YOUR FEDERAL CUSTOMER IS GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY
“What are you doing to advise and inform your supply chain integrity?” Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center wants to know. In recent remarks, Evanina emphasized that secure supply chains are everyone’s business, including contractors and acquisition professionals. Indeed, Evanina sees the acquisition process as one of the weak links in ensuring supply chain security. In addition to a lack of full understanding of what supply chain security looks like, even basic steps may be lacking. “If you going to award a contract for a printer or a fax machine, just Google the company and make sure they exist. Let’s just make sure they are a legitimate company.” He went on to point out findings in a recent Navy systems report that found, “The systems the U.S. relies upon to mobilize, deploy and sustain forces have been extensively targeted by potential adversaries, and compromised to such extent that their reliability is questionable.” That, at a minimum, should get everyone’s attention. Evanina’s remarks yield two key take-away’s for contractors: First, companies must take steps to secure their supply chains and be prepared to show those steps. Second, those companies with secure supply chains should pro-actively market the fact and should gain an edge in competing for business. Conversely, companies that still think that secure supply chains don’t matter may want to invest in them or find that their government customers have left them behind.