Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management 

It is no doubt that advanced tools and applications allow you to perform various supply chain operations in a cost-effective and efficient manner. But it makes their SC system vulnerable to external cyber attacks of hackers and breaches of their database security system. Today, we’ll discuss cyber supply chain risk management; its definition, key threats and attacks, and strategies to deal with it.

Some of the main cyber supply chain risks are as follows;

  • Insertion of malicious hardware or software
  • Theft
  • Tampering
  • Unauthorized production
  • Counterfeit insertion
  • Poor development and manufacturing methods in SC

What is Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management? 

Cyber supply chain risk management (C-SCRM) is the method of recognizing, decreasing, and managing cyber risks within the SC system and operations. An SC network comprises technologies, processes, and people focusing on delivering products and goods from one location to another. However, the internet and technology play a significant role in modern SC processes and systems.

When cyberattacks and other cyber issues disrupt the SC process and system, then it becomes a significant problem. The problem could be ranging from complete shutdown, slowdown processes, or downstream/upstream cyberattacks on customers, vendors, suppliers, and other businesses connected with your company. Some of the main risks are as follows;

  • Compromise on safety and product
  • Bad Reputation
  • Financial loss
  • Shutdown of operations
  • Data loss
  • Loss of life

Threats to Cyber Supply Chain 

Some of the main cyber attacks and threats to the supply chain are as follows;

Attacks on SC Businesses

It is a type of cyber attack that would disrupt the physical supply chain operations and functions of the business like the food suppliers or the food companies. For instance, a recent ransomware attack on the Colonial pipeline shut down the petroleum production supply. It had a very bad impact on transportation gasoline supplies and transportation on the eastern side of the US.

Hardware SC Attacks

It is a form of cyber attack that focuses on exploiting the vulnerability of the hardware system like industrial-controlled routers and devices. It is the same as the software attack, here the malicious virus breached the hardware manufacturing system of the vendor.

For instance, the hackers may enter the malicious virus code on any of the critical firmware or hardware of the device, then it becomes very difficult to recognize or stop the code or attack. By the time you track the code, they would release the new version of the virus. After the deployment of the compromised hardware on the customers; the hackers would receive access to the mass customer environment and develop control over the communication.  

Software SC Attacks

It is a very popular form of cyber attack that has made the headlines. Here the hacker breached the vendor’s network by comprising its software or system with malicious code. However, when the vendors launch updates for the customers based on the compromised system. It offers hackers access to the customers’ database, launches ransomware attacks, steals their information, or establishes their presence for future attacks.

For instance, the Kaseya Attack or SolarWinds earlier this year impacted the data of approximately 20,000 customers.

Network SC Attacks

It is a form of cyber attack that attacks the operations and support system of the company which would impact the networks of other connected companies. Malware, stolen credentials, and phishing are some of the traditional cyber attacks that would compromise the network of the company. Once the hackers have access to the network of the vendor, they would attack the connected systems of the clients.

Cyber SCRM Strategies 

Some of the main strategies for cyber supply chain risk management are as follows;

Integration C-SCRM

You should consider developing a council or group comprising various units like legal, risk management, operations, cybersecurity, IT, and executive. Your objective is to recognize the risk factors and develop a review mitigation plan.

Developing C-SCRM Plan

It is significant to develop an organization to deal with cyber attack risks like management, processes, tools, policies, and procedures. You should outline various roles and responsibilities, and cross-functional teams. It comprises developing service-level agreements, and testing procedures.

Recognizing All Stakeholders

It is significant to comprehend what type of vendors and suppliers you have, and what sort of function, products, and services they’re offering to your company. This activity would help you to recognize the relevant risks relevant to every vendor and supplier like the type of data they can access or process or the type of access they have to the environment.

Cyber Resilience

The vendors and suppliers are the main elements of your recovery strategy to the point where they could impact the activities of your business. It happens in the planning stage and entire processes of the company like recovery exercising and testing. However, some of its key activities are defining roles and responsibilities and focusing on consistent communication.


Every company is aware of the control that suppliers and vendors have over the delivery of the product and service. A well-developed analysis program comprises offering annual or semi-annual evaluations, often performed by a 3rd party. The regular and consistent analysis would help you to recognize any new types of risks based on the analysis of the vendor environment or publically accessible data like disclosure or breach notifications.

Conclusion: Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management 

After an in-depth study of the cyber supply chain risk management; we have realized that C-SCRM is highly significant for digital SC systems and processes. If you are learning about the C-SCRM, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned attacks and strategies.

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