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Your supply chain will experience a cybersecurity breach. Here’s what to do about it.

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Published: October 15, 2021Reading time: 4 min
o9 Solutions The Digital Brain Platform
o9 SolutionsThe Digital Brain Platform
Published: October 15, 2021

Mark Twain once remarked, “There are two certainties in life. Death and taxes”. Our modern age has added a third. Now, it should read “Death, taxes, and a hack.” It is now a certainty that, at some point, your organization will be hacked by cybercriminals.

Cybersecurity firms spend millions to reinforce the prevailing notion that breaches can be prevented with enough investment in security technology, but the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, a recent Gartner report, “Maverick* Research: You Will Be Hacked, So Embrace the Breach,” put a definitive line in the sand by stating, 

"Cybersecurity breaches are inevitable, but many security and risk management leaders still think they can prevent all hacks by throwing people and money at their defenses. Instead of striving to prevent breaches, they should focus on resilience and embrace hacks as incidents to learn from."

This guidance is especially pertinent when we observe recent events like the Colonial Pipeline and JBS ransomware attacks. Not only did these cyber criminals extort millions of dollars from these organizations, but they also created significant disruptions in the related supply chains.  

No matter what your IT department tells you, this threat is not new, nor is it something they can easily manage or will go away on its own. In fact, we’ve actually been blissfully unaware of the size and speed of this threat, and the statistics are frightening. Consider just 5 of the points from the article 81 Ransomware Statistics, Data, Trends, and Facts for 2021 by data security company Varonis:

  • 1.

    37% of respondents’ organizations were affected by ransomware attacks in the last year. (Sophos, 2021)
  • 2.

    60% of survey respondents experienced revenue loss, and 53% stated their brands were damaged as a result. 
  • 3.

    The average ransom fee requested has increased from $5,000 in 2018 to around $200,000 in 2020. (National Security Institute, 2021)
  • 4.

    Experts estimate that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021.
  • 5.

    The average downtime a company experiences after a ransomware attack is 21 days

These points alone will make any CEO break out into a cold sweat…and there are 76 more in the article. While there is no guarantee that removes fear, there are steps supply chain leaders can take to mitigate a potential disaster. In particular, the Gartner report advises companies to shift from a defensive position to one focused on building resilience.  

To enable that shift in three steps, supply chains must protect, expand and evaluate:

  • 1.

    Protect your supply chain, and the data within, by using a platform that has been evaluated and proven to provide the most significant degree of protection possible.  o9 has been recognized by cybersecurity leader BitSight as 1st in its peer group and positioned in the top one percentile across all companies in the supply chain planning space across hardware, application, and customer dataThis was accomplished by stringent adherence to “security-by-design” principles which entail:
    • 1.

      All o9 employees, including new hires, undergo security compliance training. 
    • 2.

      The development team undergoes additional extensive security training to understand the intricacies of cyber security. 
    • 3.

      Code access is highly restricted to only relevant teams. 
    • 4.

      Security team performs peer review before they can check in the code. 
    • 5.

      Automated tests help capture some of the basics even before check-in.

Our commitment to security is further reinforced by policies, vulnerability assessment, and penetration testing (VAPT). This continuous process ensures that o9 makes monthly progress in enhancing its security posture.

  • 1.

    Expand on the partnership with a supply chain planning company with a deep commitment to security to embark on a digital supply chain transformation journey that includes enabling real-time scenario planning. With this in place, your operations will not suffer weeks-long delays caused by the challenge of a supplier or distributor falling victim to a ransomware attack. Instead, you will be able to find alternative workflows to continue your progress and deliver your goods on time, meet your SLAs, and ensure customer satisfaction.
  • 2.

    Evaluate your existing supply chain processes to uncover previously unknown weaknesses or risk points and address them during the new technology implementation. Until you are aware of your organization’s areas of exposure, it is impossible to do anything about them. Through implementation due diligence and partnering with a security-conscious organization, you will identify and patch the unprotected vulnerabilities within your supply chain and shore them up with your new cybersecurity armor. 

Completing these steps will change the way that hackers approach your organization. Your security will be evident. If hackers do target your organization, their task will be harder fought with less chance of reward, minimizing your organization’s financial pain and supply chain disruption.

To learn more about how o9 can help create a more secure, resilient supply chain in the face of cyber-attacks, request a demo today.

About the author

o9 Solutions The Digital Brain Platform

o9 Solutions

The Digital Brain Platform

o9 offers a leading AI-powered Planning, Analytics & Data platform called the Digital Brain that helps companies across industry verticals transform traditionally slow and siloed planning into smart, integrated and intelligent planning and decision making across the core supply chain, commercial and P&L functions. With o9’s Digital Brain platform, companies are able to achieve game-changing improvements in quality of data, ability to detect demand and supply risks and opportunities earlier, forecast demand more accurately, evaluate what-if scenarios in real time, match demand and supply intelligently and drive alignment and collaboration across customers, internal stakeholders and suppliers around the integrated supply chain and commercial plans and decisions. Supported by a global ecosystem of partners, o9’s innovative delivery methodology helps companies achieve quick impact in customer service, inventory levels, resource utilization, as well as ESG and financial KPIs—while enabling a long-term, sustainable transformation of their end-to-end planning and decision-making capabilities.


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