By Michael Balboni
This past Sunday, I wrote an op-ed for Newsday examining Secretary Napolitano’s announcement in Davos, Switzerland of a National Strategy for Supply Chain Security. What struck me about this announcement regarding a new initiative on global supply chain security was that it only mentioned the importance of physical security. Cyber threats were left completely off the table. It is crucial to recognize that both these threats are actually inexorably intertwined. While causes of disruption to the supply chain may be different, both these threats produce similar negative effects for the consumer. The supply chain consists of the infrastructure that moves goods to consumers, but it also includes information such as customer lists, inventory data and shipping information. The latter is just as susceptible to sabotage as the physical flow of goods.
In Sunday’s piece, I advocated for a broader sharing of cyber attack information across the globe, as well as acknowledging the need for an “exploit-free” software assurance program for consumers. It is imperative that security officials acknowledge physical and cyber threats simultaneously, and that both government and corporate leadership begin taking steps to protect the global supply chain through a coordinated effort.
Former New York State Assemblyman and Senator Michael Balboni is Managing Partner for Bluewater International and is a Senior Fellow at The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute.