MHI Solutions

Education

HIGHER EDUCATION: Cybersecurity and Its Implication on Material Handling and Supply Chains

Material handling and supply chain systems are becoming markedly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
* By MD Sarder and Matthew Haschak *

Cybersecurity is the ability to prevent, defend against and recover from disruptions caused by cyberattacks from adversaries. Cyberattacks have been classified as passive attacks and active attacks. Passive attacks are difficult to detect and are mainly used on confidential data. The passive attacks have been classified as eavesdropping and traffic analysis.

Active attacks are classified as masquerade, replay, message modification and denial of service. The hackers use malware to penetrate into a system and breach the critical data, like customers’ payment and personal details. Cyber breaches are increasing every year affecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data.

Material handling and supply chain systems are becoming markedly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Over time, material handling devices are connected with corporate network, so they can integrate and share information across the enterprise. This helps the companies to monitor and manage operations remotely, but it also increases the chances of cyberattacks. When the system is broadly networked, it can be accessed by a malware.

Many companies manage external vendors where information sharing and accessing is involved. This can generate vulnerabilities especially if the processes are automated. Firms should take up measures like mapping the data flow in supply chain, planning a comprehensive risk assessment, aligning with emerging standards and setting clear expectations in all supply chain contracts.

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This issue of MHI Solutions tackles the important topic of digital technologies in the supply chain industry, especially as it relates the transportation and logistics. Transportation plays a central role in supply chains, whether they are local or global enterprises. And just like the overall supply chain, transportation is facing a digital revolution including new solutions for tracking road, rail, sea and air freight and parcel transportation. These digital technologies are disrupting the industry, but they are also providing im-portant new solutions for transportation inefficiencies and urban logistics challenges. They are also creating new digital business models that enhance transparency and sustainability and contribute to end-to-end supply chain visibility. Like the innovations impacting supply chains, these trends are being driven by the growth of e-commerce and the consumers’ never-ending need for better, faster and cheaper. Ignoring them is done at your own peril.

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