Why your software supply chain leaves you exposed to cybercriminals


November 5, 2021

Every business relies on software to keep it running, but is your software putting you at risk of a cyber attack?

Let’s find out more


The most pressing issue in cyber security right now is cybercriminal groups using third-party software suppliers to infiltrate larger companies. They do this because they know that smaller companies do not have the resources to put up tough cyber security barriers or employ teams of people to intercept hackers, unlike the more prominent companies they want to infiltrate. Cybercriminals infect the software supplier with malware through email phishing or dummy websites, then wait until the infection spreads to the big prize - the larger company. It’s a huge problem that the industry needs to work together to solve.

In this article, we’ll look at the problem in more detail, including why it occurs and how we can stop it.

Risky business

This problem is so hard to solve because it exploits weaknesses in each company’s business model. Individual companies used to have their own bespoke software to run various functions in their business, such as finance, sales and product development. Now, thanks to cloud technology, they often use solutions from third-party suppliers. If they are still using bespoke systems, they will still contract the development out to a third party. 

The average company in the UK may work with over 1000 third-party suppliers. These suppliers could be based anywhere in the world, they all work with other partners themselves, and they’re all in charge of their own cyber security. Now, do you see the risks?

Cybercriminal groups don’t have to hack the companies they are targeting directly anymore; they only have to get into the ecosystem and wait for the infection to spread. It’s no surprise that more than one-third of corporate cyber security breaches come from external companies in the supply chain. 

Why your suppliers are at risk

You may be confident that your cyber security operation is sufficient to repel a cyber attack, but can you say the same for the companies in your software supply chain? Your suppliers may be inadvertently allowing cybercriminals into your ecosystem because they’re missing these three things:

  • Technology – To identify and mitigate cyber attacks, you need the right tech. This can be a challenge for small businesses as it’s an extra cost. Also, you need to keep your tech updated to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
  • People – Most of the time, malware gets into a company’s ecosystem due to human error. Companies need to make their employees aware of the risks and train them to avoid security breaches. Unfortunately, many companies do not have the time or the resources to do this.
  • Co-ordination – Companies are left to their own devices to implement their own cyber security when what is needed is an industry-wide approach. Larger companies should work with their suppliers to ensure they have everything they need to mitigate cyber security risks. After all, it’s in their interests.

Fortunately, there’s an answer

The Darkbeam solution

When you let Darkbeam handle your digital risk management, we won’t just monitor your site, but your entire ecosystem. Darkbeam will:

  • Risk assess your whole supply chain to identify vulnerabilities, historical breaches and more
  • Track and alert you if there are any changes to your risk profile
  • Produce a detailed security breakdown to help you get to the bottom of any issues

 

Darkbeam is available as a SaaS platform or an API that integrates with your existing systems.

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