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Securing the supply chain

Securing the supply chain

A supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Increasingly that weakness may not be a physical, but the point in the chain most vulnerable to a cyber-attack.

One of the great things about working at WMG is the breadth of our research. Cyber security is an increasingly hot topic, as in our increasingly data driven economy, crime moves from the realms of the physical to the virtual. As Professor Carsten Maple (Director Research, WMG Cyber Security Centre) explained in the video, we are vulnerable to different types of attack. From criminals for financial gain, ‘hacktivists’ for political motives, and state sponsored actors who wish to attack systems.

The golden rule for anyone looking to attack a system is to look for the weakest or most vulnerable point. In an increasingly networked world, and particularly in the domain of supply chains, this weakness could be hidden away within a supplier’s supplier, or a customer’s customer. The 2010 UK Security Breach Investigations Report, found that 18% of breaches occurred in the supply chain, a figure that the Information Security Forum reported had increased to 40%. I expect this number will only continue to increase as around 70% of all physical supply chain ‘glitches’ occur within the supply chain.

As Carsten discusses, fortunately many organisations have recognised that it is impossible and indeed foolhardy for business growth to try and avoid all risks. Gone are the days when USB ports are glued closed, and IT departments unilaterally say no. More mature businesses are now undertaking some form of risk management strategy to be able to identify and mitigate against the risk of cyber-attack.

If you are interested in hearing more from Carsten on securing the supply chain, please watch Carsten’s full presentation to the WMG Supply Chains in Practice event on YouTube: Securing the supply chain (14:17)
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Supply Chains in Practice: How Things Get to You

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