Using OSINT to Mitigate Global Supply Chain Risks and Vulnerabilities

January 2021

As the world becomes more integrated through digital communications and more globalized on every level, each new technological development seems to be swiftly followed by a new cyber threat. While the threat of election interference from Russian hackers dominated the news in the United States, another cyber threat was looming that could be equally damaging. It is the threat to supply chains. 

In some ways, supply chains are among the most easily overlooked targets because they are everywhere. These are the complex networks of information, software, goods, services, materials, and personnel that literally keep the civilized world operating smoothly. Virtually every person and organization on the planet depends on some collection of supply chains. Of course, the more global these chains become, the more complex they become. As they become more complex, they develop more vulnerabilities.  

Supply Chain Vulnerabilities  

Most people are probably aware of the potential dangers that hackers can pose with regard to financial security, classified information, and election processes. However, cyber-attacks have the potential to pose an equally significant risk when it comes to supply chains. As governments and companies become more globally intertwined, supply chains grow ever more complex, tying together fragile connections all around the world. While these networks are impressive in their everyday efficiency, their complexity makes them relatively easy to disrupt.  

While hackers do sometimes strike with the intention of extracting specific information or disrupting a particular agency or operation, it is becoming more common for groups like Cozy Bear to launch broad disruption campaigns intended to simply create havoc and interfere with business as usual.  

The recent SolarWinds hack brought new attention to the potential risks that can come with the almost inevitable dependence on private sector vendors. Some of the most secured federal departments and agencies in the United States were breached, as well as a range of private-sector targets. Among the vulnerable facets of these targets were countless points of digital communication that are crucial to the effective operations of global supply chains that involve all manner of materials, products, commodities, information, and personnel around the world.  

Managing Supply Chain Vulnerabilities  

It may be virtually impossible to prevent cyber-attacks completely. However, the right AI open-source intelligence software can enable teams to identify, assess, and mitigate the risks associated with global product and service supply chains for information and communications technology. These OSINT solutions help organizations analyze massive amounts of unstructured data in all foreign languages, as well as provide tailored analytics to deliver immediate, high-impact results for these challenging and otherwise time-consuming requirements.

Due to the complexity of most modern supply chains, the extent and nature of a disruption can be almost impossible for even the most brilliant of human minds to assess accurately. Fortunately, we have AI technologies that are created for that very type of function. These tools quickly process thousands of relevant data points to bring you crucial insights that will enable you to respond with the highest levels of speed and effectiveness, minimizing the disruption and taking proactive steps to prevent future interference.

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