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Securing Your Supply Chain Against an Insecure Future

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Is security one of your primary concerns? It should be. In most cases, when security breaches occur within the supply chain, the situation could be thwarted. Here is a list of the primary places where security breaches take place, and how to prevent them.

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Breaches in the Physical Security of Facilities

Having the proper physical barriers and surveillance in place at your primary manufacturing facilities is a good start, but you also have to consider possible breaches in the security of your suppliers, carriers, and distributors. Security for the physical goods begins with mapping out your supply chain accurately and identifying possible weak links in the supply chain.

Does your carrier use seals for cargo? Who manages these seals? Are your suppliers up to date with fence repairs? Do their surveillance cameras work properly? How are the warehouses managed? All of these answers factor in to how secure your raw materials and finished products are.

Breaches in Procedural Security

The procedures for bringing in goods and shipping out products are crucial. Goods need to be marked, sealed, and stored properly along the way. Tamper proof containers and packages help. Also, assure that security procedures are cross checked by multiple parties, and no one person is responsible for a single procedure without checks and balances.

Breaches Within Personnel

Personnel breach prevention begins with hiring the right people, but it doesn’t end there. Are human resource managers aware of the skill requirements of each specific job? Is every job application verified for education and employment history? All applicants for sensitive positions need a background check. Contact their references and make sure their skills line up with the job they’ll be performing. Conduct background checks periodically, so that any employee who suddenly experiences a big, unexplained change in their financial situation can be flagged.

Breaches Within Documentation Systems

IT departments need the tools and budget necessary to secure computers, networks, and servers from cyber attacks. No longer limited to hackers, cyber attacks include industrial espionage, cyber terrorism, and identity theft. Are you and your suppliers securing the physical and virtual safety of documentation stored on your computer systems? Also, are you monitoring employee access to data? These are common areas of security breaches.

Crisis Management Procedures

Crisis management involves establishing a crisis management team, constructing an emergency plan for any possible problems, and training employees on these plans and procedures. Crisis can include break-ins, but should also include emergencies such as fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, hurricane, or other natural disasters.

Suppliers in regions prone to natural disasters, political upheaval, social unrest, or other security issues should be evaluated on their ability to address and respond to possible issues. Are your suppliers able to secure inventory in the event of riots or earthquakes? Can your logistics team manage to resume deliveries quickly after a flood or other disaster?

Encourage your supply chain partners to boost security measures, and request written security contracts from all your suppliers. Agree on an effective means of regular communications about security, and stick to the established protocol.

A review of the security processes of your company, your suppliers, and your distributors should uncover any hidden issues and allow you to address them before disaster strikes your supply chain. [/show_to]

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