In recent years, software supply chain attacks have become a prevalent threat to countless organizations. With more businesses relying on third-party supply chain software, it has become easier for cyber criminals to target them. These attacks have devastating consequences such as data breaches, financial loss, and reputational damage.
Read on to learn more about protecting your business from these types of attacks.
How to Mitigate Software Supply Chain Attacks
While it’s not easy to prevent supply chain attacks, businesses can take certain measures to lessen the risk of these attacks. These include:
Honeytokens are digital assets that are used to bait attackers. Your organization uses an attractive asset, such as an employee login credential, to entice a would-be attacker. If the attacker takes the bait and tries to access the asset, it triggers an alarm that notifies you of an attempted breach.
The attacker’s activities are then logged so that you can take appropriate response measures, like blocking the IP address and notifying law enforcement. If a cyber-attacker isn’t hiding behind a firewall, their identity and location are quickly determined. This makes tracking and prosecuting attackers easier, preventing real supply chain attacks before they happen.
Using honeytokens helps you to detect supply chain attacks that target your products and services as a vendor. By placing a honeytoken in your software or service, you can detect when an attacker attempts to exploit it. This allows you to quickly patch areas of vulnerability and prevent your customers from being impacted by a breach of data.
Relying on Zero-Trust Policies
A zero-trust security policy is a security model that assumes that all users are untrustworthy. This security approach is built on the premise that businesses can’t rely on traditional perimeter-based security, such as firewalls to protect data.
With a zero-trust security policy, all users must be authenticated and authorized before accessing any resources. For example, a user trying to access your company’s email server would need to authenticate their identity and be authorized to access it. This involves providing their login credentials. Contractors, employees, and partners all need to go through this process.
This approach to security is important in supply chain attacks since it’s not easy to identify the person behind a particular attack. It makes it more difficult for attackers to gain initial access to a system. The attackers would need to compromise multiple user accounts to gain access.
Developing Security Awareness Training
Hackers often primarily target employees, attempting to trick them into exposing data. Their attacks prompt users to click on links that appear to be from a trusted source or to open attachments to phishing emails. These links and attachments contain malware that, once installed on a system, can give the attacker access to your organization’s data.
Security awareness training can help everyone at your company be able to identify and respond to these attacks. This training should cover topics such as:
- Identifying phishing emails
- Multi-factor authentication of email accounts
- Cloud security
- Social engineering
- Creating strong emails for work accounts
Establish a process for employees to report suspicious activity. For example, set up a dedicated email address or phone number that your employees can use to report suspicious emails. Update cyber security training regularly as attackers constantly evolve their methods.
Performing Third-Party Risk Assessments
Your vendors might have security risks that could affect your business through regular interaction. Third-party risk assessments help you identify and mitigate the risks associated with working with vendors. Send out these assessments regularly, such as quarterly or semi-annually.
Third-party risk assessment includes questions about your vendor’s security policies and procedures and their incident response plan. Ask about your vendor’s supply chain and how they manage security risks within it. If there are any changes to the third-party’s business model or operations, update the assessment to reflect these changes.
Monitoring Vulnerable Areas
Vulnerabilities are weaknesses in your organization’s security that attackers exploit to gain access to a system. You should continuously monitor your systems for vulnerabilities and patch them as soon as possible to protect your organization against malicious attacks.
A vulnerability management program includes regular scans, patching procedures, and incident response plans. Consider using a vulnerability management tool, such as Qualys or Nessus for maximum security.
Using Supply Chain Software for Protection
Implementing all the necessary security measures can make your supply chain more secure and less attractive to attackers. At SourceDay, we take the necessary measures to secure our supply chain software and protect our customers’ data. We believe that a secure supply chain starts with us and we are committed to continuously improving our security.