In today’s digital economy, the security of our supply chains is critical to the economic success of companies. However, cutting-edge supply chains are increasingly becoming the focal point of attackers. Matthias Riedel, Head of Solution Advisory Digital Supply Chain at SAP will give the presentation “Future Proof your Supply Chain with SAP” at the German-language CG Security Competence Meeting on 22 November 2023. In an eco interview, he talks about current security threats and the future development of the security landscape of digital supply chains.
What security topics are currently being addressed in the area of digital supply chains?
Supply chains are currently under immense pressure, facing multiple risks that can throw them off balance or destabilise them. This is not only due to cybersecurity and its consequences, but also to climate change, which can lead to disruptions in logistics. Moreover, there are also geopolitical risks, for example the situation in Ukraine or Taiwan and the ongoing tensions with China. In addition, particularly in the area of semiconductors or rare raw materials and earths. Not to be overlooked are energy prices, which are currently coming under pressure again due to the escalation in the Middle East. In addition, there is the major issue of export controls in sanctioned countries and regions, which can lead to serious security risks.
How does SAP enable digital supply chain security in systems?
We provide a comprehensive portfolio of supply chain solutions that help to minimise the aforementioned risks, in the event of disruptions in the supply chain, to mitigate the impact, or at least to get back into a “steady state” more quickly. Another crucial concern for our customers is, obviously, the security and datasecurity of our software solutions, which are increasingly being moved to the cloud. As a global software company, we invest heavily in the security and “invulnerability” of the systems and the underlying data. To this end, we use state-of-the-art security tools and build the software in the first step in such a way that it is virtually impossible for hackers to penetrate.
New technologies such as AI or quantum computing will change the security landscape of the digital supply chain in the future. How are you preparing for this?
SAP invests a lot in research and development, not only in our software solutions, but also in fundamental topics such as quantum computing and AI. For instance, we are a leading member of the European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuIC), focusing on bringing quantum computing to the market for applications, particularly for AI. AI and its corresponding algorithms, such as those used for optimising planning or routes, have been integral to SAP for many years. With the advent of generative AI, the field is gaining even more momentum. We offer a variety of use cases in our solutions providing concrete business value and have also established an ethics council to ensure a responsible approach to the topic. Examples include AI-based quality checks (geometry, tolerances, labelling) in manufacturing as well as the automatic assignment of incoming supplier invoices to existing orders, initially without human intervention.
Thank you very much for the interview, Mr Riedel!