Supply Chain

The importance of supply chain security management

A business is only as secure as the weakest link in its supply chain. With an increasing risk of attacks on supply chains, supply chain security is becoming a pressing issue for companies. According to a study, 45% of organisations worldwide are predicted to be the potential victims of software supply chain attacks by 2025, a threefold increase from 2021.

What is supply chain security?

Supply chain security is the segment of supply chain management that addresses potential risks of an enterprise’s vendors, suppliers, logistics, and transportation. Through supply chain security, a business can effectively identify, analyse, and mitigate the risks that arise while working with other organisations as part of its supply chain. Supply chain security can further be categorised into two types — physical security associated with products and cybersecurity associated with software and services.

The importance of supply chain security

With diverse organisations involved, supply chains vary significantly from one group to another. Hence, no single set of recognised supply chain security guidelines or best practices exists. A comprehensive supply chain security plan necessitates the use of risk management concepts as well as extensive cyber defence. It also considers protocols established by government entities or customs regulations for international supply chains. A compendious spend analysis framework can whip up tremendous value and profitability for a business. With spend analytics, an organisation can:

  • Keep track of the organisation’s data and the criticalities associated with it.
  • Devise a pre-emptive risk mitigation strategy that catalogues and processes business data to identify the most critical assets, liabilities, and potential threats and breaches, with minimal downtime.
  • Enforce a continuous monitoring system and implement elaborate policies across complex, hybrid channels and environments.
  • Update software versions and phase out older, compromised ones to minimise the damage that can occur if hackers decide to exploit them.

Mitigating supply chain management risks

The central aim of supply chain security is to shield businesses from supply chain attacks, which usually occur when hackers disguise malware within the software, which then circulates via numerous channels to attack susceptible targets and end users. By following certain steps, businesses can proactively mitigate risks in their supply chains:

  • Businesses should maintain a system for timely supply chain inspection and perform network-based assessments to secure their network perimeter and discover vulnerable components and breaches before they cause too much damage.
  • Businesses should also introduce automated security checks at every stage of the supply chain, right from the beginning of the software development life cycle, that is, the design stage.
  • The security team should integrate security measures for vendors and supply partners and employ specialised threat intelligence and response frameworks.
  • Every software provided by a supplier should be accompanied by a software bill of materials (SBOM). A comprehensive SBOM provides businesses with a complete idea of the inventory, including open source elements, as well as the license and version information.
  • Businesses should regularly perform supply chain analysis to examine operations support system (OSS) components and licenses, program source code on a running system, and monitor for issues such as SQL injection attacks.
  • Teams must address the supply chain vulnerabilities from time to time by updating, isolating, or eliminating the breached software and deny attackers opportunities to exploit these gaps.
  • Companies should configure multi-factor authentication (MFA) in all the crucial parts of the software development life cycle to reduce the risk of attackers obtaining access to their source code version control systems, inventory registries, artefact and equipment repositories, and pipelines.

For organisations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organisational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organisations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organisations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Our supply chain optimisation solutions include end-to-end solutions across consulting, technology intervention, and managed services to help your organisation streamline and digitalise its supply chains. With our intelligence, expertise, and technology, your business can proactively build a supply chain security system that can mitigate risks while keeping your enterprise competitive and profitable. Our supply chain security management framework includes the following solutions:

  • Supply Chain Diagnostics
  • SC Shared Services Advisory
  • SC Control Tower
  • Forecasting as a Service
  • Inventory Optimisation

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