Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Choice” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide supply chain insights and advice. This article is from Patrick Byers, DevOps Engineer at Lucas Systems, and looks at cybersecurity planning frameworks.
It is important to have a robust incident response plan in place for your distribution operation in the event of a cybersecurity breach. This plan should outline specific steps to be taken in the event of a breach, including who to contact and how to contain and mitigate the damage. It should also include regular testing and updating.
One of the most popular cybersecurity frameworks in use today is the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework. This framework is widely used by U.S. companies, and it defines rules designed to help businesses achieve key cybersecurity goals. The NIST framework is broken down into five categories, each of which is designed to help businesses improve their cybersecurity posture.
Identify requires businesses to have processes in place that allow them to identify and understand their cybersecurity risks. This involves identifying the systems, assets, data, and capabilities that are critical to the business’s operations, as well as the threats and vulnerabilities that could affect them. This information is then used to develop a risk management strategy that takes into account the potential impact of different types of cybersecurity incidents. Specifically in the space of identification, here are 3 tactics to consider:
- Conduct a Risk Assessment: Conducting a risk assessment can help warehouse and DC operators identify vulnerabilities in their systems and processes. A risk assessment should evaluate the likelihood and impact of potential cybersecurity threats, including unauthorized access, data breaches, and ransomware attacks. This information can help operators prioritize their cybersecurity efforts and allocate resources accordingly.
- Review System Logs: Warehouse and DC operators should regularly review system logs to detect any unusual activity or potential cyber threats. By monitoring system logs, operators can identify potential breaches or unauthorized access attempts and take prompt action to mitigate the risk.
- Assess Third-Party Vendors: Warehouse and DC operators often work with third-party vendors for logistics and inventory management. These vendors can also introduce cybersecurity risks if they are not properly secured. Operators should assess the cybersecurity protocols and practices of their vendors to ensure that they meet their security standards.
Protect focuses on mitigating cybersecurity risks through a range of measures, including employee training, access controls, encryption, firewalls, and other security technologies. These measures are designed to prevent unauthorized access to critical systems and data, and to protect against malware, phishing attacks, and other common threats.
- Employee training is a crucial component of any cybersecurity strategy. Employees must be educated on the importance of strong passwords, phishing scams, and the potential risks of downloading malicious software. Regular training sessions can help ensure that staff members are aware of the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices for preventing them.
- Access controls are another essential element of a secure warehouse or distribution center. Limiting access to sensitive areas and data through user authentication and permission levels can prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing critical systems. Implementing a system of access control can also ensure that only authorized personnel can perform specific actions, such as adjusting inventory levels or modifying shipment details.
- Encryption is another effective tool for safeguarding data from potential cyberattacks. By encrypting sensitive information, such as customer data or financial records, warehouse and DC operators can ensure that even if data is compromised, it cannot be read or used by unauthorized individuals.
- Firewalls are also critical in preventing unauthorized access to warehouse and DC systems. A firewall acts as a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external networks, blocking potential threats such as malware, viruses, or other malicious software from entering the system.
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