IoT-powered supply chains offer efficiency and vulnerabilities alike

March 5, 2021

The Internet of Things revolution is happening across industries, affecting consumers and businesses alike. As IoT devices are increasingly used to optimise supply chains, the level of risk inherent in manufacturing and logistics has risen. This is further complicated by the fact that different devices often use elements and protocols from different suppliers, creating a complex and expanded threat surface. Therefore, managing logistical risk and cybersecurity in the Smart era is no small feat.

Especially as supply chains are now often global matters, with resources, materials and products traveling around the world with help from Smart technologies, minimising disruptions is paramount. With threats growing exponentially daily, cybersecurity has to be a constant priority for suppliers and businesses.

Organisations should start by analysing their supply chains – where are potential vulnerabilities, and how can they be managed? Are their suppliers certified by industry standards, such as ISO27001? Making regular assessments and adjusting cybersecurity measures as needed can go a long way to preventing hacks. ENISA, the European Union’s Agency for Cybersecurity, also suggests that organisations track the different pieces of their IoT devices, ensuring that they’re regularly patched or upgraded as necessary.

Identity management is also key to supply chain security. If a device is spoofed or can’t be authenticated, it may be used to send out erroneous messages. Therefore, the ultimate measure that all organisations must take is to ensure that cybersecurity concerns are included by design in every step of their supply chain, from their own processes, technology and suppliers. Using solutions like ANGOKA’s, which can be retrofitted or built-in to authenticate device identity and provide secured machine-to-machine communications, is the first step that organisations can take to protect their supply chains.

Supply chains are complex by nature, and in today’s business landscape it’s almost impossible to operate without any third parties. Ultimately, enacting cybersecurity measures as part of overall business strategy will be key to managing growing risks and implementing new supply chains.

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