Supply Chain Attacks - How They Work and How to Mitigate Them
Security for Everyone
A supply chain attack is a type of cyberattack in which the attacker targets a weak point in an organization's supply chain in order to gain access to the organization's data or systems. These attacks have become increasingly common in recent years, as attackers have realized that they can often be more successful—and cause more damage—by targeting a third-party vendor or supplier than by attacking the organization directly.
Supply chain attacks can be particularly devastating because they can give the attacker access to an organization's most sensitive data and systems. In some cases, these attacks can even lead to physical damage to equipment or facilities. As such, it is critical for organizations to understand how supply chain attacks work and what they can do to mitigate them.
How Supply Chain Attacks Work
Supply chain attacks typically involve compromising a third-party vendor or supplier that has some level of access to the organization's data or systems. The attacker will then use that vendor or supplier's access to gain entry into the organization's network. In many cases, the attacker will remain undetected for some time as they move laterally within the network, collecting sensitive data or planting malware for future use.
One of the most famous examples of a supply chain attack occurred in 2013, when attackers compromised the software update process for Adobe Reader and planted malware on hundreds of thousands of computers around the world. The attackers were then able to use that malware to steal information from companies and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense.
5 Ways to Mitigate Supply Chain Attacks
There are a number of steps that organizations can take to mitigate the risk of supply chain attacks, including:
1) Educate your employees: One of the best ways to prevent supply chain attacks is to educate your employees about these types of attacks and how they work. Employees should be aware of what supply chain attacks are and how they can be used to gain access to an organization's systems or data. They should also know how to spot signs of an attack, such as suspicious emails or unexpected requests for information.
2) Use strong authentication: Another way to prevent supply chain attacks is by using strong authentication methods for all communication between your organization and any third-party vendors or suppliers. This will make it more difficult for attackers to carry out man-in-the-middle attacks, as they will not be able to intercept and view communications if they do not have the proper authentication credentials.
3) Implement security controls: Another mitigation measure is to implement security controls at all points in your supply chain. This includes ensuring that all vendors and suppliers have adequate security measures in place, such as firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and so on.
4) Monitor activity: It is also important to continuously monitor activity within your organization for signs of unusual or suspicious activity. This can be done through various means, such as network traffic monitoring, logging all activity on organizational systems, and so on.
5) Have a plan: Finally, it is also important to have a plan in place in case of a successful supply chain attack. This plan should include steps for identifying an attack, containing it, eradicating it from your systems, and then recovering from it. Having this plan in place will help minimize any damage caused by a successful attack and help ensure that your organization is back up and running as quickly as possible.
Supply chain attacks are on the rise due to their efficiency and effectiveness. These types of attacks involve targeting a third-party vendor or supplier in order to gain access to an organization's systems or data without having to directly target the organization itself. There are a few different ways that attackers can carry out supply chain attacks, but there are also a few different ways that organizations can mitigate these types of attacks. Some mitigation measures include educating employees, using strong authentication methods, implementing security controls, monitoring activity within your organization, and having a plan in place in case of a successful attack. By taking these steps, organizations can help protect themselves against supply chain attacks.