are working directly with multiple different service providers: importers, carriers, etc. then this can create numerous different points of vulnerability. You now need to speak with each of those companies in order to ensure they each adhere to some basic cybersecurity standards.

This is why it is often better to use a total solution: one business that will handle every aspect of the process, or that will outsource the different stages for you. That gives you one point of contact with whom to emphasize the value and importance of cybersecurity.

What to Look For?

Just like any business, there are a number of things that companies in your supply chain should be doing.

  • Regularly security tests. With the best attention-to-detail in the world, it is always possible for some things to slip through the net. This is what makes a pentester (penetration tester) so important: someone tries to break into your systems and then provides a detailed breakdown and report of what happened. You want proof that the companies you deal with are going to these lengths to test their own security. In a red team/blue team simulation, one group attempts to break into the system, while the other actively try to defend it. Does the company have an in-house security team?
  • Staff training. While we might like to romanticize hackers as people who sit in hoodies, tapping away at computers to enter cod at an extremely rapid rate. In reality, most “hacking” is simply a matter of persuading people to hand over their passwords! This is how phishing scams and similar strategies work. Staff needs to be able to identify these attempts and then delete those emails. Likewise, they should know not to open attachments, or click links, and they should use strong passwords.
  • Updates should be run as soon as they are available. Most updates include new security patches that find and close vulnerabilities. Failure to update means leaving known-security-flaws wide open in important software packages.
  • Regulations and protocols. There are a few basic rules that any company should enforce to ensure optimum security. That means no BYOD policy (bring your own device) as this can introduce a number of security risks. When employees are working remotely, they shouldn’t connect to public WiFi. And they should use a VPN whenever possible.

Have a Plan for Third-Party Logistics and Cyber Security

The last thing that you need to do, is to have plans. What happens if your supply chain does get hacked? What if the company is left unable to deliver for several days? What if your customer list is compromised? What if your own trade secrets are exposed?

While it’s up to the companies you work with to secure their data, that doesn’t completely remove responsibility from your shoulders. It’s your data after all, so have contingency plans for every scenario!

Do all this, and you have done everything within your power to protect your supply chain.

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