Efficient supply chains are vital in the contemporary world with quantum science looking poised to offer the best solutions of the future. Its impact could be as great as the first PC, and with this groundbreaking technology comes a vast array of security challenges, including issues related to supply chain management.
Supply chain security is the part of supply chain management that focuses on the risk management of external suppliers, vendors, logistics and transportation. Its goal is to identify, analyse and mitigate the risks inherent in working with other organisations as part of a supply chain. Supply chain security involves both physical security relating to products and cyber security for software and services.
Since different kinds of supply chains vary greatly, and many different organisations may be involved, there is no single set of established supply chain security guidelines or best practices.
In the past, supply chain security primarily focused on physical security and integrity. Physical threats encompass risks with internal and external sources, such as theft, sabotage and terrorism. More recently, cyber threats have risen to the forefront of supply chain security concerns. Cyber threats refer to vulnerabilities in IT and software systems, such as malware attacks, piracy, unauthorised ERP access and unintentional or maliciously injected backdoors in the purchased, open source or proprietary software used by organisations.
Organisations should be aware that they could be compromised through their supply chain if for example, their data stored by a supplier is stolen and their organisation’s system is breached via access authorisations granted to the supplier. This is where quantum technology can aid organisations in monitoring suppliers’ access authorisations.
However, the attention to this important aspect of organisations’ overall security is lacking. A BOMGAR survey found that only 35% of data-security experts in global organisations knew with certainty how many suppliers had authorizations to access their organisation’s systems and that suppliers access an organisation’s network 89 times a week. About 63% of all cyber-attacks are a direct or indirect result of vulnerabilities exploited in the supply chain. Organisations that experience a data-security incident originating from their supply chain will often end up paying millions of USD to repair damages.
Both in Israel and Denmark advanced solutions within quantum science and technology are being developed to mitigate these risks by combining the power of quantum computers and contemporary supply chain security methods.
From the policy perspective, Israel announced the initiation of a five-year EUR 350M government-sponsored program in 2019 focusing on quantum science and technological applications. The initial proposal suggested by an especially appointed committee was raised from EUR 80M due to the increased relevance in today’s cyber landscape. The program is part of the Israeli National Quantum Initiative and will include a focus on supply chain security.
From the corporate perspective, Israel is punching far above their weight in the cyber security field with one in three cyber security unicorns in the world stemming from Israel. 11 new unicorns were added to the list in 2021 while 40 acquisition deals of Israeli companies were reached. Exports reached US$ 11B in 2021 and with an increasing number of the cyber security companies focusing on supply chain security. We have yet to see corporates within quantum technology in Israel.
From the academic perspective, Israeli universities are amongst the best in the world within cyber security and quantum research including in relation to securing software supply chains. There is a strong link between the military and academic world, where research strengthens the military’s capabilities. Additionally, Tel Aviv University is famous for its Cyber Week Conference that also focuses on supply chain security and the latest developments within quantum.
From the entrepreneurial perspective, startups that focus on supply chain security are very capable of securing funding for their business. Israeli startups such as Legit, Dustico, Scribe, Argon and Cycode have all reached multi million US dollar investments in recent years. The Israeli National Quantum Initiative is focusing on developing a strong quantum science and technology ecosystem in Israel.
From the investment perspective, Israeli cyber security companies raised US$ 8.8B in 2021 - a new record for the country. Despite its small size in terms of population, Israel accounts for a staggering 40% of the total funds raised by cyber security companies in 2021. Legit Security, which focuses specifically on supply chain security, recently raised US$ 30M with their new SaaS solution.
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