Cyber attacks on supply chains up significantly in 2017
2017 saw a worrying increase in ransomware and other cyberattacks targeting the supply chain, with the business and professional services sector receiving a significant increase of attacks, particularly in the EMEA region, which saw 20% of all attacks targeting this sector.
This is according to Dimension Data that today published its Executive Guide to the NTT Security 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report.
The businesses and professional services sector received 10% of global ransomware attacks, the third most targeted industry (up from sixth position in 2016), behind finance and technology. It also ranked third in the Americas (9%) and was the most vulnerable sector in EMEA, receiving 20% of all attacks.
As ransomware-related outsourced incident response engagements against financial institutions declined (a drop from 22% in 2016 to 5% last year), the business and professional services supply chain has clearly become a prime target for trade secrets and intellectual property theft, potentially exposing customer and business partner data.
Despite the drop in outsourced incident response engagements, the finance sector remains the number one target for cyber criminals who carry out regular reconnaissance to spot potential infrastructure and application vulnerabilities.
Mark Thomas, Dimension Data’s Group CTO for Cybersecurity said, “There are numerous moving parts to supply chains and outsourcing companies, which often run on disparate and out-dated network infrastructures, making them easy prey to cyber threat actors.
“Service providers and outsourcers are also a prime target, due to their trade secrets and intellectual property. Businesses need to wise-up to the very real threats against them and ensure all aspects of their operations are robustly and securely protected.”
Technology was the second most cyber-attacked industry in 2017, with a 19% attack volume, with business and professional services moving to third place. Interestingly, attacks on the government sector last year dropped to 5% from 9% in 2016.
In 2017, there was a massive 350% rise in ransomware, representing 7% of all global malware attacks (up from 1% in 2016), and is set to continue due to the popularity of cyber adversary campaigns.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.