Chris Tozer: Servers Unnecessarily Add Risk to Supply Chain Security

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In many industries, the failure of an IT system doesn’t mean that work comes to a complete halt – many tasks can still be performed manually, albeit far less efficiently. This is not the case within the supply chain – if a server goes down and a worker can’t use their picking device, work stops. A lot of the time, this means that worker’s targets aren’t met, and items may not be delivered on time, causing critical delays throughout the supply chain as a whole.

Imagine this: Your supply chain is humming along. Shipments are on track, the system is optimized and productivity is up. Then it happens: a widespread ransomware attack is all over the news. Are you protected? Could it knock you offline?  Well, that depends on some very important decisions you may have made when you purchased your system. In short, if you selected a system that relies on a dedicated, always connected server, and its architecture can create a single point of system failure, then you may want to begin making backup and recovery plans.

Some mobility telnet implementations require an always online, dedicated server for mobile applications to flow through. They state that this server enables session persistence, but that’s not providing anything unique. Every viable mobile telnet host connectivity solution on the market offers some standard means of session persistence.

Standards-based, serverless implementation eliminates the single point of failure that can also be the target of a threat like ransomware. Instead of relying on an architecture that ties your hands at every turn, and proprietary protocol tricks, one can use standard, routable protocols to offer an enterprise-strength terminal emulation solution that supports system failover to backup hosts across the network. Even if your main local host fails, workers can move to a backup host. It could even be at a different site, allowing work to continue. This might not seem like a big deal, until a cyber-attack threatens and possibly even shuts down your business.

Of course, you have servers, somewhere. Whether you’ve chosen a mobility solution that requires it or they’re elsewhere in your business, you have servers somewhere. Patch management solutions are an effective way of maintaining server safety. In fact, the widespread impact of the WannaCry ransomware that hit organizations around the globe has raised the need for this protection. Patch solutions can help protect your organization from external threats using leading products, but can’t fix the risk from ill-designed telnet connectivity solutions.

Supply chain security is a growing concern. The financial impact of a security breach is well known, placing focus on prevention through both solution architecture and patch management. Don’t let your critical enterprise systems or mobility implementations expose you to unnecessary risk.

Chris Tozer, Territory Manager at Ivanti

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About Author

Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of My Logistics Money Magazine and My Entrepreneur Magazine. Kizzi Nkwocha made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain. Nkwocha has published a number of books on running your own business and in 2011 his team won the Specialized Information Publishing Association (SIPA) award for best use of social media. In the UK he runs a successful consultancy called Social Biz Training which trains people on how to use social media for business.

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