Search here...

7 Supply Chain Security Best Practices

The interconnected and interdependent nature of modern supply chains poses a huge risk to the businesses involved. This is because malicious actors can now disrupt and paralyze hundreds of businesses by just targeting one link in the supply chain. Take, for instance, the MOVEit supply chain attack that occurred in 2023. Cl0p ransomware, the group behind the attack injected malicious code in the software’s infrastructure, which ended up affecting over a thousand businesses that use the software. Further, estimates indicate that this attack cost supply chains over $9.9 billion. This attack, amongst others, such as the SolarWinds, 3CX, and CodeCov supply chain attacks, highlights the importance of businesses implementing supply chain security best practices. 

Supply chain security best practices refer to security measures and strategies you should implement as a business to maintain the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of all the operations in your supply chain. It is, however, worth noting that security best practices in supply chain management aren’t limited to just cyber threats. Supply chain security best practices also include physical security, vendor management, employee training, disaster recovery planning, and compliance with industry regulations.

That said, here are some strategies you can take to achieve cost-efficient and secure supply chains:

1. Conduct Risk Assessments Regularly

Risk assessments are important for identifying potential risks, such as supply chain cyber security breaches and security regulatory changes, and potential damages to your supply chain’s security. This may involve conducting assessments of your organization’s security posture, including software and hardware infrastructure to identify any weaknesses. It may also involve assessing the effectiveness of any existing risk mitigation and security measures in place. 

A supply chain risk assessment shouldn’t be limited to your organization and its internal process. It should also include your external suppliers, partners, and the broader ecosystem in which your supply chain operates. This is because all it takes is just one weak link in the supply chain and next thing you know, the entire supply chain ends up compromised. Therefore, ask yourself, “Are the organizations within my supply chain taking measures to secure themselves against supply chain security risks? What can I do to ensure that my supply chain partners are also prioritizing security and aligning with best practices?”

2. Implement Strong Cybersecurity Measures

Since part of your risk assessment may have helped uncover several potential cybersecurity problems within your supply chain, you can use that information to create and implement security protocols, technologies, and practices.

Some tried and tested measures for cyber security in supply chain you can implement include the following:

  • Encrypting Sensitive Data: This security measure ensures that even if malicious actors compromise data, it remains unreadable and unusable to unauthorized parties.
  • Regularly Updating Software and Systems: Keeping software, operating systems, and applications up to date with the latest security patches and updates to address known vulnerabilities and weaknesses helps protect against exploitation by cyber attackers leveraging known supply chain vulnerabilities.
  • Conducting Employee Training and Awareness Programs: Educating your employees and security teams about common cyber threats, phishing attacks, and best practices for maintaining security is essential for preventing them from falling victim to cyber attacks and enabling them to act as the first line of defense against threats.

3. Build Trust Through Open Communication

Open communication between all stakeholders involved in your business’s supply chain is also essential for its security. With open communication, you and your partners can collaborate on implementing supply chain security best practices across all levels of the supply chain network. You can share insights, exchange information, and coordinate efforts to enhance security and mitigate supply chain risks effectively.

For instance, in the event of a security incident or breach, open communication can facilitate prompt incident response and recovery efforts. Stakeholders can quickly share information, coordinate response activities, and mitigate the impact of security incidents on supply chain operations.

4. Utilize Technology for Real-Time Visibility

Having visibility into your supply chain operations in real-time is essential for enhancing security and mitigating risks effectively. To do this, you can leverage supply chain security software such as real-time tracking systems, RFID tagging, and IoT sensors. These technologies provide granular visibility into the movement of goods, assets, and information throughout the supply chain network. This way, you can proactively identify security threats, track the location and condition of shipments, and ensure compliance with security protocols.

5. Establish Strict Access Controls

Even with open communication and transparency, you must maintain some level of control over who can access what and when. Therefore, you should implement access control procedures on supply chain assets such as sensitive data like intellectual property and critical cloud infrastructure. For instance, role-based authentication is a popular and effective access control mechanism that can help enhance supply chain security. 

With role-based authentication, you only assign access permissions based on individuals’ roles and responsibilities within the organization. This ensures that each user has access only to the information and resources necessary to perform their job functions, thus reducing the attack surface by limiting potential entry points for unauthorized users. 

6. Develop a Comprehensive Response Plan

An incident response plan is a written strategy outlining the procedures for responding to cybersecurity incidents, such as data breaches, malware attacks, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. When you have a comprehensive incident response plan in place, you can effectively mitigate the impact of security incidents and minimize disruption to your supply chain operations. 

An effective plan should include predefined roles and responsibilities for key personnel, clear escalation procedures, and steps for containment, eradication, and recovery. Additionally, supply chain security best practices recommend that you regularly test and update the response plan to ensure its effectiveness in addressing evolving cyber threats.

7. Ensure Compliance With International Standards

Your supply chain is most likely part of a vast network spanning across multiple countries and regions. In such a globalized landscape, ensuring compliance with international standards is paramount for maintaining the security and integrity of your supply chain. Therefore, you must take keen interest in international standards and regulations and how they affect your supply chain. Some of the most important international standards and regulations for supply chain security include ISO 28000 for supply chain security management and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for data privacy. 

Future-Proof Your Supply Chain Security

It’s not enough to just apply supply chain security best practices—you must ensure that as your business and the markets evolve, your supply chain security measures remain effective and resilient. Luckily, with Surgere’s Interius, you can future proof your supply chain security and implement best practices. Interius provides a comprehensive solution for supply chain intelligence by offering real-time visibility, 99.9 percent data accuracy, and actionable insights into various aspects of your supply chain operations. These insights include inventory levels, asset locations, transportation routes, and operational inefficiencies, all aimed at optimizing your supply chain processes and enhancing overall efficiency. 

Contact us to see Interius in action. 

Explore Our Other Blogs

Recent Blogs



Login to our Interius tools

Looking to login to Interius?

Skip to content