Cloud Supply Chain Assessment

Cloud Supply Chain Security (CSCS) is part of Supply Chain Management which focuses on risk management on external suppliers, vendors, and transportation. CSCS identifies, analyzes, and mitigates the risk from the supply chain.

CSCS should always be a high priority to prevent breaches within/outside the system which could damage or disrupt the operations. Prevents vulnerabilities within SC which could lead to the following:

  • Unnecessary Costs
  • Inefficient Delivery Schedules

The SolarWinds supply chain attack is highlight, how vulnerable supply chain attacks are executed and carried out. Supply chain risk mitigation has since become an essential component of risk management strategies and information security programs.

Cloud Supply Chain Security Threats:

  • Third-Party Vendor Risk
  • Supplier Fraud
  • Digital Risk
  • Data Protection

The most common challenges and limitations companies face when using cloud-based technologies are data security and privacy, outdated business thinking, system availability, and lack of customization. Data in the cloud should be accessed only by authorized members, i.e., trustworthy supply chain partners. Cloud computing systems as software products cannot always ensure confidentiality and run an increasing risk of being attacked by hackers.

Additionally, possible data acquisition by competing companies would pose an imminent threat to the whole supply chain.

Sharing data and information with the public implies a fundamental change in traditional working and thinking methods. This can be a significant cultural and business issue. Up until now, most companies have kept secret information regarding production processes or supply chain networks. It is concerned that the wide sharing and disclosure of such data may result in the loss of competitive advantage for those companies. As a result, the supply chain partners, who have managed their operations with common on-premises infrastructure, should learn how to use the evolving cloud systems effectively. Such adaptations cannot be completed in a short period of time since the transition to a more open business strategy requires a slow pace. We have identified and listed a few major supply chain security risks. These risks are ones you need to be aware of and should be addressed in your incident response plan/strategy to prevent security vulnerabilities from expediting third-party data breaches and supply chain attacks.

  • Evaluate the supply chain strategy covering policies and procedures to effectively mitigate risks associated with first and third-party software creators, integrators, and distributors.
  • Evaluate controls designed to limit harm from a compromised supply chain.
  • Evaluate the provenance of systems, software, and configurations with the ability to trace the origin and validate the integrity of both the artifact and the chain that produced it.
  • Evaluate software supply chain consisting of source code, second or third-party code, build pipelines, artifacts, and deployments.
  • Evaluate that all the stages of the supply chain are performed by an authenticated trusted party such that it can be verified cryptographically and/or automated where possible.
  • Evaluate the Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs), a critical first step towards discovering what software components you have so then you may correlate them with known vulnerabilities.
  • Evaluate CI/CD systems that have signed both application and container images reproduced in the SBOM.
  • Attestations of the CI step's process, environment, materials, and products and evaluate supporting artifacts.
  • Evaluate monitoring & tracking of dependencies of the CI/CD's supply chain in this process and evaluate proof of assessments and reviews of their components and dependencies.
  • Evaluate timely notifications of vulnerabilities, whether they are affected by those vulnerabilities or breaches, based on the asset inventory/SBOM.
  • Technical assessment of Cloud/Container security.

Cloud computing provides the ability for multiple users to collaborate on projects or documents in the cloud. This point has been reiterated and reinforced recently as a major selling point to businesses.

This makes cloud computing a great option for the assessment of the proposed Agility index since all the SC partners around the world can provide their level of implementation of the deployed agile practices in the cloud and all the filled information can be treated to provide a clear overview of both the individual companies and the whole SC’s Agility behavior. According to several authors and practitioners, cloud computing is an unavoidable path for the supply chain management.