Cyber crime is increasing and it could seriously impact your suppliers. Here’s how to protect yourself.
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When it comes to cyber crime, we have all seen the badly-spelled emails or pop-ups, and we all think we know better. But did you know that cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated than ever, and that this year, there was a mind-boggling 419 threats recorded per minute?
For those of us who work in large organisations, fortunately we are usually well-protected (although not entirely, as the latest Russian attack on US government agencies has demonstrated. It’s always important to take precautions). Our suppliers, though, may not be able to afford the same protections, and this can have dire consequences.
Here’s exactly why cybersecurity is so important for your suppliers, and how they can protect themselves.
What is cyber crime?
Cybercrime is defined as any type of criminal activity that is undertaken by computers or via the internet. It can include, but is not limited to, illegally accessing customer data or sensitive information, or stealing or otherwise obtaining funds.
Cybercrime is a huge threat to businesses and is extremely common. Each year, cyber criminals pocket almost $1.2 trillion dollars, and benefit from (or sometimes, hold to ransom) individuals based on the acquisition of information they shouldn’t be privy to.
Since Robert Morris created the first computer virus in 1989, there have been millions of cyber attacks on businesses that have been incredibly harmful. One such attack was the ransomware virus called WannaCry, which infected 200,000 devices in almost 150 countries. The virus infected PCs, and then uploaded a digital ransom letter. Companies such as Renault, Nissan and FedEx were impacted, as was the NHS, which had over 19,000 appointments cancelled, costing them £92 million.
How your suppliers can protect themselves
Before signing a contract, procurement teams need to do their due diligence to ensure that a supplier is taking all precautions against cyber crime, including conducting a thorough supplier risk impact assessment. Beyond that, though, precautions your supplier should be taking include:
- Understanding emerging types of attacks and current trends
Cybercrime is now far more sophisticated than downloading a file from an email with poor spelling. In order for your supplier to protect themselves, they should understand current types of cybercrime, which may include hacking, phishing, social engineering (when hackers socialise with an individual to build trust), identity theft and keylogging (where software tracks your keystrokes and can even take screenshots).
- Developing a security policy
Every company, regardless of their size, needs to have a cybersecurity policy that all employees are aware of. This policy should cover social media, cloud computing and IoT, as well as the use of company IT equipment and information on how to treat sensitive data.
- Keeping hardware, software and security up-to-date
With hundreds of new threats every minute, cybersecurity software is only as good as its last update. For this reason, ensure your supplier always has the most up-to-date protection.
- Training employees
It only takes one download of a virus to cause immense damage. For this reason, your supplier should train all employees on cyber security protocols. In addition to the above, in order to fully protect your organisation if a supplier does suffer from a cyber attack, there are a number of clauses you should add to the contract. Discover what they are here (plus many more game-changing ideas like this one) in our compelling whitepaper 100 Big Ideas for 2021.