Is your supply chain vulnerable to attack? The growth of the supply chain in business has been significant over the last several years. Why is that? It’s because of technology and the internet are tools used to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of your operations. Developments in technology have allowed companies to set up trusted agreements with their customers and vendors. And streamline these agreements in their supply chain, via their computer networks. But what if someone in your supply chain has been compromised? The key word here is trust. Your trust, as well as their trust. Think of the banking relationship and it plays the same amount of importance in your supply chain. Banks rely on relationships with other banks and financial institutions in reciprocal agreements in order to smooth the flow of capital. Same with the supply chain.
Has A Vendor Been Compromised?
What happens if a vendor or customer is compromised? What do you do? How do you address this? Do you cut the vendor or even the offending customer off? You have to protect the rest of your supply chain. Sure you have to correct the problem. And at this point, it is going to be your IT staff or a trusted security vendor to assist with this. But how do you handle it at an executive level? You need a plan in place before it becomes an issue. This is the basic blocking and tackling of a good security policy ahead of time. Responding afterward is not going to look good to rest of your supply chain. A fast clean response with the correct communication is the answer. And that is only going to happen if you are prepared.
What If It’s the Other Way Around?
What if it was your company that compromised the supply chain? Now you are on the bubble. And you have even more explaining to do. You are now in the uncomfortable position of threatening the trust you have earned with your supply chain partners. But this can be mitigated also. First of all, you should have a security posture that will not allow you to fall prey to major security breaches. Second just like above you need to be able to respond quickly and effectively. Public statements, peer executives to call and prepared information on what to tell them and when. Your preparation can mean the difference between thriving or survival in your supply chain. Gartner Group the authority on IT trends and decisions, says that “by 2018 50 percent of organizations in supply chain relationships will use the effectiveness of their counterparts security policy to assess the risks in continuing the relationship, up from 5 percent in 2015”. I think we all would prefer to be on the side of the 50% deciding on our supply chain partners. Much better to be the decider and the one being evaluated.