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Hardware Supply Chain Risks

The need to deploy the latest server hardware in recent years has been increased due to risks that companies face because of security flaws in processors. These flaws are steadily increasing and affecting newer equipment at an alarming rate. Given the current state of dealing with the “Black Swan” event that is the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be prudent to include processor shortages as part of Business Continuity Planning.

The demand for silicon producers has surpassed the ability to provide supply ahead of schedule as TSMC and Intel (among others) are gearing up to provide solutions for greater capacity in manufacturing plants. The boom for interconnected devices with built in processors is reaching a point of exponential growth as the “Internet of Things” is taking it’s rightful place in history next to technology similar to the home computer, and the world wide web. Decreased supply capacity, increased supply demand, and looming processor security flaws are hinting to a catastrophe waiting to happen.

While the likelihood of such events culminating in devastating consequences is low, the significance of their impact results in a very big dilemma. The amount of resources needed to account for such an event are small enough to justify the inclusion of what might be seen as an outlier for risk management. The bolstering of detection technologies for specific threats during such a time should be weighed with considerations for the complexity of processor attacks as well as the current state of a companies cybersecurity infrastructure. While the sky is not falling yet, the potential for this looming event does exist.

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