Code in supply chain a threat

Agencies that focus on national security data and programs need to do more to secure their information technology supply chains, a government watchdog said.

04/03/2012


ISS SourceAgencies that focus on national security data and programs need to do more to secure their information technology supply chains, a government watchdog said.

Federal agencies are not required to track “the extent to which their telecommunications networks contain foreign-developed equipment, software or services,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said, and they typically are aware only of the IT vendors nearest to them on the supply chain, not the numerous vendors downstream.

That has left IT systems at the Energy, Homeland Security and Justice departments more vulnerable to malicious or counterfeit software installed by other nations’ intelligence agencies or by nonstate actors and hackers.

U.S. enemies could use that malicious software to secretly pull information from government systems, erase or alter information on those systems, or even take control of them remotely.

The Justice Dept. identified measures to protect its supply chain but has not developed procedures to implement those measures, the report said. Energy and Homeland Security haven’t identified measures to protect their supply chains at all, according to GAO.

The watchdog agency also examined the Defense Dept., which it said had designed and effectively implemented a supply chain risk management program.

Defense has reduced its supply chain risk through a series of pilot programs and expects to have “full operational capability for supply chain risk management” by 2016, the report said. Those pilots focus on assessing the risk posed by particular vendors’ supply chains and on testing and evaluating the purchased systems for malicious components, GAO said.

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team inside DHS found about one-fourth of roughly 43,000 agency-reported security incidents during fiscal 2011 involved malicious code that could have been installed somewhere along the supply chain, GAO said.

Globally sourced IT hardware buys can prove embarrassing for agencies that deal with national security data even if there’s no malicious or counterfeit technology inside the machines.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.