Supply chain attacks on the rise as one of the biggest new threat vectors as organizations scramble to close gaps

July 25, 2018

CrowdStrike, a cloud-delivered endpoint protection company, announced the results of its global supply chain survey, Securing the Supply Chain, produced by independent research firm Vanson Bourne. The study surveyed 1,300 senior IT decision-makers and IT security professionals in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Mexico, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Singapore across major industry sectors.

The survey concludes that although nearly 80% of respondents believe software supply chain attacks have the potential to become one of the biggest cyber threats over the next three years, few organizations are prepared to mitigate the risks. More specifically:

  • Two-thirds of the surveyed organizations experienced a software supply chain attack in the past 12 months. At the same time, 71% believe their organization does not always hold external suppliers to the same security standards.
  • The vast majority (87%) of those that suffered a software supply chain attack had either a full strategy in place, or some level of response pre-planned at the time of their attack.
  • Only 37% of respondents in the U.S., U.K., and Singapore said their organization has vetted all suppliers, new or existing in the past 12 months and only a quarter believe with certainty their organization will increase its supply chain resilience in the future.
  • Ninety percent of respondents confirmed they incurred a financial cost as a result of experiencing a software supply chain attack. The average cost of an attack was over $1.1 million dollars.

While supply chain threats can occur in every sector of the economy, the industries that mostly experience these attacks are biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, hospitality, entertainment and media, and IT services. Following last year’s NotPetya attack and with GDPR in effect, organizations are more concerned about vetting their suppliers and partners. In fact, 58% of senior IT decision-makers whose organization has vetted software suppliers in the past 12 months stated that they will be more rigorous when evaluating their partners, and nearly 90% agree security is a critical factor when making purchasing decisions surrounding new suppliers.

Although almost 90% of the respondents believe they are at risk for supply chain attack, companies are still slow to detect, remediate and respond to threats. On average, respondents from nearly all of the countries surveyed take close to 63 hours to detect and remediate a software supply chain attack, while the leading organizations aim to eject an adversary in less than two hours, also known as “breakout time,” according to prior CrowdStrike research. However, the study indicates that organizations are looking to adopt leading approaches to breach protection such as behavioral analytics, endpoint detection and response, and threat intelligence, with three quarters of respondents using or evaluating these technologies.

CrowdStrike has the full release

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