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How Purchasers Can Protect Business from Impending Cyber Threat

Procurement and IT leaders are busy analyzing their cyber security plans and solutions as the Biden-Harris Administration warns of the potential for a Russian cyber attack following economic sanctions. Now is the time to ensure your organization’s digital infrastructure is protected from any devastating impacts.  

Just in the last couple of weeks, President Biden reported that intelligence continues to point to an increasing Russian cyber security threat and directly asked businesses to “immediately prepare defenses.” In response, companies across the nation have an enhanced focus on their cyber security solutions, and procurement teams are working to align with the IT and security management colleagues for a proactive, vigilant approach. With no time to waste, this is your opportunity to access immediate and cost-effective cyber security solutions through your group purchasing organization (GPO). 

Procurement professionals read on to better understand the risk your company faces right now and how to protect it by leveraging group purchasing in your strategy.  

Cyber Risks to Your Organization Right Now

As the Russia and Ukraine war continues, President Biden has addressed the importance of organizations investing in and building up their technological capacity to handle cyber attacks and protect critical services that Americans rely on. What may become an intimidating or overwhelming responsibility for purchasing teams in the midst of geopolitical conflict can be managed by your GPO. Group purchasing advisors act as an extension of your team monitoring the latest developments and ensuring a stable price for products and services along with supply chain visibility that can be hard to find.

Along with the overall Russian threat of technological disruption, there are different types of cyber attack that your procurement and IT teams must continue to have on their radar. 


IT experts are reporting an increase in ransomware attacks, one of the largest online threats today, where cyber criminals seize your data until you pay a large ransom. These attacks not only disrupt business but can cost you millions. A recent report points to hackers and ransomware groups targeting American logistics and shipping companies to cause further supply chain issues.  

Just last week, the Ransomware Resilience Summit took a closer look at what businesses and local governments need to know about the profitable ransomware business. Reminders of having heightened vigilance continue to arise for all sectors as the FBI just issued a warning to all companies and local governments “to be mindful of the potential for further attacks and fallout as the crisis between Russia and Ukraine deepens.” 

5G Vulnerabilities

With the advantages of 5G capabilities increasing communication and the pace of business comes the risk that the high speed of data transferring will allow hackers to infect more data packages and spy on companies without being noticed, according to a recent Forbes report.  

The Cybersecurity and infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) continues to evaluate 5G risks, such as attempts by threat actors to influence the design and architecture of 5G networks, an increased technology attack surface and the supply chain’s susceptibility to malicious software and hardware, counterfeit components, manufacturing processes and maintenance procedures. 

Offensive Mindset & Comprehensive Strategy

By adopting the mindset that threats and vulnerabilities are always a potential, procurement and IT leaders can mitigate risk with an intentional, offensive strategy in conjunction with an existing defensive plan. 

OMNIA Partners supplier Konica Minolta encourages three key segments to direct your focus in helping take action:

PEN Testing Network penetration is hacker role-playing within your network to find vulnerabilities before a real virus is let in. Application Penetration (PEN) testing identifies areas of concern so you can take immediate action.  
Adversary Emulation These involve real-world tests of an organization’s ability to prevent a highly skilled adversary from compromising data.
Red Teaming

Specifically targeting VIPs or executives of an organization, Red Team engagements are designed to achieve explicitly defined goals.

Ex. Infiltrating the CIO’s emails and giving samples of his inbox.   

Konica Minolta’s Offensive Cyber Security services allows your company to incorporate these segments into your existing strategy to better prepare for hacks.  

The IT procurement process is strategic and essential to businesses, and a GPO has its own subject matter experts in IT purchasing along with industry insiders from its supplier partners. Procurement teams can leverage the expertise of these individuals who can advise them when making decisions on cyber security products and services. We recently discussed the importance of a comprehensive security strategy with John A. Stewart, Vice President, IT Sales and Strategy at Ricoh USA, Inc.

According to Tech Target, in February of 2022, there were 26 publicly reported ransomware attacks against businesses and public entities within the United States. The victims have included one of the world's largest chipmakers, a professional football team, a cookware titan, and more than 10,000 college students across the country. Let’s face facts: Even the most well-protected organizations fall victim to ransomware. It’s very important to have a comprehensive, multilayered approach to security with the right tools in place to prevent and stop attacks. That should include things like end user training, preventative tools like enhanced end point protection, proper network security and user rights, multifactor authentication and other types of products and services that can help prevent and stop ransomware attacks.” 

Part of the process in establishing a strong cyber security posture is to identify network issues and risk exposure, and create an action plan to resolve any network issues. OMNIA Partners supplier Ricoh has an IT Health Check Program reviews your technology environment (including software, hardware, and network infrastructure) for potential vulnerabilities that could leave your organization at risk of interruption.  

As ransomware attacks become more sophisticated, Ricoh also offers RansomCare, which acts as a last line of defense to stop an attack in near real-time and safeguards against financial loss and reduces recovery time.  

How Group Purchasing Can Help

As the nation braces for a potential Russian cyber attack, you can gain immediate access to strong cyber security products and services through group purchasing. By leveraging IT GPO contracts, your business connects to world-class solutions faster, more efficiently and at the best value.  

In an evolving marketplace with much price volatility, the GPO provides stability, streamlines your procurement process and can assist in managing several categories in your diverse spend cube.  Group purchasing continues to gain traction as a competitive best practice as we see procurement teams across the nation take advantage of the savings and value beyond cost. To learn more and answer any lingering questions, visit our GPO FAQs page.