3 Supply Chain Security Best Practices to Eliminate Threats
Supply chains are the hidden engines that drive business. Unfortunately, they tend to capture headlines when something goes wrong. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains worldwide, pushing their inefficiencies firmly into the spotlight.
Modern supply chains are a complex web of interconnected electronic processes. Everyone from raw material suppliers to the end consumer receives data access in some form or another. The inevitable question is: How vulnerable is this data?
Given the constantly rising frequency of cyberattacks most organizations experience, one must conclude that firms must take more steps to boost supply chain security.
Here are three ways to achieve this goal.
Implement Least Privilege and Zero Trust
Least privilege and zero trust are important cybersecurity principles every organization must implement. Both these principles boil down to a simple statement: Every entity accessing data must prove their credentials always and access data for only as long as needed.
This statement might not sound like much, but it has significant security implications. For starters, it means companies must issue agile credentials that expire after an entity accesses data. It also means users cannot be granted privileges based on seniority or job role. Every credential issued must be done so from a risk-based perspective.
For instance, issuing full access to a senior executive does not make sense from a risk standpoint, especially if this entity will rarely access data. Instead, a credential with fewer permissions makes sense. Malicious actors routinely use expired or unused credentials to infiltrate systems, and the least privilege prevents such exploits.
Zero trust is especially relevant in the modern DevOps environment. Developers push code at a rapid pace, often hard coding credential access data to smooth performance. However, this gives malicious actors an easy way to extract sensitive information. Zero trust fits well with DevOps’ emphasis on automation.
It pushes teams to use security tools to automate credential issuing and validation, leaving security teams with more time to analyze and dig deeper into root causes.
Also read: What Is Container Security: A Complete Guide
DevOps has become standard in every organization. Developers push code quickly through CI/CD pipelines and work in short sprints. While this approach ensures products are constantly updated and relevant to the marketplace, it pushes security into the background.
DevSecOps is an agile security framework that integrates security functions into the DevOps cycle. In this approach, security teams embed themselves within sprint teams, helping developers ensure their code is secure before release.
Security teams can achieve this through a range of automated tools that help them create code templates pre-validated for security and offer developers a sandbox to test code before pushing it further down the pipeline.
DevSecOps shifts security to the “left” within the development cycle, giving developers quick access to security feedback. Traditional models have security check-in at predetermined intervals, hampering fast release schedules. Another fallout from this model is that developers come to view security as a hurdle to overcome, instead of a fundamental product feature.
Organizations must switch to agile security models to complement their agile development processes. DevSecOps is the best approach and when complemented with the right security principles, such as zero trust and least privilege delivers immense benefits.
Modern cybercriminals use a range of methods to infiltrate systems. Most security frameworks rely on preventing threats but do not adapt to changing attacks. For instance, modern cyber attackers ping a system regularly, learning more about its characteristics with each wave.
Eventually, as the attacker learns of critical vulnerabilities they launch an attack that damages a system fatally. To combat this, organizations must install a dynamic security posture. Continuous security validation and monitoring is that posture.
With this method, companies assume the attacker’s position and constantly test their systems. This approach has multiple benefits. For starters, companies can validate their security systems in a safe environment. Second, they can patch any vulnerabilities before malicious attackers discover them. Lastly, continuously testing a security system gives teams the chance to learn more about their posture and upgrade it.
Thus, continuous security validation gives companies the ability to install and evolve their security systems. Compared to a one-and-done static framework, this dynamic process keeps security teams on their toes, giving them threat feedback at all times.
Simulating threats is a process that is closely tied to continuous security validation. However, these processes are executed by security teams and dive deep into the heart of a company’s security posture. Penetration tests are the best way to simulate threats and evaluate weaknesses.
Organizations must define the scope of these tests clearly and attach quantitative outcomes to results. This will help them measure progress and audit results.
Security is the Highest Priority
Supply chains are integral to the business world, and software plays a huge role within them. As security threats continue to rise, organizations must collaborate with their downstream and upstream partners in the supply chain to protect data and prevent threats.