It is Time to Improve Your Supply Chain Cybersecurity | Red Arrow

Global supply chains have become increasingly complex and with that comes more cybersecurity threats. As threats to the supply chain have increased significantly over the past two years, companies are realizing that cybersecurity must become a priority. The average cost of a security breach is $36,000, but the financial cost is minimal compared to the damage that could occur to your company’s reputation. 

Is Your Business Prepared for a Security Breach?

No matter what your industry, your supply chain is at risk of threats and attacks. A survey conducted by CloudBees found that 93 percent of executives state they are prepared to deal with a ransomware issue or cyberattack, but 45 percent admit their security software is not yet complete and 64 percent would not know who to contact first if their supply chain were attacked.

How to Improve Supply Chain Cybersecurity

Most companies could benefit from making improvements to their security processes. The following five steps will improve supply chain cybersecurity.

Review Procurement: The supply chain for a product should be reviewed in terms of how the product is made and how it is sold. This will help to understand the amount of risk involved. Usually, the supply chain for commodities focuses on efficiency and cost savings, which means involvement by multiple organizations in different locations. The more locations, the greater the chance that counterfeit or compromised components can be substituted in the supply chain.

Customized products do tend to have more specialized components that are determined by the product specifications. While this type of supply chain has fewer touchpoints, it can be easier to target certain suppliers. The way in which the raw material for the finished product is purchased, through distribution or through a single sole source provider, also affects the security of the supply chain.


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Data Protection: Data is at the center of every business transaction. All data must be secured so that it is not compromised or leaked. The equipment used in the system can help to determine what resources are needed to create a highly-secured connected system. A less secure data system can make a cybersecurity attack easy, such as the case of the stolen credit cards from Target in 2013. A system that is connected to the public internet requires a higher level of security since it is easy to find and attack while a system that is isolated from other networks has a much lower risk of a data breach. Critical data exists along the entire supply chain and must be located, classified, and protected.

Educate Employees. Employees pose one of the biggest risks to supply chain security, simply because of error. Internal employees should be trained on security procedures, such as securing passwords and maintaining current anti-virus software. Regular training is important to reinforce protocols and new employees should receive a thorough introduction to cybersecurity processes.

Third-Party Risk. Evaluating third-party risk is important to keeping the supply chain secure.  The more interconnected data and systems are the greater number of threats.  One product could rely on four or more suppliers to make the finished product, so transparency and trust is required at every level. Identify locations that are in areas known for counterfeit production or hacking activity, locations with a lack of security, or those with inadequate procurement processes. Performing annual or semi-annual audits of your cybersecurity will help to find risk factors that third parties might impose.

Complete Approach.  A complete process approach is necessary to handle cybersecurity threats. Prevention, detection, containment, and recovery are all important parts of the process. Companies want to prevent breaches, but if it happens, it needs to be able to detect and then contain the threats. The information then has to be recovered.  Without a documented complete approach, a company will not be able to recover. 

Managing the supply chain is an important part of your cybersecurity program. Preventing compromised components from entering your network will minimize the chance of a cybersecurity breach. Risk management actions should be coordinated along the entire supply chain.

Your Trusted Partner

At Red Arrow Logistics, we provide expertise and white glove customer service with fast-growing, complex, and high-value supply chains. As the next-generation model of logistics companies, we offer tailored transportation and logistics solutions — from single shipments to complex over-dimensional and international orders.

Red Arrow offers the scale and scope of services including air, ocean, and ground transportation to meet the budget and schedule requirements of the largest and smallest companies alike. If we can be of assistance, please email us at or give us a call at 425-747-7914.