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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 The Bottom Line on Cybersecurity and Counterfeiting It was a little thing. I needed two size 2012 watch bat- ter ies to repair a light-up Chr ist- mas decoration. No big deal. As I walked through the grocery store to the batter- ies, there were emp- ty spots on the shelves here and there. What was, in early 2020, a n e n t i r e l y empty aisle of paper prod- ucts, had in- stead evolved into a sprinkling of miss- ing products here and there. When I got to the kiosk of batter- ies, it looked similar: some of the hang- ers were empty. Sure enough, the batteries I needed were out of stock. "No worries," I thought. "I'll just go to the hardware store near my next stop." It was the same story at the hardware store. Even though their inventory of batteries was more extensive, they were completely out of that elusive size 2012. But I had to be alert; the staff at the hard- ware store had filled the empty hanger with a different sized battery, thinking it was better to look full than to be accurate in sizes. Had I been distracted, I might have purchased the wrong battery entirely. It's a common sight in dai ly lif e: emp t y spaces on shelves in our stores and long delivery times for goods being shipped. It doesn't mat- ter whether it's a business item, such as raw mate- rials for the manufactur- ing floor, gi items f o r t h e h o l i - days, or ever y- day groceries. It's a truth we all know right now that the supply chain is full of seemingly random delays and shortages. ese shortages create op- portunities to be exploited by opportunists. Now, when I say opportunists, I don't mean the clerk who filled a hole in the store shelf with a different product. No, I mean those who pass off counterfeits as the real thing, or who engage in cyber-espionage or ransom attacks. In recent newspaper article, an L.A. port di- rector said, "Bad actors exploit e-commerce operations by selling counterfeit and unsafe goods through online platforms, particularly during the holiday season when shoppers are looking for deals. If the price of the product

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