Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (October 6, 2023)

Maybe dying isn’t about not waking up one day; it’s about staying awake forever.

Many years ago I wrote a short story that ended with that line. It creeped back into my head last night while I laid awake in bed. I never had any trouble sleeping, until three weeks ago when one night of insomnia was followed by another, then followed by another again, then another.

Stress? Anxiety? Just part of getting older? 

I don’t know, but this night owl is turning into an early bird against his wishes.

As the sun rises, here’s the supply chain and logistics news that caught my attention this week:

Where Does Cyberattack Rank on Your List of Risks to Prepare For?

Which risks do you believe supply chain professionals need to plan for more effectively moving forward?

We asked members of our Indago supply chain research community — who are all supply chain and logistics professionals from manufacturing, retail, and distribution companies — that question in January 2023. Topping the list was “Labor Shortage.” Fourth on the list was “Cyberattack.”

If they had been asked, I’m guessing Clorox and Estes Express Lines would answer that question very differently today than earlier this year.

“Clorox expects a sharp drop in sales in the fiscal first quarter after a cybersecurity attack disrupted operations,” reports Ben Glickman in MarketWatch. “[Clorox] said preliminary results point to a sales decline of 23% to 28% compared to a year earlier..[The company] said the cyberattack, previously disclosed in August, caused order processing delays and outages.”

Also this week, on October 3, Estes Express Lines posted on X, “Yesterday we shared a notice regarding an ongoing IT infrastructure outage and can confirm today that this outage appears to be the result of a cyberattack.” The company added that their “terminals and drivers are effectively picking up and delivering freight while we work through this event.”

Ironically, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Nothing like suffering a cyberattack to make you aware of it.

I first wrote about this risk more than seven years ago in “The Day A Cyber Attack Brings The World’s Supply Chains To A Halt.” As I wrote at the time:

“The Day a Cyber Attack Brings the World’s Supply Chains to a Halt” is a fictional title today, but it may be the headline in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal.

Unfortunately, cyberattacks continue to make the headlines with greater frequency, and if you don’t prepare effectively, your company could be next. 

But as I’ve recommended in the past, don’t just focus on prevention, focus on minimizing the scope and scale of a disruption too. Here’s a fact: no matter how much you or your technology partners prepare and invest in cyber security, you can’t prevent an attack 100 percent of the time. Your network will get breached. Unfortunately, most companies spend the vast majority of their time and resources trying to prevent an attack and not enough time and energy on developing processes and systems to minimize the impact of a breach when it eventually happens.

For related commentary, see the following posts:

And with that, have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “These Are Days” by 10,000 Maniacs