A new US Intelligence campaign is set to help supply chains defend themselves against cyber attacks.
As businesses and supply chains grow increasingly more global, inevitably risk increases at the same rate. One of the most high profile risks for supply chains currently is are cyber attacks and hacking.
With each passing year, the cyber attacks get bigger. In June, the Democratic National Committee was breached by Russian hackers, and 20,000 e-mails, linked to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, were posted online.
In March, the Bangladesh Federal Reserve lost $100 million to hackers, with only $20 million recovered so far. Over 4,700 cyber attacks have been reported in the US alone since 2005, impacting hundreds of millions of people.
However, organisations with cross-border supply chains are about to get a helping hand in the fight against cyber attacks.
Cyber Attacks & Vulnerable Supply Chains
The National Counterintelligence and Security Centre will provide sensitive information, including classified threat reports, to companies about the risks of hacking in their supply chains.
The move is part of an effort to increase responsibility and education for organisations for supply chain security. It has previously been highlighted that there is a lack of understanding in US companies that having international suppliers makes supply chains vulnerable to cyber attacks.
“The supply chain threat is one that’s the least talked about but is the easiest to manipulate for all aspects of our daily lives,” said NCSC Director, William Evanina.
Domestic & Foreign Threats
The NCSC campaign will initially focus on supply chains linked to both China and Russia, the alleged sources of previous hacks. However, it will also be aimed at domestic hackers, criminal enterprises, and even disaffected former employees.
The campaign will prioritise telecommunications, energy and financial services corporations first. This is in part due to the nature of the business, but also their strategic importance to US national security.
And as well as cyber attacks, the NSCS will also be providing information and advice on so-called “hands on” crimes, such as stealing of classified information, or destruction of sensitive equipment.
Procurement Must “Play Full Part”
As part of the efforts to reduce cyber attacks, the key role of procurement has been highlighted. Evanina emphasised that procurement need to be fully integrated with other areas of the organisation to help mitigate risk.
He highlighted the role of ongoing due diligence to support initial investment in cyber security software and programmes. This would be carried out by procurement, but in partnership with the other areas of the business.
Evanina expands on the role of procurement in this video. He states that research into suppliers, and their own supply chains is critical in mitigating the risk.
Although the work to be carried out as part of the campaign is primarily aimed at US companies, the applicability is there for all global supply chains.
Many US-based companies will purchase goods from overseas suppliers, and at the same time there will be companies purchasing from US suppliers. The inter-connected nature of the supply chain, as well as increased connectivity across technological platforms, increases the risk to organisations.
Carrying out due diligence on suppliers, knowing the full supply chain, and, perhaps most importantly, ensuring procurement plays a full part in organisational security, is a way to help mitigate this risk.
Will your organisation be taking advantage of the advice from the NCSC? Will you be impacted by any changes that take place? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to know what’s happening in the world of procurement and supply chain? Well, we’ve picked out the key headlines from the past week to keep you up to date…
Verisk Maplecroft Releases Modern Slavery Index
- Global Risk Analysts, Verisk Maplecroft, have released their latest supply chain modern slavery index.
- According to the Index, modern slavery constitutes a ‘high’ or ‘extreme risk’ in 115 countries worldwide.
- Major exporters China and India fall again into the extreme risk category. The UK is one of only four countries seen as ‘low risk’
- The report notes that most countries have some form of anti-slavery legislation or framework in place, but lack the resources to enforce these laws.
Read more at Forbes
African Countries Ban Secondhand Clothing Imports
- A ban on imports of secondhand clothing is to be implemented by the Governments of the East African Community.
- The group, including Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, proposed the ban in order to stimulate the apparel industry in their countries.
- It is hoped that the measure will also create jobs and bolster the countries’ economies.
- The rise of ‘fast fashion’ has led to a dramatic increase in the region’s secondhand clothing imports over the past decade.
Read more at Sustainable Brands
Scotland Launches Brexit Stimulus Fund
- The Scottish Government has announced plans to create a stimulus fund following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
- The fund will add an additional £100 million to capital spending to support Scottish businesses.
- Funds will be allocated to projects based on jobs creation and impact on the overall supply chain.
- The Government also announced the creation of Business Information Service to support businesses affected by vote.
Read more at Supply Management
Shipping Industry Struggles Continue
- As the results for the first half of 2016 are released, the struggles in the shipping industry look set to continue.
- Hapag-Lloyd and Orient Overseas have both reported first half losses for 2016, with Maersk expected to do likewise this week.
- Decreasing freight rates and over capacity have been blamed for the current plight in the industry.
- Hapag-Lloyd plans on acquiring United Arab Shopping Co., a deal that could deliver $400 million in savings annually.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal