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Protecting the US Communication Supply Chain

01/30/2023 2:16 PM | Marla Halley (Administrator)

The United States' communication supply chain is a critical infrastructure that enables the country's economic and national security. However, it is also a vulnerable target for foreign adversaries looking to exploit weaknesses and gain access to sensitive information. In this article, we will discuss the importance of protecting the US communication supply chain and the steps that can be taken to do so.

One of the biggest threats to the US communication supply chain is the potential for foreign adversaries to introduce malicious hardware or software into the system. This can be done through various methods, such as compromising manufacturing processes or infiltrating supply chains. Once in place, these malicious components can be used to steal sensitive data, disrupt communications, or even gain control of critical infrastructure.

It is essential to take a multi-layered approach to Cybersecurity. Implementing network segmentation is one of the best ways to protect networks from foreign interference. This involves dividing a network into smaller segments, each with its own security controls. This makes it more difficult for attackers to access sensitive data and systems.

Another way is to be sure you have a good inventory of your network. What's operating on your network? Remember the CIS Controls and the two most important controls. Know your hardware and know your software. You can't mount any defense or response if you don't see what you have. 

TikTok, the popular social media app known for its short-form videos, has become a household name in recent years. While the app has been praised for its creativity and entertainment value, it has also raised concerns about its potential security risks. 

Another threat of TikTok is the potential for foreign interference. The app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which has been accused of censoring content and spreading disinformation. This has led to concerns about the app's ability to influence public opinion and political campaigns. How do you mount a defense against TikTok?

To protect the US communication supply chain, it is essential to implement strict security measures throughout the entire process, from the design and development phase to the final deployment. This includes conducting thorough background checks on suppliers and vendors and performing regular security assessments and penetration testing on all components of the system.

Another critical step is to increase the use of secure communication technologies, such as end-to-end encryption and security protocols. This can help protect against eavesdropping and other forms of cyber espionage. It's also important to have incident response plans in place so that organizations can quickly respond to any security breaches or disruptions.

The US government can also play a key role in protecting the communication supply chain by implementing regulations and standards for the industry. This includes setting guidelines for the design, development, and deployment of communication systems, as well as providing funding for research and development of secure technologies.

In addition, it is important to have international collaboration and information sharing in order to address the global challenges of the communication supply chain. The US government can work with other countries and international organizations to share information about threats and best practices and to coordinate efforts to protect critical infrastructure.

In conclusion, protecting the US communication supply chain is essential for ensuring the country's economic and national security. By implementing strict security measures, increasing the use of secure technologies, and working with the government and international partners, organizations can better defend against the threats of foreign adversaries and ensure the integrity of the communication supply chain.

I'll be speaking at the Ohio Information Security Conference in March and will go into more detail on how to protect and respond to these and future threats.

The Author: Shawn Waldman is the founder and CEO of Secure Cyber Defense in Moraine OH. Shawn has created one of the only local firms that 100% focuses on Cybersecurity and has built its own Security Operations Center. Shawn is a subject matter expert and thought leader on Cyber and speaks at conferences globally on the topic.

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