Defence and military

Strengthening defence and national security through supply chain security


Operational networks in the defence sector are intricate and require years to perfect. Built on trust and communication, these networks provide a significant competitive advantage and an efficient pathway to market. However, the question remains: Where does IT security fit within this framework?

As supply chains become more digitalised, protecting data across the entire network is imperative. The recent data breach at the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) underscores this point. A third-party payroll system was compromised, potentially exposing sensitive information of armed forces personnel. While immediate actions were taken to mitigate the damage, the incident highlights the importance of proactive and comprehensive security measures.

Assessing and mitigating risks

According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023, 13% of businesses review the risks posed by their immediate suppliers. This figure rises to 27% for medium businesses and 55% for large businesses, indicating a significant gap that needs to be addressed, particularly among smaller enterprises.

Cyber criminals often exploit these weaknesses, targeting smaller third-party companies as entry points to larger networks. Recent attacks on British Airways, Boots, and the BBC, attributed to a criminal group exploiting payroll software, demonstrate how vulnerabilities in the supply chain can have widespread consequences.

Building a cyber resilient supply chain

Creating a cyber secure supply chain involves several critical steps:

  1. Supplier Security Assessments: Regularly review and assess the security measures of all suppliers. Ensure they meet your security standards and are aware of their importance within the overall security framework
  2. Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: Use tools such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) to monitor network activity and respond to threats in real-time. Continuous improvement of these measures is essential to staying ahead of evolving threats
  3. Human Factor Management: Recognise that human error is a significant contributor to security breaches. Implement comprehensive training programs, enforce strong password policies, and adopt multi-factor authentication and biometric security measures
  4. Zero Trust Network Access: Adopt a zero trust network access model, which assumes the network is hostile and requires verification for every access request. This significantly reduces the risk of unauthorised access

Supply chain cyber security is a collaborative effort

Securing the supply chain in the defence sector is not a solitary task. It requires collaboration across all levels of the supply chain, from primary contractors to the smallest third-party suppliers. Clear communication of security expectations and a shared commitment to maintaining high security standards are essential.

As cyber threats continue to evolve, the defence sector must prioritise its supply chain security. By integrating comprehensive IT security measures, conducting regular risk assessments, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, we can protect sensitive information and maintain national security. The recent breaches serve as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and innovation in our defence strategies.

Innovative security solutions

Traditional cyber defences like firewalls and anti-virus software are no longer sufficient against today’s sophisticated threats. The focus must shift to rapid threat detection and response. Technologies like CyberHive Connect. Utilising innovations within cyber security ensures that unauthorised actions are flagged immediately, preventing potential long-term damage. When it comes to defence and military, securing both internal systems and supply chains is essential for national security.

If you’d like to discuss your cyber security challenges, get in touch with us at CyberHive. Alternatively, CyberHive Connect is available for free use so that you can protect your organisation before it’s too late.

Get in touch

If you have a question or would like some more information, contact us today.