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Chief supply chain officers: Do you know where your weakest link is?

Cyber attackers are targeting your smaller partners to get to you.


With 85 percent of organizations reporting they have already adopted supply chain digital capabilities or will do so in the next year, cyber risk is at an all-time high.

With a single breach, attackers can potentially access not just one company’s sensitive information, but multiple companies’ data and more. At worst, they can disrupt service with cyber vandalism, causing companies exponential costs and reputation damage.

The digital links between companies now connect the entire ecosystem in a cyber risk chain. Yet only 11 percent of chief supply chain officers are taking charge in this area.


Key Findings

More than 60 percent of cyberattacks stem from the supply chain. And 70 percent of companies have already experienced a cyberattack.

Not surprisingly, in half of the companies we surveyed, there was no alignment between supply chain and cybersecurity operations.

Technology advances will continue to wreak havoc with supply chain security, even as they improve business operations. As the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing become part of the everyday fabric of manufacturing and supply chain operations, cybersecurity issues take center stage. 3D printing of patented designs occurs through code and file sharing between devices, meaning intellectual property will be scattered throughout a supply chain. Security must exist in all of those same places and every nook and cranny in between.

Even if your team adequately fortifies your firm’s virtual walls, it is not enough. Assume you have a weak link outside those walls.


Operationalize a cyber-attack-resilient supply chain

The first step is to identify any weak links through a thorough security audit of your partners.

Second, make your supply chain security model business driven. Strategic governance should be the purview of chief supply chain officers, as they are responsible for the bottom line in this area.

Third, align supply chain risk management strategy with cybersecurity strategy, internally and externally.

And last, operationalize a cyber-attack-resilient supply chain. Find ways to detect immediately, respond rapidly and recover as soon as possible to prevent disruption of service.

Learn more about Accenture Strategy

Manish Chandra
Manish Chandra
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy,
Operations Strategy

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Kevin Richards
Kevin Richards
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Security

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Kris Timmermans
Kris Timmermans
Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy,
Operations Strategy

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