Solutions Snapshot

Question: What can I do to ensure my supply chain is adequately protected? Steve O’Malley, Security Team Leader, ISO TC-8 and Director, Maritime & Supply Chain Security, SAIC Somehow the goal of anti-terrorism has replaced the goal...


Your investment in wise application of technologies is required when considering the trust quotient of the chain and the partners represented by it. Don’t forget supply chain security rests atop public safety and brand image. Advanced technologies like RFID labeling and tagging, satellite and GPS tracking, advanced behavioral and geospatial video analytics, computer simulation of supply chains for scenario planning and biometrics for access control and identity management might seem like luxuries in tough times. What can you do? Champion the right stuff.

Richard A. Lefler, Dean of Emeritus Faculty of the Security Executive Council and former CSO, American Express
Thoughtful, proactive security program partnering with legal, finance, and risk management operations forms an umbrella of protection in a global economy in which interdependence and cross-border trade continue to grow rapidly. Experience continually reminds us that no matter how robust our proactive programs, events can happen that will disrupt the global supply chain. Geo-political disruptions including war, terrorism and crime will occur. Natural disasters and outbreaks of disease will strike. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes in The Black Swan, when highly improbable events do occur they often create widespread disruption and upheaval. An example: The recent credit market collapse had an immediate, dramatic effect on the Baltic Dry index measuring global shipping and subsequently on shipments themselves.

Front-end risk mitigation is critical, but we need to remember that residual risks remain — some of them quite large. It is important to use some precious resources to be able to quickly detect emerging events. Following detection, the ability to rapidly communicate to all parties quickly and on an ongoing basis is important. Finally, constant crisis management and business continuity planning are essential to being able to adapt rapidly. Detection, communication and planned responses get you to the front of the line in tough times.

Next Month’s Question: Should Web 2.0 applications be allowed to be accessed from company computers?

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