Attacks on the supply chain use the mutual trust between companies as a means to their own ends. Any time a business allows another company’s software to run on its internal networks or engages with it as a vendor, it is implicitly expressing trust in the other company.
An attack on a supply chain looks for the weakest link in the trust connection in order to take advantage of it. If a company’s internal cybersecurity defences are strong, but its trusted third-party vendor is not, the attackers’ attention will naturally shift to the vendor. After establishing a foothold in the vendor’s network, the attackers could switch to the safer network and continue their job via the already established, trusted link.
Supply chains are often attacked in a way that targets managed service providers. Managed service providers (MSPs) are a prime target for cybercriminals because to the considerable access they have to their customers’ networks. When an MSP is breached, the attacker may easily go on to the client networks they manage. Taking use of supply chain vulnerabilities allows these attackers to have a bigger impact and, perhaps, get access to networks that would be far more difficult for them to attack directly. For proper supply chain attack protection you have to be definite.
Implications of Supply Chain Attacks
A supply chain attack is just one more method that bad actors might breach a company’s safeguards. Because of their adaptability, they may be employed in any of the following forms of cyberattack:
Data Breach Supply chain attacks are a common tactic for committing data breaches. The assault on SolarWinds, for example, leaked private information from a variety of government and private entities.
Cybercriminals often use supply chain vulnerabilities to deliver malware to an enterprise. SolarWinds provided vulnerabilities that were exploited in the attack against Kaseya, and SolarWinds also deployed a malicious backdoor.
Techniques for Identifying and Preventing Attacks on Supply Chains
Attacks on supply chains exploit weakly secured trust links between a company and its business partners. Some of the following may be done to lessen the chances of such assaults happening:
Implement Minimum Advantage
Many businesses give their employees, partners, and software systems much too much authority and access. Overly lax permissions make it less difficult to launch attacks on a company’s supply chain. Take use of the concept of least privilege by giving users and programmes just the permissions they really need.
Take the necessary steps to segregate your network
Neither third-party apps nor partner companies need unlimited access to every component of the network. Use network segmentation to carve up your network into smaller, more manageable pieces for various business needs. This way, if an attack on the supply chain only succeeds in compromising a small part of the network, the rest will still be safe.