According to the Insider Intelligence Retail Forecast for 2022, global retail sales are predicted to grow 5% in 2022 to exceed $27.33 trillion. With the rebound of brick-and-mortars, ecommerce spending growth is expected to slow, however it will still account for more than 20% of total global retail. The recovery of in-store retail this past year speaks to its resiliency and indicates that ecommerce’s rise to dominance will take longer than anticipated.
In a recent article in Forbes, I wrote about how the current labor shortage of 4.6 million workers—the greatest since the World War II era—is plaguing industries from IT services and security, to manufacturing and retail, as well as transportation and the flow of goods in many areas. By having to take on too many responsibilities to fill labor gaps, workers become less efficient, and therefore less productive, which from an IT perspective can leave the organization vulnerable to cyberattacks.
From avocados and cream cheese to milk, pasta, and canned goods, demand for certain food goods continue to skyrocket, due in part to labor shortages resulting from the pandemic, along with rising energy costs, shipping constraints, and natural disasters. The New York Times reported that a crucial portion of the world’s wheat, corn, and barley is trapped in Russia and Ukraine because of the war, along with a sizable portion of the world’s fertilizers currently held in Russia and Belarus.
Moving towards the second quarter of 2022, plenty of questions abound regarding the state of the supply chain. Residual challenges stemming from the pandemic and other factors linger, while new and developing global crises present more situations that will most certainly strain an already precarious supply chain. Many consumers and businesses are closely monitoring potential disruption, from cybersecurity and inflation to the state of world peace.
The Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) was enacted by Congress on November 27, 2013. Title II of DQSA, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), outlines steps to build an electronic, interoperable system to identify and trace certain prescription drugs as they are distributed within the United States. This is essential to enhance the FDA’s ability to help protect consumers from exposure to drugs that may be counterfeit, stolen, contaminated, or otherwise harmful. The system will also improve detection and removal of potentially dangerous drugs from the drug supply chain to protect U.S. consumers.
In 2021, ransomware attacks have risen by 62% worldwide, and 158 percent in North America. After Ransomware attacks on major organizations such as Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and others, made headlines last year, more businesses than ever are reviewing their cybersecurity practices to shore up defenses and protect their data.
Most organizations, regardless of size or industry, will be the victim of one or more ransomware attacks. IT systems are the foundation of a business and any downtime from ransomware attacks or viruses can lead to business disruptions, lost revenue, or even lost customers. It’s critical to be prepared for an event such as this, while hoping it never happens.