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The Supermicro Hack – Could an Enterprise Blockchain Prevent It?

The allegations that China’s government hacked and infiltrated into almost 30 U.S. companies’ computer networks has left companies scrambling and the nation wondering: how strong is our cybersecurity?

What Happened?

This new threat to enterprises arrives in the form of microchips, about the size of a pencil tip or a grain of rice, which were implanted in motherboards manufactured in China for Supermicro, one of the largest motherboard sellers in the world.

The compromised motherboards were then shipped off and sold to companies in the U.S. for use in their data centers. These microchips may be able to alter the operating system within the motherboards and could contact computers controlled by hackers, making it easy to reach and exfiltrate sensitive information.1

How does something like this happen, given the extreme protocols and measures taken to ensure cybersecurity? It may simply be because no one checked on the microchips or the motherboards.

Within Supermicro’s supply chain, it seems there was no protocol for confirming that the motherboards were not compromised. As a result, companies are flailing to find out not only if their motherboards are compromised but also which of their boards were supplied from Supermicro and which orders have a higher level of risk.

How could a Blockchain help prevent this?

Stepping up third-party vendors and risk management system by enhancing their supply chain provenance capabilities should be a top priority for these companies.

A blockchain solution like our STRATO platform would make it easy for companies to manage vender relations, transactions, and risk. STRATO could easily track any data inconsistencies or changes made to orders, whether they were potentially incorrect, changed, updated, or altered.

The STRATO platform’s decentralized network and distributed ledger allows enterprises to create solutions that confirm, manage, and upload data from a single source of truth. STRATO is a permission-based platform in which all changes are verified on the blockchain.

As a result, STRATO can be used not only as a supply chain application but also as a supply chain consortium with verified, immutable IoT data to confirm and retain information. Companies could track each stage of the supply chain process, from development to shipment, and manage data from one source.

Companies like Supermicro that manufacture motherboards through subcontractors could see, from their creation, where their product’s components were sourced from, who had access to it, and its status in the supply chain process. This would make it easier for companies to confirm that each part of the supply process is uncompromised.

Risk management capabilities would increase and reduce a company’s potential cyber insecurity and breaches. Our STRATO platform would improve their provenance capabilities and ensure higher safety mechanisms for their cyber data. BlockApps’ STRATO is a scalable, secure, and verifiable blockchain solution that can improve data inconsistencies within the supply chain system.