Supply Chain Cyber Attacks: A 2022 Cybersecurity Outlook

control room of global supply chain company showing maps and senior security technicians

As we look to the near future, cyber security experts have identified key areas that warn of impending future attacks and how extra measures will begin to emerge as we see a growing need for protection. One such threat is increased attacks on major supply chains. Here, we look at the threat and offer insights to help your organization get ready.

Increase in Supply Chain Cyber Attacks

In supply chain attacks, malicious actors seek to penetrate the supply chain security framework through third-party relationships. Suppliers, vendors and software providers all connect to the end-users. An attack on a single supplier can trigger a chain reaction that compromises the entire network.

Unfortunately, experts predict that supply chain cyberattacks, such as the Kaseya hacks, will persist in 2022.

Hackers Going for High Payouts

As we saw in the past year, ransomware attacks on big businesses are at an all-time high and show no signs of slowing down. We’ve seen data breaches crippling companies, both financially and reputably. Even more frightening, our global economy is at risk. Cybercrime is expected to exceed $100 billion annually, a figure larger than the global drug trade.

Threat actors around the globe are vigilant in exploiting the global supply chain for their financial benefit. Consider these statistics from the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity:

  • Malware is used in 62% of supply chain cyberattacks.
  • 66% of the reported incidents involved attacks on suppliers’ code.
  • 58% of supply chain incidents target customer data – including personal data and intellectual property.
  • 62% of attacks exploit the trust of customers in their suppliers.
  • In 66% of the supply chain attacks, suppliers didn’t know (or failed to report) how they were compromised.

While there is greater awareness of cybersecurity incidents and ransomware attacks because of recent news coverage, cybersecurity doesn’t have a one-click fix. Cyber security supply chain risk management requires a dedicated focus and continuous attention.

Implementing Zero Trust

Zero trust is a security framework that aims to eliminate implicit trust and continuously validate every stage of digital interaction. It requires all users, both inside and outside of an organization’s network, to be authenticated, authorized and continuously verified for access to view and/or possess company applications or data.

The benefits of a zero-trust approach to cyber security include:

  • Secure connections between users/devices
  • Simple provision and enabled hybrid IT access security
  • Reduced security threat within networks
  • Improved compliance of auditing access activity

Defending Against Supply Chain Attacks

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency offers additional insights on how to defend against supply chain security threats.

While zero trust and IT infrastructure protocols will help address many cyber risks for supply chain companies, organizations also need to educate users. Studies show that human error is a leading cause of cyber breaches. Therefore, it is essential for individual users to recognize potential threats, know how to respond and report suspicious activity immediately.

Need for Security Awareness Training and Education

There is some good news in all of this. Companies are increasing their focus on implementing and following sound cybersecurity practices. User/employee education and training is helping to effectively prepare the global supply chain workforce to reduce data breaches and other successful cyberattacks.

Global Learning Systems is a leader in supply chain security awareness training. Our security experts have developed engaging content and are consistently adapting to the new risks and threats that emerge every day. Take a look at our free security training resources to get an idea of what we can offer. And ask us about our proven training packages to educate your team.

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