Global ransomware strike reveals supply chain cybersecurity flaws

Dive Brief:

  • Global supply chains suffered from a ransomware attack last weekend, hijacking documents from over 200,000 targets in 150 countries in exchange for money, CIO Dive reported Monday.
  • Companies as large as FedEx, Hitachi, and Renault were hit, as well as hospitals and government agencies, The Wall Street Journal reports. In some cases, production was shut down due to the event. 
  • The infection was believed to have been contained as of Monday afternoon, though damages are still being sorted through.

Dive Insight:

The vast number of partners, reliance of connectivity and use of old systems makes supply chains particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks, particularly as cybersecurity is not following suit as a priority. 

Recent reports reveal the Internet of Things has opened a gateway to hackings, and retail is among the most vulnerable of industries to cyberattacks. When thinking of the full chain, security breaches can therefore also affect manufacturing plants and carries ... as they did this past weekend.

With cyberattacks growing in frequency, the need to take defensive action has never been greater. Sensitive information like manufacturing specifics, patent data, customers' social security numbers or buyer payment details can be stolen or held for ransom. 

Yet the fact that so few firms employ effective security to protect their sensitive data is alarming at best. A disinterest in taking action often stems from an aversion to complexity and the resulting expense: The potential time invested in researching and locating a qualified security team which will put in place an effective platform or firewall is daunting. 

But ignoring such risks may come at cost as well: Renault, for example, lost four days of production due to the event. Ensuring protection from cyberattacks is no longer just an IT issue, but a supply chain one as well. 

Follow on Twitter

Filed Under: Technology Risk/Resilience