The supply chain is the weakest IT link

Rusty chain - Wikimedia CommonsThe University of Maryland (UMD) said it has created counter measures to prevent the supply chain being targeted by hackers.

A research team at the university’s School of Business said that hackers are targeting vendors and suppliers that have access to enterprises’ IT systems, software and networks.

The researchers point to the Target breach last year, when a criminal cracked into a refrigeration system supplier that was connected to an enterprise IT system.

But UMD has a counter measure which it developed after looking at 200 different companies across various industries.

Sandor Boyson, a research professor at UMD, said the research showed that the cyber supply chain is fragmented and companies fail to respond to real time risks.  “Just half of our subjects used an executive advisory committee such as a risk board to govern their IT system risks,” said Boyson.

You can test UMD’s counter measure, at no charge, here.  Boyson said that will let companies map their IT supply chains and measure themselves against their peers and competitors.  The scalable portal has already been used by companies in aerospace, telecomms, real estate, medical, and professional services.

Boyson’s team funding comes from US quango the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).