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Cyber attacks could be the next big threat to the supply chain

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Posted at 1:07 PM, May 20, 2022

As the United States continues to push measures in hopes of speeding up supply chain backlogs, many security analysts are sounding a new alarm about new supply chain-related cyberattacks, which could lead to even longer shipping delays.

"This is about national security, this is about economic security," said Scott Aaronson, who serves as the senior vice president for Security and Preparedness at the Edison Electric Institute.

In recent years, more companies have fallen victim to cyberattacks directly targeting software systems and cloud computing technology that keeps cargo ships and packages moving around the globe.

It's such a pressing issue that earlier this month the National Institute of Standards and Technology released new guidance on securing supply chains against cyberattacks. Among their recommendations was for companies to hire external IT security companies to perform defense audits.

"It is something to worry about and honestly I'm surprised it's taken companies this long to get a handle on this," explained Cathy Roberston, an industry analyst.

Security officials say a lot of these attacks against U.S. companies won't be from lone actors overseas. Instead, the FBI says foreign nations may look to compromise U.S. supply chain security.

Chris Hart, who serves oversees privacy and data security for Foley Hoag, says the supply chain industry, as a whole, is incredibly vulnerable to outside attacks.

"The system is a lot less secure than we think. There's an overall lack of security frameworks to govern supply chains," Hart said pointing to recent cyberattacks.