Tesco Lotus distribution centre in Asia 'cutting edge', says CEO
The Asia CEO for Tesco, Trevor Masters, has praised the company's latest structural investment in the Khon Kaen province as they experience continued growth in Thailand and other countries in South Asia
UK-based supermarket giant Tesco, who operate as Tesco Lotus in Thailand and earns more than £3 billion in revenues, has opened a new distribution centre in the country.
The facility in the Khon Kaen province, which will support business growth and serve customers in the north east, has been described as being a place that would be cutting edge anywhere in the world by the Asia CEO Trevor Masters.
Masters said: “Facilities like Khon Kaen DC will help us to pursue our strategy of disciplined international growth. It will allow us to grow our market share in a region with huge opportunity – in this case the developing upcountry areas of Thailand.
“It is the expertise we deploy at facilities like Khon Kaen which will help us to succeed in those bigger markets of India and China. As we enter into partnerships in these countries to help us find better ways of growing, we’re bringing those world-leading distribution and supply chain skills – developed in DCs around the globe – to complement our partners’ local market knowledge.”
The hub has been created to take the pressure off the retailer's central depots in the capital city of Bangkok and will service area of 52,000 square metres, making the structure one of the country's biggest distribution centres.
The opening represents Tesco Lotus's latest contribution to the Thai economy, said chief executive John Christie. He said: "We have invested 2.5 billion baht (c.£45 million) in building this state-of-the-art distribution centre and the project has already created nearly 1,000 new jobs in the local area,"
The distribution centre will be the fifth one in Thailand, with the others being centred nearer the Bangkok region. They serve Tesco Lotus stores of all formats in the north eastern region, from the smallest Express marts to the biggest Extra stores.
Tesco only entered Thailand in 1998 but has become one of the company’s best performing businesses. The company has bounced back from the devastating floods in Thailand in 2011. Tesco’s response to the disaster won praise as it built temporary bridges and provided rowing boats to help customers buy their food from affected stores. Chris Bush, the head of Tesco Lotus during the crisis, is now the chief executive of Tesco’s UK business.
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Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas.
High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks
According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’.
Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months:
- SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack.
- Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors.
- Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration.
As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security.
Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version:
- NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
- Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state.
If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed.
How Do The Proposals Differ?
As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’.