Articles & Alerts

Cyber Gangs Hijacking U.S. Goods Supply Chain

May 23, 2024

A recent incident involving a dairy brand’s truck holding over $50,000 in products sheds light on a concerning trend in the consumer products industry. Threat actors are increasingly targeting supply chains, resulting in significant disruptions and losses for businesses and consumers alike. Like many other cyber-attacks, these create a “sense of urgency” and force the hands of companies to act quickly to pay out ransoms to the threat actors.

In the aforementioned attack, the threat actors gained access to the company’s supply chain through sophisticated infiltration techniques. By exploiting vulnerabilities in the company’s network infrastructure and using compromised employee credentials, they infiltrated digital systems undetected. Once inside, they were able to access inventory records and logistics processes, enabling the orchestrated theft of goods. Many cyber incidents go undetected as the threat actors use persistent mechanisms to give them “back door” access. It’s not uncommon for this activity to be going on for months.

Long tail supply chains are vulnerable to the many third parties involved, as the weakest link creates openings to be exploited. The repercussions of such attacks extend beyond individual companies, impacting the entire industry and consumers. These cyber heists can lead to shortages, price increases, and compromised product quality, posing risks to consumers’ health and safety.

Companies should be vigilant with all of their third-party vendors and take steps to assess the risks associated with each of them. This includes independent third-party assessments, implementing robust cybersecurity protocols, monitoring for suspicious activities, and collaborating with industry partners to address vulnerabilities collectively.

Additionally, supply chain attacks occur when cybercriminals target the systems and networks of organizations through vulnerabilities in their suppliers or partners. Therefore, companies must thoroughly vet vendors before engaging in business partnerships. Conducting thorough due diligence, including technical assessments, on vendors’ cybersecurity measures and practices can help mitigate the risk of supply chain breaches. It is imperative to ensure vendors adhere to industry standards and regulations and prioritize those with a proven track record of security and reliability.

Given the financial pressures businesses face due to rising supply chain costs, there’s a temptation to opt for the lowest bidder when awarding projects. However, it’s crucial to consider the hidden expenses associated with engaging third-party vendors who may not have the appropriate level of cybersecurity. By staying informed, proactive, and diligent in vendor vetting, founders can better protect their businesses and mitigate the risks posed by cyber criminals in the consumer products industry.

This substantial rise in data breaches is alarming and indicates a growing threat to personal and sensitive information. Despite efforts to enhance cybersecurity measures, attackers are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities and access confidential data. Organizations and individuals alike need to remain vigilant and prioritize cybersecurity to safeguard against these threats and mitigate potential damages. To learn more about how to best protect your business, contact Russell Safirstein, President & CEO of Redpoint Cybersecurity, or your Anchin Relationship Partner.