Artificial Intelligence guiding supply chain management in businesses. By understanding processes, generating answers to questions, and discerning how to proceed based on the situation, AI can shape and change the future of the business world. However, as with any software, ransomware attacks or malware attacks are vulnerabilities that the company will need to become aware of and prevent. These insidious infections can hold a business’s programs for ransom. Malware can corrupt or destroy data within the system or lead to devastation within a network.

Learn the role of AI in the supply chain and how you can combat these security vulnerabilities.

How AI Is Reshaping the Supply Chain

88% of the highest-performing organizations surveyed by IBM report that AI is inevitable in their industry and that 95% of them are central to the success of their innovation. Many companies are looking to AI to resolve challenges in their supply chain. AI is often used to improve material quality, prevent issues, and improve risk management functions from end-to-end supply chain processes.

Machine-generated processes are faster and more accurate. AI can use the following in the supply chain:

  • Data flow out of sensors
  • RFID tags for products
  • Meters
  • Actuators
  • GPS tags and location data

With the use of AI, the company can integrate data. By merging information into a central location through Artificial Intelligence, the business will see the supply chain connection to customers, supplies, and information technology networks. An enterprise system can locate all data within a central network that can connect all these areas.

The AI is generally smarter than the average human and can offer advanced processes to assist in evaluating alternative methods to achieve innovation. This highly advanced program can intuit between decisions and choose the one that has the greatest chance of success based on the details. This provides an increase in the responsiveness of the system and autonomous decisions that do not require the need of a human mind. For the supply chain, this usually includes adaptive robotics, analysis of real-time information, and inventory optimization.

AI can help identify changing behaviors in demand and better optimize inventory levels and replenish them based on this analysis. AI applies algorithms to track and predict disruptions in the supply chain and aid in day-to-day operations. It may also be able to predict potential problems and make recommendations for unplanned events.

Various processes connected to the supply chain include marketing strategies, daily operations and fleshing out ideas for future use. Streamlining inventory management, product placement and creation and internal processes is the edge many corporations need to keep pace with leading business interactions across the world.

What Are the Challenges for AI in the Supply Chain?

Many employees may become apprehensive to learn and adapt to the use of AI within the company. When first launching an artificial intelligence, it must learn as much as possible through guidance and extensive training. The company should explain and show how the AI can benefit employees so they assist with these processes.

Generally, companies have fragmented systems and information that has no connection. Because this is standard for some networks, the disconnect can affect how efficiently the AI works. For business management, it is imperative to learn how to operate with AI and connect these disparate parts of the system so that they flow together seamlessly.

Because an enterprise generates massive amounts of data, the operators should provide effective access for the AI before they bring it online. The information available should remain relevant to the tasks the AI will perform for the supply chain processes.

Predictive tasks have constraints when there is a latency in real-time responsiveness. The AI requires a response in real-time to data changes, operations, and fast-moving production with product and inventory.

Vulnerabilities of AI in Supply Chains

Because Artificial Intelligence is a program within a system, it has inherent vulnerabilities, including ransomware attacks and malware attacks. A ransomware attack happens when the network downloads an infected file that provides the cybercriminal with open access to the system. This person can then lock the entire network so that the AI cannot run until the business has control over its system. The cybercriminal can hold the network ransom until a price is met. There is often a flashing image on the screen with a number, email address or a specific amount demanded to release the system. The perpetrator may even demand multiple payments before relinquishing control.

Malware involves a virus that can lead to deleted files, damaged sectors, overheating of hardware such as hard drives, loss of data, and theft of information. The cybercriminal usually uses stolen information to engage in fraudulent activity. The overall outcome could lead to a serious financial loss of business or competitors obtaining an edge over the business.

How Can AI Help in Cybersecurity in Supply Chain?

94% of the globe's largest companies reported disruption to their supply chain because of the pandemic. With the rise of extensive internet use, remote work, and widespread online access to most processes around the globe, companies need to increase their cybersecurity. AI can help guard against cyber threats that exploit weak supply chains and gateways into the networks of businesses.

Human work is generally too slow to prevent certain attacks. AI can help in preventing such attacks  by recognizing threats before they become serious within the network. It can also mitigate damage caused by ransomware attacks or malware attacks. New innovative techniques are in use by cybercriminals, and AI can assist in detecting the possible malware along with other threats through email, domains related to phishing, and newer tricks. Since AI is adaptive, it can adapt along the changing structures of businesses.

Cybersecurity is an imperative for any company that works with the internet or connects to a network. An efficient software program can detect phishing scams, collate data to determine if an email address has a connection to malware attacks, spot third-party attacks, and distinguish between compromised systems and those that are protected. Real-time response is necessary to quickly catch these abnormal interactions and eject the cybercriminal from the system. Cybersecurity can continually look for and assist with removing threats while a human may tire after so many hours sifting through data. The AI can process thousands of transactions in seconds and determine the next course of action to remove the problem. Preventative measures are also taken with the AI to thwart future attacks.

Future Predictions for AI in Supply Chains

AI working with and in supply chains can lead to increased profits and revenue growth when implemented properly. Estimates expect artificial intelligence to become the new norm with businesses and supply chains. These programs may resolve daily operations issues and day-to-day supply chain challenges. They may also assist in investing in the future. The software can also link internal processes to centralize data and increase efficiency. By applying these actions to inventory and products, the AI can augment interactions and lessen time to arrive at the desired outcome.

The future of AI requires machine learning. This will allow the software to apply various algorithms to discover new supply chain problems and how to resolve them. By branching out to include weather data, the AI can integrate this information to determine potential disaster with supply chain transportation and assist with recommended actions for affected staff. AI can even determine if an employee is acting abnormally or attempting to infiltrate the system with malware. The future predicts massive integration of AI in the supply chain industry coupled with human interaction, as well as a continuing need to use AI to enhance cybersecurity measures.

David Lukić
Information privacy, security and compliance consultant
David Lukić is an information privacy, security and compliance consultant at The passion to make cyber security accessible and interesting has led David to share all the knowledge he has

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What Does AI Hold for Supply Chain Businesses?