The cybersecurity of supply chains has been an industry concern for a long time. With more technology and devices being integrated into supply chains, the massively connected system was emerging instead of linear physical and old-wired supply chains. Smart devices, temperature control sensors, robotics, ELDs, IoT-connected vehicles, and warehouses - all these components have created interlinked, cloud-based networks. Essentially, now we have much more efficient and transparent supply chains. However, this connected environment became an appealing target for cyberattacks, which in recent years have resulted in devastating consequences. Because of this, the importance of supply chain risk management and cybersecurity becomes widely recognized in the industry.
Most hacker attacks have a common goal - holding data or access hostage for a monetary reward. However, there are countless ways to hack a supply chain. The target of the attack might be a climate-control device that will set up an inappropriate temperature in the truck or warehouse, causing products to become spoiled. It might not seem like a tragedy if it’s one van of groceries, but if it’s a whole lane of medicaments (perhaps, a newly arrived COVID-19 vaccine) when they are most needed - the results can be excruciating. Another type of common intervention is an attack on the cloud platform to steal sensitive data.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain cyberattacks became increasingly common. With more organizations migrating their data to the cloud, embracing remote work environments, ramping up digitalization, and the inflated need for connectivity, hacker attacks have multiplied in 2020. Additionally, many large players have acquired smaller businesses last year. Small companies usually don’t have a budget that would allow them to invest in robust cybersecurity making them a security breach risk to larger enterprises.
Whether it be carriers, customers, or vendors’ information being exposed, at the very least the company’s reputation will be destroyed, and at very most - followed by lawsuits, public scandals, and money losses. In September 2020, a French shipping company CMA CGM reportedly lost $50 million on a ransomware attack that happened in one of their shipping subsidiaries. In February 2020, the TQL’s IT system was hacked, which led to the exposure of sensitive carrier data.
The issue has become so common that supply chain attacks are now a threat to governmental institutions. There are official recommendations and regulations established regarding supply chain risk management. For example, the Federal Acquisition Institute has developed and enforced a supply chain risk management policy.
The rapid transition caused by the pandemic exposed many security gaps across supply chains. Thus, companies must become more aware of possible security breaches, acknowledge the importance of vulnerability management, and put supply chain cybersecurity as a priority. It is no longer an option to dismiss data safety, as it puts to risk not just the initial target of the attack but the entire chain involved. It is vital, now more than ever, to invest in secure software.
Our sophisticated proprietary TMS, PLS Pro, is developed with all the supply chain security concerns in mind. Leverage our seamless and integrated software solution to bring transparency into your supply chain. Learn more about PLS PRO today!