For Manufacturing Supply Chain Security, It’s a Question of Trust – Zero Trust
For manufacturing and industrial enterprises, strong relationships between partners and suppliers are the foundation for continued productivity and success. Many of these trusted collaborations have been years in the making. But these relationships can ultimately be the weakest links in a supply chain that could compromise the entire enterprise and its customers.
In light of the ever-expanding threat landscape ushered in by digital modernization and the explosion of industrial IoT, manufacturing supply chain risk management has become a global imperative. Supply chain complexities and vulnerabilities have been magnified by the continuing impact of the pandemic, placing both IT and OT systems in the target range of malicious individuals, cyber gangs and nation-state criminals. Supply chain vulnerabilities involve systems, apps, networks, and endpoints and every partner company factors into potential risk. One weak link can break the chain. Therefore, every entity must take responsibility for their digital infrastructure protection.
What can happen to vulnerable supply chains?
Third-party compromised and infected tools can introduce vulnerabilities and malware that disrupt the entire supply chain network. A breach is filled with ugly ramifications that can override industrial control system (ICS) behaviors, shutting down safety and backup systems, and accessing sensitive data for ransom or manipulation. Malware, ransomware, DDoS, and phishing are among the most common attack methods deployed in a malicious campaign to attain lateral movement across an enterprise network.
The plethora of network connected devices that have provided such amazing innovations and productivity are highly vulnerable to sophisticated and evolving security threats. The most common IoT threats, like the few listed below, are the reason why every manufacturer needs to design a robust supply chain risk management plan:
- Man-in-the-middle – user impersonation with stolen credentials
- Root Certificate Authority Impersonation – authentication of rogue users and devices
- Intellectual Property Theft and Counterfeiting – compromised credentials can lead to stolen IP and counterfeit products to the marketplace
Many manufactures still use legacy tools like SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and automated industrial systems. With the integration of diverse vendor solutions, where their security design and practices are untested, the risk to an enterprise’s OT can soar.
Never trust, always verify, and the principle of least privilege
Zero trust is a cybersecurity architecture that functions on the premise that everything inside and outside an enterprise – users, devices, apps, systems, etc., are presumed hostile and never blindly trusted. It is a range of strategies, policies, and solutions that form multilayered, authenticated protection by locking down access to assets.
While its development was aimed at IT, most OT security leaders are applying zero trust for their environments. Manufacturers can prevent unauthorized access with explicit zero trust parameters that can be applied to their connected vendor networks. Zero trust network architecture (ZTNA) can secure enterprises by limiting employees and third-party vendor permissions and preventing access vulnerability gaps.
When everything is identified, analyzed and verified before access, and bare minimum permissions are granted, supply chain disruptions can be substantially averted.
RevBits ZTN slams the door on unauthorized supply chain access
RevBits provides every facet of enterprise protection required for robust supply chain risk management. These core natively-embedded products and associated modules ensure access and other security risks are tightly controlled and monitored:
To learn more, read our cyber brief “Zero Trust Strengthens Security Across Manufacturing Supply Chains”.
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We currently live in a cultural climate of escalating misinformation, spurious ideations, and fomenting conspiracy theories. Pick a topic - health, finance, politics… Brittany Spears - and you’ll unearth a plethora of factual distortion and false beliefs. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccination program continues to be fraught with conflicting confabulations and political media manipulations. It’s hard to know what to trust, where to place your faith, or how to attain a sense of security. And security, on a personal and business level, is a core primary concern. Relying upon inaccurate information or outdated myths could lead to devastating consequences.