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The Threat of the Third-Party: Supply Chain Attacks and the Weakest Link




It is often said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and that holds true for a company’s cyber security.


A business can have extremely good cyber security but if they use a vendor that has weak security and gets hacked, that business will feel the impact as well.


This kind of attack is known as a supply chain attack.


A supply chain attack, also known as a third-party attack, is when an attacker gains access to a business’s network through an outside partner or provider with access to your system.


One of the most notable instances of this kind of attack was the SolarWinds compromise. SolarWinds is a software development company that creates various solutions for business and network management.


The attackers were able to gain access to SolarWinds’ systems that were used to update software and place backdoors on the programs, so when ever someone using SolarWinds software updates, they unknowingly install a backdoor for that attackers to gain access to their system.


The victims of this attack ranged from US government departments including Department of Defense, Energy and Homeland Security.


And sometimes, an organization can be affected by a third-party without an attacker and just the third-party’s actions can lead to leaks, for instances, recently a database of 200,000 medical records was exposed to the internet by a third-party vendor working for the Veterans Administration.


So how can you protect your business from supply chain attacks?


Vet – Be sure to do research on a vendor that you are planning to partner with. Get an Understanding of their history and how they are equipped to handle their own cyber security.


Monitor – Always monitor the third-party vendors and what they are doing on your network and evaluate if what they are doing is correct. Do they have too much access? Are they accessing files they shouldn’t be? Do that have too many permissions? Always be asking these questions and finding the answers.


React and Remediate – While monitoring your third-party vendor, if you see them doing something they shouldn’t be, act. You must respond appropriately to any issue that arises from the vendor and most importantly to remediate the problem.


Contact Firestorm Cyber for help on getting industry-leading and the #1 protection for your computers, tablets, and your restaurant infrastructure.

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