What is a third-party risk, and why should it be a concern for the supply chain cybersecurity of NIS2-subjected companies?
In today’s world, digital connections and collaborations between companies have become indispensable. The benefits of such interconnectedness are clear: efficiency, innovation and growth. However, with these benefits also come new challenges, especially in terms of cybersecurity. In this blog series, we explore the importance of supply chain security and how the NIS2 legislation affects the management of risks associated with third parties.
Why Should Third-Party Risk Be a Concern?
Imagine your company is a well-secured fortress, surrounded by digital walls and armed with state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures. It may seem like you have everything under control and that your data is safe. But this is where the importance of third parties comes in.
Third parties are external organisations or entities with which your business is digitally connected, such as suppliers, partners, service providers and contractors. They have access to sensitive information such as customer data and internal business systems. And this is where the risk starts.
Often, companies focus on implementing stringent cybersecurity measures for their internal networks and IT infrastructure. But if these efforts are not extended to external parties, a significant vulnerability arises. This is because these third parties can provide an easier access point to systems and networks. A weak link in the supply chain can lead to a domino effect of cyber threats that can directly affect your business.
Why NIS2 Compliance Is Not Enough?
Now you may be asking yourself, “But my company is NIS2 compliant, so aren’t we protected?” The answer is partly yes, but there is more to it. NIS2 (Network and Information Systems 2) is a European directive that aims to strengthen the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure and service providers. Being NIS2-compliant yourself is essential to protect your own business from cyber threats.
However, in a highly interconnected digital world, self-protection is not enough. It is equally important that the third parties you work with also comply with basic cybersecurity hygiene. If they have weaknesses in their security, these could pose a direct threat to your business, even if you yourself meet all the requirements.
The Need for Basic Cybersecurity Hygiene
It is crucial to recognise that your digital security is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. This is why NIS2-subjected companies should not only focus on their cybersecurity, but also that of their third-party partners. This means evaluating whether your partners and suppliers meet security standards and have measures in place to manage cyber threats.
It is time to think beyond your own digital boundaries. Collaborating with third parties is an essential part of doing business, but it should not expose you to unnecessary risks. Protection against cyber threats does not stop at your firewalls and secure systems. It requires a coordinated effort to ensure that the entire chain is as strong as it can be.
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Want to know more about how to strengthen your supply chain security and deal with third-party risks? Download our whitepaper for in-depth insights and practical tips. Learn how to protect your business and your digital connections from the growing threat of cyber attacks and data breaches. Together, we can build a secure and resilient digital future.