Jun 19, 2020 - Small businesses take the cautious route to digital transformation

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

The Manufacturer's Dilemma

To secure itself, the West (and the world) needs to figure out where all its gadgets are coming from. Here's why that's so difficult.

Tinkering with economic supply chains for intelligence- and other national security-related reasons is not a new idea; indeed, Western countries have long done just that. In the 1980s, the CIA, according to former Air Force Secretary Thomas Reed, inserted sabotaged software into a Soviet oil pipeline, causing it to explode. Five years ago, Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency had inserted backdoor espionage tools into U.S.-made internet routers being exported to Syria. And in February, the New York Times reported that the United States was accelerating a George W. Bush-era practice of inserting faulty parts into Iran’s aerospace supply chains, which appears to have caused some of the country’s test rocket launches to fail. Such disruption and sabotage are unlikely to affect large parts of any product's supply chain, but the psychological and consumer damage caused by even a minor mishap can be immense. Just as parents are scared away from baby food by the report of a single piece of glass, so the damage done by sabotage could cause permanent distrust in a given product or manufacturer.

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Today's TradeBriefs Cartoon

Why enabling digital payments is key to SMBs’ survival during COVID-19

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