What the SolarWinds Attack Reveals About the Importance of Supply Chain Security

The Department of Defense has been voicing its concerns over the importance of supply chain security for a while now and taking steps toward stronger supply chain security through the new CMMC program. Now, the events of the SolarWinds attack have only emphasized the importance of securing supply chains further.

CMMC Certification for DoD Contractors: Locking Down the DoD Supply Chain

The DoD created the CMMC to ensure certain standards are being met when it comes to cybersecurity. As a result, all DoD contractors dealing with controlled unclassified information (CUI) will need to become CMMC certified. This means they have to pass a CMMC audit to show that they’ve met a certain level of standards when it comes to cybersecurity for their business.

Additionally, for all contractors working under contracts requiring CMMC, all subcontractors and suppliers will be required to comply with CMMC as well.

CMMC is a very rigorous standard to meet, and much of CMMC’s regulations are still in the trial phase. Contractors are responsible for making sure these requirements are passed on to suppliers and subcontractors, too. Because of that, many organizations are choosing to work with CMMC consultants to prepare for the full CMMC rollout and to remain eligible for DoD contracts.

SolarWinds Attack

Network management company SolarWinds saw the effects of a massive data breach sweep across thousands of businesses and organizations. A malicious code that was embedded into software that SolarWinds provides, this malware attack spread across many of the security firm’s FireEye customers.

Using this software as a carrier, this malware impacted many businesses, including U.S federal government departments. The attack had such far-reaching effects because it trickled down the supply chain, affecting many businesses and organizations in the process. Many businesses found themselves frantically trying to improve the state of their cybersecurity as a result of the disaster.

How Has the SolarWinds Attack Impacted the Supply Chain?

The SolarWinds attack shows the threat of relationships with supply chains, and it’s not something that’s new to the cybersecurity industry. Many of the cyber attacks that have been the biggest on record have included the exploitation of a partner that had access to the business’s network. 

Most businesses will be engaged with third-party suppliers and companies, and so the SolarWind attack demonstrates the importance of having a strategy and solutions in place to help. Reducing third-party risk is important, and so having the right tools in place can be useful. It also stresses the importance of having something like CMMC in place to make sure that the basic standards are being met.

With the growth of the internet, there is an ever increasing number of seasoned and prolific hackers out there that are able to exploit the vulnerabilities that lie in supply chains. It’s necessary for a business to understand and identify where there are potential cybersecurity risks. Taking those steps to help reduce the risks or remove them completely is certainly going to help.

The focus on cybersecurity should be something that’s at the forefront of many businesses that operate online, as most do nowadays anyway. The more you can do to help improve the cybersecurity of those trusted partnerships and relationships with other suppliers, the better security you’ll have as a result. CMMC certifications will certainly go a long way in helping DoD contractors maintain the very best in cybersecurity and to prevent these attacks from happening again while setting an example and standard for other regulated industries.

Chris Turn

Chris Turn