SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY: THE SOFTWARE ASPECT
When it comes to supply chain management, integrating hardware with software is a comprehensive, yet delicate task which leads to an increase in complexity, inclusive of supply chain security.
To succeed in this aspect, there needs to be an increase in the requirements which mandate the security baseline, as well as an expansion, and in some cases upgrade, in terms of security systems and security policies.
Here are the two main software consideration when it comes to supply chain security – both in terms of reliability and sustainability:
I. AN OVERVIEW OF THE ENTIRE SOFTWARE INVENTORY
Having a full inventory at hand relates not only to physical components, but also to their software counterparts which are equally as important for the production line.
While a physical bill of materials (BOM) is an industry standard, far too few enterprises have an equivalent when it comes to the software they use, leaving a blind-spot in terms of supply chain security, as well as being vulnerable to an entire array of outside factors.
However, creating a multi-level software BOM is an unachievable standard in today’s dynamic supply chain world, with most companies having the workable compromise of coming up with an internal system which ensures complete visibility and swift action when needed.
This type of security system needs to answer questions such as software ownership – how much software actually belongs to the company- and how much comes – and is being handled – from outside sources. Such a system will ensure a balanced level of control, as well as the ability to spot vulnerabilities ahead of time.
II. RISK MITIGATION FROM A SOFTWARE PERSPECTIVE
It all comes to assessing top priorities, and handling any occurring problems in already-defined steps.
The risk mitigation process, also known in the industry as threat modeling, should take into consideration not only the internal supply chain issues, but also the ones caused by outside parties, with software being a priority.
After all, any vulnerability coming from the source provider becomes the company’s vulnerability once that specific software is used in- house. This applies to the entire software collection from software inventory tools, to the wifi used on the premises.
HOW TO IMPROVE SOFTWARE SECURITY?
From a supply chain perspective, this should be a periodically ongoing process that takes into consideration any changes of the global trade environment.
Nonetheless, there are some essential aspects that will always hold value:
Assessing accurately how the supply chain is handled for both hardware and software
Developing a software BOM structured from high-level downwards
Going with the system until the smallest level of detail possible Creating a threat module and subsequent action plan