Hackers threaten supply chains

21 June 2011

21 June 2011 | Lindsay Clark

Businesses should take the prospect of cyber attacks affecting their supply chains seriously, a report has warned.  

A survey from PricewaterhouseCooper’s the Transport & Logistics' 2030series: Securingthe Supply Chain, says cyber attacks are becoming so sophisticated that any business could fall victim. Those surveyed were even more concerned with hacker attacks affecting their supply chains than they were actual physical attacks, including piracy and terrorism.

Klaus-Dieter Ruske, partner and global transportation and logistics industry leader at PwC, said: “The supply relationships between producers, suppliers and consumers have become more complex and more accident-sensitive in the past few years. Today, 90 per cent of the worldwide trading volume is concentrating on about 39 gateway regions. If only a single one of these hubs fails, the economic consequences could be enormous after just a short period of time and affect most economies around the globe.

“As a consequence of the increasing threat, the transportation and logistics companies' expenditures on security will broadly rise. Thus, capital investment on security, also on security of IT systems, will be one of the most important cost drivers of the logistics industry.”

Businesses should draw up and implement contingency plans as the economic impact of such attacks could be devastating, the report said.

The report, undertaken jointly with the Supply Chain Management Institute at the European Business School in Germany, surveyed 80 executives across business, science and government.

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