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Why the Pentagon’s supply chain is a key vulnerability

October 31, 2016 Courtney Hacker

New regulations, technologies and geopolitical realities have made supply chain risk an issue faced by an increasing number of federal contractors. The Defense Department is concerned, and has increased efforts to enhance protection of critical technologies.

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall — along with other Defense Department officials — joined Bloomberg Government to discuss how foreign production, counterfeit parts and cybersecurity concerns are putting new demands on contractors’ supply chains.

Keynote Discussion: Under Secretary Frank Kendall

“We see growing opportunities for bad people to get at our products” said Under Secretary Frank Kendall. He joined Bloomberg Government’s Senior Defense Analyst Rob Levinson to discuss the Pentagon’s complex supplier base, and advice for collaborating with industry.

Government Perspective: Enhancing Protection of Critical Technologies

Cybersecurity concerns are among the top threats to the Pentagon’s supply chain. Defense Security Service Director Dan Payne put it this way — “Right now, we are facing a counterintelligence threat that is unprecedented in our history. It’s bigger than anything we’ve ever faced before.”

Dan Payne was joined by Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Kristen Baldwin, Carrie Wibben who leads the Counterintelligence & Security Directorate, and the Assistant Director of the Supply Chain Directorate, Joyce Corell.

Industry Perspective: Advice for Reducing Risk

Industry partnerships are essential in reducing risk and providing counterintelligence data for the Defense Department. Crowell and Moring’s Harvey Rishikof, Jim Kelly who leads the JVKellyGroup and Ethan Plotkin from GDCA Inc discussed their advice for industry colleagues and addressed the growing issue of supply chain risk.

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