Focused on supplier risk issues for business leaders

Study Shows Stakeholders Want More Focus on Risk Identification and Management

March 30, 2012 | No Comments →

While concerns about global economic uncertainty continue to be top of mind for business leaders, other significant issues –such as fraud and ethics, mergers and acquisitions, large programs, new product introductions and business continuity –are emerging to further complicate business strategies and performance.

In fact, according to the new 2012 PwC State of the Internal Audit Profession study, businesses are asking internal audit to play an increased role in helping companies navigate the rapidly changing risk landscape. To illustrate my point, here are a few key findings from the report: (more…)

Federal Agencies at Risk From Dependence on Global IT Supply Chain

March 28, 2012 | No Comments →

In order to carry out their operations, federal agencies often rely on IT components manufactured overseas. But, a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warns that this growing dependence on a global IT supply chain introduces multiple risks to sensitive federal information systems.

For example, the report says federal agencies are vulnerable to:

  • Installation of malicious logic on hardware or software
  • Installation of counterfeit hardware or software
  • Failure or disruption in the production or distribution of a critical product or service
  • Reliance upon a malicious or unqualified service-provider for the performance of technical services
  • Installation of unintentional vulnerabilities on hardware or software (more…)

Radioactive Scrap Metal is New Threat to Global Supply Chains

March 26, 2012 | Comments (2)

World leaders are meeting in Seoul this week to discuss nuclear security concerns, including the growing threat of radioactive material in the global scrap metal supply chain.

According to a recent article at Bloomberg Businessweek, industries around the world are confronting the impact of loose nuclear (i.e., radioactive) material in an international scrap-metal market worth at least $140 billion. From the article:

Radioactive items used to power medical, military and industrial hardware are melted down and used in goods, driving up company costs as they withdraw tainted products and threatening the public’s health . . . Abandoned medical scanners, food-processing devices and mining equipment containing radioactive metals such as cesium-137 and cobalt-60 are picked up by scrap collectors, sold to recyclers and melted down by foundries, the IAEA (United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency) says.

The problem made headlines earlier this year when retailer Bed Bath & Beyond had to recall a metal tissue holder from its shelves after the item was found to be slightly radioactive.  A Bed Bath & Beyond truck loaded with the tissue holders reportedly set off a surveillance monitor in California. (more…)

Food and Beverage Industry Most at Risk for Cyber Attack

March 23, 2012 | No Comments →

Any business is vulnerable to a data breach. However, for the second year in a row, the information security firm Trustwave has found companies in the food and beverage industry are the most at risk from cybercriminals.

Why? According to the newly released Trustwave 2012 Global Security Report, industries with franchise and chain store models are top targets primarily because franchises often use the same IT systems across stores. Once cybercriminals compromise a system in one location, they likely can duplicate the attack in multiple locations. In fact, more than one third of Trustwave SpiderLabs 2011 investigations occurred in a franchise business, and the report predicts this number will rise in 2012.

Here are a few more key findings from the 2012 report: (more…)

Market Volatility Leads to Focus on Supply Chain Improvements

March 21, 2012 | No Comments →

Business executives around the world continue to worry about market volatility and economic uncertainty, however most feel their companies are better prepared to handle these challenges than they were during the economic slowdown of 2008-09, according to new research from Capgemini Consulting.

The study, which surveyed 350 supply chain executives from leading companies across Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, found that:

  • Familiar business challenges persist. Market volatility (52 percent) and the economic downturn (39 percent) are the biggest business challenges currently faced by respondents. Just 17 percent feel optimistic about the outlook for the economy in 2012.
  • Leaders are focused on supply chains. Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents said they have implemented measures to improve visibility and control within the supply chain, and 59 percent have taken steps to increase flexibility within supply chain operations. As Capgemini points out, companies that have taken these measures should expect to have a head start on their competitors in 2012 as they will be able to measure and adapt their supply chains more easily. (more…)