Long before Covid-19 precipitated “digital transformation” across the world of work, customer services and support was built to run online and virtually. Yet it too is undergoing an evolution supercharged by technology. Today, a startup called SightCall, which has built an augmented reality platform to help field service teams, the companies they work for, and […] Continue reading SightCall raises $42M for its AR-based visual assistance platform
Vena, a Canadian company focused on the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software space, has raised $242 million in Series C funding from Vista Equity Partners. As part of the financing, Vista Equity is taking a minority stake in the company. The round follows $25 million in financing from CIBC Innovation Banking last September, and brings […] Continue reading Vista Equity takes minority stake in Canada’s Vena with $242M investment
Cyber Threats to Physical Systems are Increasing in Sophistication and Volume
The recent growth in cyber-attacks against operational technology (OT) systems is unprecedented.
According to IBM’s 2020 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index report, targe… Continue reading The Physical Impact of Manufacturing Cyber Threats
Halvor Molland was asleep on a brisk night in Oslo, Norway’s capital, two years ago when his phone rang around 3 a.m. The computer servers of Norsk Hydro, the global aluminum producer where Molland is senior vice president for communications, had seized up as a crippling ransomware infection spread through the company’s networks. “The feeling is: You really don’t believe it,” Molland recalled in a recent interview. “There was a decision then to shut down the network altogether, because at some point there was nothing left to isolate.” The ransomware attack would cost Norsk Hydro, which employs 35,000 people and has roughly 200 factories around the world, between $90 million and $110 million as production in some factories halted for weeks. Yet Molland and his team did something unusual for a large industrial organization disrupted by hackers: They told the public what happened in vivid detail, releasing video interviews in […]
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As fascinating and frustrating as it was to watch the recent Suez canal debacle, we did so knowing that the fallout from it and the analysis of its impact would …read more Continue reading JIT vs. AM: Is Additive Manufacturing the Cure to Fragile Supply Chains?
Honeywell, a Fortune 100 firm that makes aerospace and energy equipment, said Tuesday that malware had disrupted “a limited number” of its computer systems. Honeywell said it had “returned to service” following the incident, but the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm’s statement did not elaborate on how service was disrupted. A Honeywell spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions on the incident, including whether ransomware was involved and who was responsible. Honeywell, which reported some $33 billion in sales last year, said it did not expect the malware disruption to have a “material impact” on the firm. Honeywell called in Microsoft to help remediate the intrusion, and the computer systems have “since been secured,” the statement said. “Our investigation is ongoing, but at this point, we have not yet identified any evidence that the attacker exfiltrated data from our primary systems that store customer information,” Honeywell added. “If we discover that […]
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The small city of Naka (pop. 53K), a two-hour train ride from Tokyo on the eastern coast of Japan, was thrust into the international spotlight in the early dawn of …read more Continue reading Fire at Renesas Plant Fuels Chip Supply Woes
For American importers, finding suppliers these days can be challenging not only due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The U.S. government’s entity list designations, human rights-related sanctions, among other trade blacklists targeting Chinese firms have also rattled U.S. supply chains. One young company called International Compliance Workshop, or ICW, is determined to make sourcing easier for […] Continue reading Hong Kong startup ICW eyes supply chain diversification demand amid trade war
“The federal government … owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America made by American workers,” said President Joe Biden on Monday, signaling he’s willing to use his new of… Continue reading Biden’s bold EV promise could re-shape the auto landscape
Palfinger, an Austrian firm that makes cranes and other machinery, said Monday that an “ongoing global cyberattack” had disrupted the company’s ability to process orders and shipments of its equipment. Email services across the company were down in an incident that was causing “massive effects on its IT infrastructure,” Palfinger said in a statement greeting visitors to its website. The possible suspects, the malicious software used and the possible length of the recovery process all remained unclear at the time of publication. Palfinger has much at stake in keeping the IT supporting its logistics functioning. The company has 33 manufacturing and assembly sites in Asia, Europe and North and South America, according to its website, and reported more than $2 billion in revenue in 2019. “In the manufacturing business, time is money, so the disruption of Palfinger’s IT services, as well as order processing and shipment delays, translates to lost […]
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