Securing your Supply Chain and Contracts Data
Posted on: 14/01/16
‘Securing information and ICT infrastructure begins at the time of purchase. The reality however, is that to protect the organisation from harmful actors, you also need to look upstream to secure the entire product life cycle.’
- Technology Spectator, (2016). ‘How to shore up supply chain security’. Online <http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/12/31/technology/how-shore-supply-chain-security> Access Date: 11 January 2016.
The article states a spectacular figure about supply chain management and security issues, ‘Did you know that the issue of breaches in the supply chain is a $1 billion-per-year problem?’ The article from the end of last year highlights the issues around security when dealing with valuable and important data belonging to your supply chain and because of recent events with vulnerabilities in network security the issues cannot be ignored and should be hitting the top of agenda’s this year.
Securing company data and assets is never on the back burner and always number one priority for businesses however the article explains despite the walls of security more hackers are re-targeting their efforts upstream of the contract life-cycle. With security issues emerging, industry standards are vital in ensuring compliance and managing risks; by having complete visibility into the supply chain from contract to contract award and the actual deliverable businesses will find a more secure environment to work with their suppliers.
A list of key security principles for organisations to apply has been offered to mitigate their security risk at each stage of the technology supply chain, however each point can be applied to other industries of supply chains.
- ‘Establish a product protection strategy.’
Rightly explained in the article, each department involved in the contract management process need to work in partnership to establish how to manage and process awarded contracts. Departments collaborating together through online, cloud platforms that are locked for authorisation access help secure your supply chain process. A system that can be accessed by users wherever and whenever they might be encourages business requirements and actions to be fulfilled so nothing ever goes a miss that could pose a possible risk.
- ‘Involve partners in the security process.’
Departments in business not only need to work together but businesses need to partner with their supply chain to ensure trust is built and sustained. We believe that to get the most of your supply chain, departments need to apply selection criteria to maintain an approved vendor list so the business can be better position to guarantee compliance and hone greater control. We found a created a supplier database where the supply chain have their own login and handle their own documents and insurance compliance has provided significant benefits to organisations looking for greater control and security.
- ‘Secure Sales Channels.’
You can secure your supply chain and contracts management process by having a system that allows businesses to have permission controls. Admin controls over user permissions improves overall security of important data but ensures documents and sign offs are not being missed over important and valuable contract awards.
- ‘Secure warranty, returns and disposal processes.’
Establishing your strategy on how to process your awarded contracts to your supply chain is not the end of the journey when it comes to contract management. Contracts have a life cycle, aren’t dead until you say so. To be in control and secure your warranty, returns and disposal processes, business need to implement a quality system that will document activities that been actioned throughout the contract. A system that can document you activity as well provide alerts, notifications and escalations will ensure the correct department and person can continue to nurture the contract through renewals until disposed because no longer deemed fit.
‘The age of global, integrated supply chain processes and management has taught us an important lesson in the need for becoming more active in our defence posture’
Advances in technology are finally providing the software and systems to help businesses get control of their data management but also help establish best practices to ensure security and compliance is maintain throughout and beyond the contract award process.