OpScoop Issue 11: Overcoming threats to Digital Supply Chain

Off late the manufacturing industry has been focused on digitally transforming their supply chains. Digitization has revamped the traditional linear supply chain by tightly connecting production with consumer demand.

The entire digital supply network(DSN) has its foundation on data. On one hand it is imperative to have open data sharing to ensure a responsive and agile network, while on the other hand this creates security issues. Determining the optimal level of information sharing, to strike a balance between having transparency and simultaneously maintaining security, is the problem at hand.

To completely secure the ecosystem, all network participants have to be vigilant. Data should be critically considered and examined before being shared. Network segmentation and intermediary systems to gather, protect and provide information have to be utilized. In consumer open markets, organizations such as Amazon and eBay have had to deal with counterfeit goods and fake store fronts. To avoid such situations, hardware security modules that detect unauthorized changes must be incorporated in DSN’s. Block chain is another technology that is being considered to address payment process changes. Approaches similar to the automated trading model, which is used by financial and energy corporations, can be utilized for better monitoring.

As manufacturers shift from DSNs to Industry 4.0, cyber threats will further evolve and multiply. Hence vigilance, encryption and tokenization of data, robust control systems and risk management help attain higher levels of prevention as connectivity increases.

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