Digital & IT

Published: October 14, 2019 | Updated: October 14, 2019

Security boss warns changes to supply chains could put firms at risk from cyber attacks

Matt Horan, Security Director, C3IA Solutions
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Businesses have been warned they could lay themselves open to cyber attacks by making changes to their supply chains post Brexit.

Matt Horan, Security Director of Dorset-based cyber-security company C3IA Solutions, said companies should ensure new arrangements are secure.

He warned businesses could overlook the security aspects of any new relationship and that just one vulnerability in a supply chain could have severe knock-on effects.

Mr Horan, a former Royal Signaller, said: “This is a serious issue that could massively impact on business.

“Whatever happens with regard to Brexit, businesses are now correctly working to mitigate against supply problems.

“Companies obviously want to ensure their work is unhindered and this has led in some cases to stockpiling and also to lining up new suppliers – possibly from outside the EU.

“While these transitions might maintain an effective supply chain it is imperative that security is not overlooked.

“We have seen the results of breaches in supply chains and one weakness can have major repercussions; if you drop a stone in a pond the ripples will travel right to the periphery.

“Existing supply chains might have been built up over years with special regard made to information assurance and security.

“But when putting links together in haste this is one aspect that might not have the priority it ought to.

“It is crucial that business remains smooth – but also secure.”

Mr Horan, whose Poole-based business works in the defence and security sectors, for government departments and within industry, serving both SMEs and multi-national firms, said his company witnessed at first-hand where vulnerabilities lie and how they are exploited.

He added: “Whether the motive is financial – through ransomware for example – purely malicious, political or due to industrial espionage, any weakness will be identified.

“Whether your supply chain map looks like a cobweb or whether you do very little business abroad, the same warnings apply.

“In serious cases an attack could not only prove disastrous for business but could affect the nation’s economy.”

C3IA (a military term) was set up in 2006 by Mr Horan and Keith Parsons.

The business employs more than 100 people on contract with 39 as employees and 68 as associates.