Supply Chain Cyber Attacks: Understanding the Risks and the Importance of Proactive IT Management



In today’s interconnected world, even the most robust and well-maintained software can be compromised by cyber attacks that target supply chain dependencies. These attacks exploit vulnerabilities in third-party components to infiltrate a wide range of systems and can cause significant damage to businesses and their reputation. In this blog post, we will explain the concept of supply chain cyber attacks, reference the infamous SolarWinds attack of 2020, and discuss the ongoing 3CX situation. We will then emphasize the importance of managing IT effectively and partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) to help safeguard your business from these threats.

Cyber Security


Understanding Supply Chain Cyber Attacks


A supply chain cyber attack occurs when cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in one component of a software supply chain to compromise the entire system. Software applications often rely on multiple third-party libraries or components to function correctly. If one of these components becomes compromised, the attackers can potentially gain access to all systems that rely on it. We are finding more that attackers will specifically target these dependencies in an effort to reach all users of their software.


The SolarWinds Attack of 2020


The SolarWinds attack in 2020 is a prime example of a supply chain cyber attack. In this incident, cybercriminals targeted the SolarWinds Orion Platform, a widely used IT management and monitoring solution. By injecting malicious code into one of the software’s updates, the attackers were able to compromise numerous government and private organizations. This sophisticated attack demonstrated the potential reach and impact of supply chain cyber attacks.


The Ongoing 3CX Situation


Today we have had another incident where the 3CX phone system has been compromised by a supply chain attack. While it is early days the reports suggest that the attackers were able to infect a dependency of the phone system which was then passed on to all users of their desktop software. Due to advances in security monitoring it would appear that the impact of this is far lower than it could have been.


What steps can you take


Every piece of software you have on your machines adds to your risk. We get almost daily notifications of new security vulnerabilities affecting our clients. To reduce your risk you can:

  1. Uninstall any software you do not need
  2. Update software when updates become available


Manage IT, Don’t Let IT Manage You


Now more than ever, it is crucial for businesses to take control of their IT infrastructure and actively manage potential risks. This involves keeping software up-to-date, regularly reviewing third-party dependencies, and investing in employee education to ensure they are aware of the latest threats and best practices.


Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) can significantly improve your company’s cybersecurity posture and help you navigate the complexities of today’s digital landscape. MSPs can offer a range of services that help protect your business from supply chain cyber attacks, including:


  1. Secure Configuration: Best practice changes all the time on how best to configure computers to reduce the risks of a serious breach. MSPs can assist in implementing this and keeping it up to date.
  2. Vulnerability assessments and management: MSPs can identify and address vulnerabilities in your software and third-party dependencies, reducing the risk of exploitation.
  3. Patch management: MSPs can ensure that your software and third-party components are regularly updated and patched, minimizing the likelihood of a successful cyber attack.
  4. Security awareness training: MSPs can provide ongoing training for your employees, keeping them informed about the latest threats and how to safeguard your business.
  5. 24/7 monitoring and incident response: MSPs can offer round-the-clock monitoring and swift response to potential threats, allowing you to focus on your core business operations with peace of mind.




Supply chain cyber attacks, such as the SolarWinds incident and the ongoing 3CX situation, highlight the need for businesses to take control of their IT infrastructure and proactively manage potential risks. Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) can help you stay one step ahead of these threats, ensuring your business remains secure and resilient in an ever-evolving digital landscape. By taking a proactive approach to IT management, you can focus on what matters most—growing and nurturing your business—while knowing that your technology is in capable hands.


Heliocentrix can provide robust security setups for your business. To find out more about the services we offer click here!

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