Beyond the Breach: Is your Software Supply Chain at Risk of Failure?

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As reliance on outsourced Cloud software increases organizations need to manage supply chain risk and implement Cloud backup solutions which enable application and data continuity following disruption. Read on to learn more.

Just because your critical assets are in the cloud it doesn’t mean they’re protected – in fact it’s quite the opposite. A Cloud backup solution can minimize downtime and enable business continuity and secure disaster recovery.

One of the most overlooked virtual threats to businesses today is related to third-party vendor failure. Although software vendors are important to enable organizations to quickly add new applications, adapt to changing working practices, and unlock key benefits, the interconnected nature of supply chains makes it a challenge to manage third-party risk. When you’re operating in the cloud, a new level of risk is introduced as traditional enterprise security controls give way to a complex ecosystem of cloud service providers, solution providers, and other third parties.

According to research by Gartner on managing third-party risk, 71% of organisations had more vendors in their third-party network than they did just three years prior. The same percentage said their third-party network will grow even larger in the next three years. Software vendors that are part of this third-party network have greater access to organizational data assets and are increasingly working with their own third parties, therefore multiplying the size, complexity, and risk of this network as part of the supply chain.

You should prepare for these risks before they occur and implement a Cloud backup solution to reduce the impact of an attack – but what happens when you aren’t sufficiently prepared? What actually happens in the 24 hours after a breach or disruption to your supply chain?

When your systems go down, here’s what you’ll need to evaluate in the first 24 hours:

  1. Access loss - Disruption or failure of a third-party application could result in you losing access immediately. This is particularly true of cloud applications because they are remote, whereas on-premise applications can still be supported in a local state.
  2. Environment loss - At this point, you are at risk of losing environment resources which hold your intellectual property, source code, data, and run-time binaries. All of these are critical components to getting your system back up and fully functioning.
  3. Data loss - Unless you have an offline copy of your application and/or data that you can failover to a new destination, the impact to your service will most likely lead to deletions, modifications, data loss, or complete lockout.
  4. System loss - Now you’re at risk of losing your whole system. If you can’t access a snapshot or a backup of the resource required to host the application and data, it could take days to be able to restore your system. The longer this takes, the more impact it will have on revenue.

The financial impact of a data breach is undoubtedly one of the most hard-hitting consequences that organizations will have to deal with. For data breaches involving a third party, where sensitive information belonging to an organization is compromised through a vendor or supplier, things get even more complicated.

'Leaders responsible for backup operations of IT infrastructure can simplify backup operations and reduce the infrastructure footprint with cloud-based backup as a service.' - Gartner

In fact, according to Gartner, a data breach is on average $700,000 more expensive when a third party is involved, with the average cost of a data breach rising to $4.24 million in 2021 per IBM and the Ponemon Institute’s annual Cost of a Data Breach report. Gartner also commented that leaders responsible for backup operations of IT infrastructure can simplify backup operations and reduce the infrastructure footprint with cloud-based backup as a service.

Even beyond a data breach, third-party failure can result in other costly consequences, including operational disruption, reputational damage, and risk of non-compliance – especially in highly regulated industries.

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