Software Supply Chain Security

How to achieve software supply chain security

Software supply chain attacks have become increasingly common in recent years, growing by more than 300% in 2021.(1) In these attacks, threat actors compromise the components supplied by third parties that a company uses to build, patch, or certify a software application. Rather than targeting a company directly, attackers search for supply chain partners with poor security practices, exploiting vulnerabilities in the code or tools these vendors supply to the target company. By compromising code, development tools, firmware components, or certificates supplied by vendors, attackers can more easily gain access to well-protected organizations.

Since the software supply chain may be compromised at any time, traditional vendor risk monitoring solutions like point-in-time questionnaires are of little help in identifying evolving risk. Improving software supply chain security requires continuous monitoring of vendors, starting with the procurement and onboarding process and continuing throughout the vendor/client relationship. That’s where Bitsight can help. Bitsight for Supply Chain Cybersecurity Risk Management leverages Bitsight’s industry-leading security ratings to effectively reveal, remediate, and monitor software supply chain risk.

4 best practices for securing your software supply chain

As the supply chain becomes more interconnected, threat actors find new opportunities to breach an organization’s defenses by attacking third-party vendors with the weakest security. These best practices can help to improve digital resilience in the supply chain and combat third-party risk.

Validate vendors’ security posture before and after onboarding

Rather than relying on security questionnaires that only provide a point-in-time snapshot of cyber health as reported by vendors, organizations can use security ratings to quickly measure each vendor’s security posture against acceptable risk thresholds and to simplify software supply chain security by grouping vendors based on their risk and criticality to the business.

Continuously monitor software supply chain security

Because a vendor’s risk profile may change at any time, organizations should continuously monitor the security performance of all supply chain partners. Security ratings provide a quick way to identify new risks, such as insecure access ports, unpatched systems, or the presence of malware.

Track fourth-party risk

Monitoring the suppliers and partners of third-party vendors delivers deeper visibility into supply chain risk. To improve software supply chain security, organizations need solutions to issue alerts when security incidents are discovered in the extended supply chain.

Use business terms to report on supply chain risk

Achieving software supply chain security requires everyone in an organization to be on the same page about the importance of investing in security measures – including the Board of Directors. To provide easy-to-digest metrics that board members without a technical background can easily understand, CISOs should characterize the benefits of supply chain risk management in business and financial terms rather than simply in cybersecurity metrics.


Bitsight for Supply Chain Cybersecurity Risk Management

Bitsight provides trusted data and insights that enable the world’s insurers, investors, enterprises, and governments to better understand and manage cyber risk. Bitsight for Supply Chain Cybersecurity Risk Management simplifies software supply chain security by providing immediate visibility into cyber risks within each vendor’s IT ecosystem.

Bitsight’s cyber risk management tools, including security ratings, offer a near-real-time view of the overall security posture for each vendor in the software supply chain, avoiding the need for costly, time-consuming assessments that only provide a limited view of risk.

Bitsight Security Ratings offer a data-driven representation of multiple cybersecurity factors that impact an organization’s security posture. These include data points in four areas: compromised systems, user behavior, adherence to industry best practices, and publicly disclosed data breaches. Ratings are presented with an easy-to-understand score, like a credit rating. The higher the rating, the stronger the security posture.

Security ratings can help organizations decide whether to partner with the vendor. Because ratings also provide detailed insight into the risks that a vendor represents, organizations can address specific security issues with vendors during onboarding and throughout the vendor relationship.

Benefits of software supply chain security with Bitsight

Bitsight for Supply Chain Cybersecurity Risk Management enables organizations and risk teams to proactively monitor software supply chain security.

Continuously monitor the software vendor portfolio

With Bitsight, organizations can continuously and automatically monitor the cybersecurity health of all vendors in the software supply chain – quickly, at scale, and throughout the relationship. Bitsight also makes it easy to tier third parties and prioritize risks in the vendor pool to focus remediation on areas where it can have the most impact.

Prevent risk from entering the supply chain

Bitsight’s technology for software supply chain security plays a vital role in vendor due diligence, helping organizations identify vendors that fail to meet initial security requirements before they become part of the digital supply chain.

Triage risk in collaboration with vendors

Organizations can grant vendors access to the Bitsight platform, allowing them to proactively assess their own ecosystems for cyber risk and to address actionable and specific recommendations for strengthening their own security posture.

Improve fourth-party risk management

Bitsight provides deeper visibility into the extended software supply chain. By continuously monitoring fourth-party risk, organizations can be alerted to newly uncovered relationships, validate questionnaires used in supply chain risk assessment, and work with all vendors to mitigate risk.

Why trust Bitsight?

Bitsight has transformed how companies manage cybersecurity performance and third-party risk management. Today, 20% of Fortune 1000 companies, 4 of the top 5 investment banks, and all of the Big 4 accounting firms choose Bitsight technology to help manage cyber risk.

Bitsight Security Ratings provide an external and trusted view of cyber risk, with data that is independently verified to correlate with the risk of breach. Cybersecurity managers can trust Bitsight’s cyber security analysis to accurately characterize the risk of breach for organizations and vendors, helping to prioritize mitigation decisions with deeper visibility into where the greatest risks exist.

In addition to third-party and fourth-party risk management, Bitsight technology improves security performance management, enhances reputational risk management, simplifies attack surface analytics, and streamlines executive reporting.

Get a personalized demo to learn how to mitigate risk across your entire vendor portfolio.