Oct 19, 2020

ABB and IBM partner in cybersecurity and OT drive

ABB
IBM
Supply Chain
Digital Transformation
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
ABB and IBM partner in cybersecurity and OT drive
ABB and IBM have confirmed a strategic partnership to focus on connecting cybersecurity and operational technology...

As a result of this collaboration, ABB has created a new OT Security Event Monitoring Service that mixes ABB’s process control system domain expertise with IBM’s security event monitoring portfolio to enable improved security for industrial operators. 

Industrial control system environments are increasingly targeted in cyber-attacks. IBM’s latest X-Force Threat Intelligence Index found that attacks on industrial and manufacturing facilities rose over 2000% since 2018. 

In a bid to better connect OT data with the broader IT security ecosystem, ABB has developed a new offering that allows security events from ABB to be sent to IBM’s security information and event management platform known as QRadar.

The ABB solution was created according to a reference architecture jointly developed by ABB and IBM. This provides the domain knowledge required to quickly react to security incidents related to process control and is particularly suited for complex industrial processes in industries such as oil, gas, chemicals and mining. The new event collection and forwarding software which enables this integration is currently being used by early adopter customers and will be made widely available by ABB in the next few months.

“ABB’s collaboration with IBM makes it possible to analyze process control events in the context of security and impact to the operational environment, delivering strong improvement in our OT cyber threat visibility across the board,” commented Robert Putman, Global Manager of Cyber Security for Industrial Automation at ABB.

Disruption of production as a result of a cyberattack or technical glitches can be expensive as a result of lost production and damage to physical assets. Most mature operational monitoring is focused on the performance of the asset, whether it be a gas turbine for electricity, a drive system used to crush ore or simple monitoring of pollution output from a chemical facility.

The new ABB offering enables ABB’s Process Control System data collection and forwarding technology to harvest event log detail from ABB process control systems and share that information with IBM Security QRadar, which leverages automation and AI to help identify security anomalies and potential threats. 

“We see the integration of these solutions as bringing market-leading capabilities together for a singular view of OT security,” commented Dr. Andreas Kühmichel, CTO, Chemicals, Petroleum & Industrial Products, IBM. “With more comprehensive OT and IT security visibility, clients can help reduce the risk of production being suddenly interrupted due to a security event and mean costly downtime and broader risk to the company.”

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Jul 31, 2021

RAIN RFID, IoT and AI are key to a proactive supply chain

Supplychain
Technology
RFID
IoT
Jill West, Vice President Stra...
4 min
RAIN RFID, IoT and AI are key to shifting supply chain’s technology adoption from reactive to proactive in the post-pandemic era

Across supply chains around the world, we have seen leading companies rely heavily on technologies like AI and IoT during the pandemic. These digital solutions have enabled businesses to accurately capture and ultimately use their own first-party data to drive efficiencies and protect increasingly fragile bottom lines.

However, what is less commonly known is the increasing role of RAIN RFID technology in supporting IoT solutions. By using RAIN RFID to capture item data and then feed that data into AI systems, businesses can identify inefficiencies within the supply chain and make informed decisions.

What is RAIN RFID?

In short, RAIN RFID is a powerful IoT technology that enables itemised data collection. By applying small, battery-free tags to items, organisations can identify, locate, and authenticate each of those items, scanning up to thousands of items simultaneously with a variety of devices, including hand-held, fixed and wearable readers.

RAIN RFID solutions dramatically improve the operational capabilities of an organisation by ensuring they have exactly the right items, in the right quantities, at the right locations, at the right time. During the pandemic, RAIN RFID solutions have been key to limiting disruptions in retail and manufacturing supply chains, most notably by increasing inventory and asset visibility and improving the management and flow of goods. 

Three ways RAIN RFID helps solve supply chain concerns

RAIN RFID is used to streamline processes, maintain real-time inventory, increase productivity, and help manage labour shortages. We see three key ways RAIN RFID helps solve supply chain concerns:

  1. Automate shipment verification: Today, significant labour is required for multiple, manual barcode scans during the shipment process. RAIN RFID tags can be read automatically without a direct line of sight, erasing the need for workers to pause, locate a barcode, and scan it. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders can automate their shipment verification process and improve warehouse efficiencies by up to 25%.
  2. Deliver real-time visibility: Retail Systems Research says that 76% of supply chain survey respondents reported that real-time inventory visibility was their leading focus for improving performance. When supply chain managers lack information about the status of assets and shipments moving into and out of warehouses, confidence and productivity suffer. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders gain real-time visibility into an item’s identity, usage, and location. With this information, they can quickly find inventory and assets, and reduce the cost of asset investments. 
  3. Improve order accuracy: Today, companies rely on redundant manual checks to verify that the right cartons are loaded onto the correct pallets. By using RAIN RFID, supply chain leaders can automate pallet build verification to streamline the process and increase order accuracy. In fact, a recent study by Auburn University found that RAIN RFID can help an organisation achieve up to 100% order accuracy, eliminating claims costs and unhappy customers.  

RAIN RFID can increase value of AI-powered analytics

In today’s AI-driven, rapid decision-making business environment, RAIN RFID is uniquely capable of making systems more effective. This is because it provides item identifiers for tracking and locating billions of items, from clothing to food, pharmaceuticals, tools, packages, pallets, and more.

It also works without line-of-sight, providing visibility into places and processes not previously available. The data provided by a RAIN RFID system can give AI-powered solutions the ability to see individual items throughout the supply chain, understand how the entire supply chain is functioning and identify which areas can be improved. 

As companies accelerate digital transformation, we expect to see a rise in interconnected data as investments into new technologies and IoT surge. But as the volume of real-time and accurate data about the movement of goods rises, so too do the demands on operations teams to make sound business decisions quickly and with confidence, often using AI-powered systems that thrive on improved data to make better decisions. 

As an example, over the past several years, Delta Airlines transformed its customer experience by investing in technology including real-time RAIN RFID bag tracking and automatic check-in via the Fly Delta mobile app. Delta is now leveraging this set of investments in their implementation of an AI-driven platform that analyses millions of operational data points, from luggage movement to aircraft positions to flight crew restrictions to airport conditions. This system simulates operating challenges and creates hypothetical scenarios that help Delta’s professionals make critical operational decisions that improve the overall customer experience.  

Looking forward

The need to drive digital transformation rapidly during the pandemic has made supply chain and logistics professionals increasingly tech savvy. As we prepare for a post-pandemic era, companies’ increased know-how and awareness of solutions like RAIN RFID, IoT and AI will play a key role in evolving the industry’s approach to solving supply chain issues from reactive to proactive, setting them up for future success.

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