Cyber Security Exposed – The Weakest Link

Cyber Security Exposed – The Weakest Link

08:40 24 August in Member News

The Unfortunate Reality

According to a recent article by Technology & Innovation, the unfortunate reality is that 20% of businesses will suffer a cyber attack within the next year, and 60% of those that fall into the category of a small or middle sized business (SME), are likely to be forced into bankruptcy within 6 months of this happening.

When you do the maths, this means that 1 in 8 small businesses will fail in the next year as a result of a cyber attack.

Its Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

Despite what you may think, almost all of us are integrated within long and complex supply chains of goods and services. To receive those goods and services, it is necessary to  share at least some financial, confidential and possibly Intellectual Property (IP) information.

Considering that in producing just a single product, it  requires many components from multiple tiers (Or stages) within a supply chain, and at every point there is a risk that information is potentially exposed. When you multiply this by numerous products, the number of opportunities where data and information is vulnerable for exposure becomes very large, very quickly.

The Weakest Link In The Chain

As the old saying goes ‘you are only ever as strong as the weakest link’. It is clear now more than ever that even within a simple supply chain, the opportunity for exposure is significant.

The challenge is, therefore, not only to  protect yourself, but also to understand the vulnerabilities, and potential risks associated within your supply chain and how to proactively manage them.

How To Implement Change

Making it ‘real’ to people and businesses, especially in senior leadership positions is a powerful start to influence the required changes in behaviour. So, how do we make it ‘real’?

Recently, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Andre Turville, CEO of the ARX Alliance and discuss this issue.

Andre had obviously been thinking about this too, and phrased it quite clearly through a powerful analogy.

He said, ‘…..consider that you live in a semi-detached house. You have installed every gizmo and gadget that one can buy to protect yourself from being burgled such as high security locks, CCTV cameras, and so on. As a result, you think that you are safe and secure from being burgled. Unfortunately, what you haven’t considered is that your neighbour has not done the same, or has done a poor job in protecting their property. Because you are connected to your neighbour, and because it is much easier to break into their house, any attacker will take the path of least resistance to gain access to your home.

For me, this analogy creates a very powerful image. Clearly, protecting yourself by taking out insurance and making sure that your IT infrastructure is current and properly managed is incredibly important, but it is only part of the solution. In the modern day, last line of defence security is simply not enough. Businesses must become proactive and collaborative to ensure a robust defence.

Andre’s company is one of a handful around the World that is addressing the challenge that larger companies and under-resourced SMEs are facing. The ARX platform provides a way, at a very modest cost, to measure not only your own cyber readiness but also that of your supply chain.

If you’d like to know more about ARX, you can find their website here

Shane Young
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