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Expert discusses cyber security at SCMA conference


St. John’s, NL — Not all data is created equal, or so many believe. It’s not just proprietary company information or national security information that is at risk to cyber threats, but also personal information, according to security expert Roy Boisvert, who gave the opening keynote address at the Supply Chain Management Association’s annual national conference.

“Data is the oil—and the grease that is so important is personal information,” Boisvert told the audience gathered at the St. John’s Convention Centre

According to Boisvert, who currently serves as the associate deputy minister, ministry of community safety and correctional service for the Province of Ontario, while the emergence of innovative technologies that can be leveraged by supply chain professionals to give their organizations significant strategic advantages and positively impact bottom line results has been game changing for the marketplace, as with any new innovation, there are always prudent steps to be taken to mitigate the risk of the new rewards.

“Supply chain is part of our critical infrastructure and you cannot fail,” he said, adding that many of the dangers we face are self-inflicted.

“We’ve become complacent with all of the technology around us,” especially social media, he added. Employees discussing work on their personal sites can assist threat actors or malicious actors—an entity that is partially or wholly responsible for an incident that impacts or potentially impacts an organization’s security—who can be nation states, hacktivists or criminal organizations.

He pointed out that ransomware attacks, which employ malicious software and threaten to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid, have become a profitable business. “One happens every 10 seconds,” said Boisvert.

While digitalization of the supply chain, like any other business, has made everything interconnected, it has had the unintended consequence of introducing critical failure. “A single point of failure can bring down the whole system,” he said.

It’s not all bad news, according to Boisvert. The risk must be shared between employers and employees to prevent cyberattacks and expect the unexpected. “Have a plan A, a plan B and a plan C.”

Most of all, be vigilant. “Complacency will be the architecture of your downfall.”


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