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Spear-phishing: The next great cyber risk
A new phenomenon related to online phishing scams – which has increased by 21% over the past year, according to the UK City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau – is a practice called spear-phishing. The goal of the hacker here is still to capture personal details while purporting to be someone else, but spear-phishing targets senior personnel, such as CEOs, CFOs or anybody with the power to authorise payments. After monitoring that user, how they communicate and what projects or contracts they have in place, they will then spoof and structure an email requesting a funds transfer.
"We regularly see money being transferred due to phishing scam," said Niall Mackey, cybersecurity expert at secure webmail firm TopMail in a recent feature on cyber security and the supply chain. “In fact, one of our clients was subject to an attack like this and it was only stopped because the accounts department rang up to check if this payment was OK to be completed.
Audits haven’t changed much since Rana Plaza
In April 2013 the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing over 1000 workers and leading many around the globe to call for clothing manufacturers to reform the way they audit their supply chains. Three years on, the question is how much, if anything, has changed?
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster many retailers and clothing manufacturers implemented their own corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, while a number of new global initiatives were introduced to try and regulate industry standards and audit regimes.
However, a research report from the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute in the UK found that the auditing process continues to fail in its role to identify and correct environmental and social problems in supply chains, we discovered in a recent blog on the issue.
Creative spend driven by digital
The amount of time consumers are spending on their smartphones is increasing rapidly and that is changing the way media agencies are targeting them. However, while agencies may be investing in developing mobile advertising capabilities, they still have a long way to go before they are as advanced as more traditional internet advertising.
Irrational fears are costing banks big
When it comes to managing risk in the financial services sector there are always questions about where the procurement function should focus its efforts. Are the big risks, such as legal and regulatory compliance for example, the ones that could cause the most trouble or should the function focus on smaller risks? New research from Procurement Leaders found that most in the industry focus on the big risks, but that smaller threats actually account for 52% of annual losses. While it remains a struggle to restore shareholder return to pre-crisis levels, it seems that a rebalancing of efforts may be needed.
Hydrogen could power the future supply chain
Car manufacturer Toyota has announced that it, alongside a number of its partners, is undertaking a project to test the use of hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources as a fuel to power its supply chain.
The company will first use the fuel in two forklifts but it hopes to be able to expand this out to around 12 forklifts by the beginning of the 2017 fiscal year.
In a statement Toyota said that it was working alongside Toshiba and Iwatani on the project and would use electricity that had been generated at a wind-power plant in Yokohama City near Tokyo to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water. That hydrogen would then be transported in a hydrogen fuelling truck to a factory, a vegetable and fruit market, and two warehouses to be used in the fuel cell-powered forklifts.
Coal price recovery rated as ’unlikely’
Commodities experts have predicted that metallurgical (met) coal prices will remain weak over the near term, increasing only gradually in the coming years as market oversupply recedes.
According to Fitch Ratings met coal prices have continued to fall in early 2016 with benchmark hard coking coal contracts settling at $81/tonne for the first quarter. This represents an over 30% decline from the $117/tonne price negotiated for the first quarter of 2015 and a drop of more than 75% from the peak at $330/tonne in mid-2011. Indications for the second quarter of 2016 are roughly flat and Fitch expects the year to average $85/tonne, down from the average of $102/tonne in 2015.
Fitch pointed out that North American supply has been rationalised owing to a string of coal company bankruptcies, but continued production out of Australia is likely to offset these cuts and prevent any meaningful reduction to global supply in the short term.
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This article is a piece of independent writing by a member of Procurement Leaders’ content team.