Sourcing and Security

The recent seizure of $76 million worth of counterfeit Cisco kit by US authorities comes as no surprise. What’s interesting is that security is cited as a major concern.

Security professionals in high threat environments have long been concerned about the sourcing of hardware and software. That’s because it’s easy to plant a bug or a back door, but extremely hard to detect one. The reality however is that the business community decided long ago that the economic benefits of overseas manufacturing and services outweigh these security concerns.

Counterfeiting is a more insidious threat, because the true sourcing is disguised and the quality of the product is less certain. Perhaps this is a timely wake-up call for organisations in high threat environments to review the security risks associated with their sourcing processes.

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