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How to Prevent Supply Chain Attacks in 2023

Written by Miguelito Balba
January 3, 2023

When malicious actors target a company's supply chain, the consequences can devastate both the customer and the business - from data breaches to brand damage. That's why businesses need to take steps to prevent supply chain attacks. In August 2021, Docker found five malicious container images in their official repository, which had been modified to include cryptocurrency mining code. This was a prime example of a supply chain attack - when malicious actors target a company's suppliers or partners, leading to potential data breaches and other security threats.

Fortunately, there are several methods businesses can use to prevent supply chain attacks from occurring in the first place. Here are three key steps you can take:

1. Perform regular security assessments

Suppliers and partners should be regularly assessed for security vulnerabilities, both internally and externally. This will help you identify potential weaknesses that malicious actors could exploit. One thing to look out for is whether or not your suppliers are using secure coding practices when developing software. Poorly written or outdated software can be a significant source of vulnerabilities and should be avoided. Consider selecting suppliers with proven track records of building secure software when possible.

2. Implement a secure supply chain management system

A robust supply chain management system is essential for preventing attacks. This should include procedures for verifying the identity of suppliers, ensuring all transactions are fully authenticated and authorized, and regularly reviewing supplier contracts for security issues.

3. Monitor systems for signs of an attack

Once all the necessary prevention measures have been taken, monitoring your systems for signs of an attack is still important. Regularly review logs and other security-related data sources for any suspicious activity that could indicate a breach or malicious activity.

4. Establish secure coding standards

Establishing secure coding standards and best practices as part of your software development process is important. Developers should be trained to write secure code, and all applications should undergo thorough security testing before deployment.

5. Implement automated security solutions

Once the basics are in place, businesses can further bolster their security posture by implementing automated security solutions like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies help detect malicious activity faster and more accurately than ever before.

6. Assume you will suffer a data breach

It's important to remember that no matter how compelling your security measures are, there's still a chance you could suffer a data breach. That's why it's essential to have an incident response and disaster recovery plan to respond quickly if an attack occurs. Prevention is vital when it comes to the security of your company's supply chain. Taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your customers can save you time, money, and resources in the long run - not to mention help keep them safe from malicious players.

By carefully assessing suppliers and partners, establishing secure coding standards, and implementing automated security solutions, you can be sure your supply chain is secure and protect yourself from potential attacks. Doing so will help keep your business safe and ensure that customers remain loyal to you for years to come.

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