Risk and economic volatility have increased significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; businesses in the defense industry are looking for ways to mitigate adverse effects on the supply chain.

A recent town hall by the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative focused on this topic, bringing together industry leaders to discuss the economic implications of the crisis. “Every organization should be concerned about a certain part of their workforce might get sick, this affects business continuity issues,” said Dr. Ram Bala, professor at Santa Clara University.

Bala discussed that supply chain disruptions will range from temporary (e.g. toilet paper shortage); to items with more permanent supply chain issues (e.g. cleaning supplies). “What’s important is for every organization to look at every product that they buy and sell what is influenced by panic and what is a long-term shift,” said Bala.

Bala and other panelists noted that cybersecurity will become a prevalent issue as more and more of the workforce works remotely, “When you’re in a crisis that is when an adversary will try to take a shot at your cybersecurity,” said Wesley Hallman of the National Defense Industry Association. “The more we can mitigate during the crisis, the less we’ll have to do during the recovery process,” said Hallman.

Listen to the full recording of the town hall on the CMSI’s new website.

Photo by U.S. Army