Supply Chain Cyberattacks Surge: Are Housing Associations Prepared?
When you think about cyberattacks, you may think about attacks on your systems or even look internally to mitigate the risk of insider threats. But have you considered looking at your supply chain as a potential risk or attack vector? Supply chain digital attacks are on the rise, with a recent report by Anchore finding that attacks originating from the supply chain increased by 62% in 2022. These attacks present substantial risks to housing associations, responsible for safeguarding tenant data and managing complex supply chains. Cybercriminals see them as prime targets due to vulnerabilities.
Even if organizations aren’t directly attacked, housing providers are exposed through their supply chain and third-party partners. Supply chain attacks represent a highly sophisticated form of cyberattack in which malicious actors target an organization’s suppliers or partners to gain unauthorized access to its network or sensitive data. In the housing sector, housing associations rely on a complex network of suppliers and service providers, including maintenance and repair contractors, technology vendors, and data management partners. This intricate web creates multiple potential entry points for cybercriminals looking to compromise security.
A supply chain attack can wreak havoc not only on the targeted organization but also on its partners. It is not just costly to respond and fix the issue; system downtime can be financially devastating. Services like payment systems, application processes, and maintenance services can all be affected.
Cyferd’s robust digital transformation platform has been built in line with the latest cybersecurity standards and has enterprise-class features to help housing associations manage their data securely. Here’s how Cyferd can significantly enhance supply chain security:
Cyferd’s platform seamlessly integrates with third-party logging platforms and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools. This integration provides security teams with a centralized view of all activity within the Cyferd platform, alongside data from other sources like firewalls and intrusion detection systems. This holistic view enhances the ability to identify potential threats and security incidents promptly, enabling more effective threat mitigation.
In addition to this, the Cyferd Platform’s immutable audit log serves as a powerful tool for identifying suspicious behaviour on the platform. This log records all activities within the Cyferd platform, capturing critical information such as who performed an action, what was done, when it occurred, and why it was executed. The immutable nature of the log ensures that the recorded data cannot be altered or deleted, making it a reliable source of evidence for security investigations and compliance audits.
The Cyferd Platform also allows administrators to roll back any errors or changes that are detected at the click of a button. This helps to mitigate the risk of attacks by allowing administrators to quickly revert to a previous state of the platform if a compromise is suspected and helps in the day-to-day when an error has been made.
While implementing Cyferd’s platform can help mitigate supply chain attacks, housing associations must also take a proactive approach to assess the security posture of their third-party suppliers. This includes:
Reviewing Supplier Security Policies: Housing associations should thoroughly review the security policies and procedures of their third-party suppliers. This assessment should encompass data handling practices, access controls, and incident response plans.
Conducting Security Assessments: Perform comprehensive and independent security assessments of the systems and networks of third-party suppliers. This assessment should identify potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could be exploited in a supply chain attack. Independent assessments can provide a more objective and impartial view of a third party’s security posture. They can also help to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses that may not be apparent to the third-party itself.
Imposing Security Controls: Housing associations should require their suppliers to adhere to robust security controls, including least privilege access, network segmentation, and multi-factor authentication. These measures can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access through the supply chain.
In addition to the above, housing associations should implement several essential best practices to bolster cybersecurity defences. These include investing in ongoing cybersecurity education for all staff members, establishing a structured security awareness training program, and developing and regularly updating an incident response plan is equally important.
Supply chain digital attacks in the housing sector pose significant risks to housing associations and their tenants. By implementing Cyferd’s platform, housing associations can bolster their defences against these attacks and leverage the power of the immutable audit log to investigate incidents and monitor user behaviour effectively. Additionally, proactive assessment of third-party supply chain security and ongoing cybersecurity education can further enhance supply chain resilience and protect housing associations from potential threats. In a digital landscape where the stakes are higher than ever, cybersecurity readiness is essential for safeguarding sensitive tenant data and ensuring the integrity of the housing sector.
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