Kavita Sahu and Rajeev Kumar consider how blockchain may help military organisations ensure their supply chains are robust and secure.

In a period of unparalleled technical developments and evolving global threats, the defence sector must protect national security and optimise operating efficiency. Defence supply chain management application security is a global military priority. Blockchain technology is being considered for a disruptive solution to secure defence supply networks. Blockchain, originally created to power cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, has the potential to transform several industries, including defence. Its decentralised, immutable, and trust-based characteristics can improve defence supply chain security and transparency. Integration of blockchain into military operations can significantly improve security, resource allocation, fraud reduction, and operational resilience.

National security and the defence supply chain

The defence supply chain is vital to national security, and weaknesses can have serious repercussions.

Security needs and importance for defence supply chain management applications:

  • Secure supply chain management ensures timely availability of equipment, materials, and information for military response to threats and emergencies
  • Foreign governments and terrorist organisations may attempt to access supply chain management software for intelligence gathering, sabotage, or malicious intent
  • Data security requires encryption and access controls
  • Ensuring military equipment reliability and integrity is essential. Criminals may inject defective or compromised components into the supply chain, creating equipment failures or vulnerabilities
  • Supply chain interruptions can result from natural disasters, cyberattacks, or other unanticipated events. In tough circumstances, secure supply chain techniques enable military groups to operate

Defence supply chains are crucial, but they face important obstacles such as:

  • Threats to cybersecurity: blockchain integration into defence supply chain management can improve security, but it also shows the rising cybersecurity dangers. As supply chain applications become increasingly networked and data-intensive, sophisticated hackers target them. Malicious actors may try to penetrate the blockchain network or exploit blockchain-legacy system interface flaws
  • Scale and complexity: to ensure successful implementation and long-term sustainability, defence supply chains must balance transparency and security with their complexity and scale. This requires careful planning, scalable blockchain infrastructure, and effective governance frameworks
  • Supply chain resilience: defence supply chains are vulnerable to natural disasters and geopolitical crises. Real-time visibility into commodities and asset movement on blockchain's decentralised ledger allows proactive risk assessment and mitigation, improving supply chain resilience.

How blockchain can secure supply chains

Blockchain can secure defence supply chain management applications in military operations, creating lucrative opportunities. Here are some opportunities that practitioners can explore:

  • Blockchain development and integration
  • Cybersecurity specialists
  • Data privacy and compliance experts
  • Blockchain architects and consultants
  • Identity and access management (IAM) specialists
  • Testing and quality assurance teams
  • Training and adoption facilitators
  • Disaster recovery and contingency planning professionals
  • Monitoring and maintenance specialists
  • Compliance and documentation specialists
  • International collaboration and diplomacy experts
  • Supply chain technology startups

For you

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These possibilities allow you to contribute to national security and enhance your career in blockchain technology in defence supply chain management.

Adding blockchain technology to defence supply chain management systems will improve military security, efficiency, and transparency. However, integrating blockchain into military operations requires a holistic approach that considers technology, regulatory compliance, data privacy, training, and maintenance. A cross-functional team of experts that understand defence supply networks and blockchain technologies is needed.

About the Authors

Dr. Kavita Sahu is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Information Systems at the Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Dr. Rajeev Kumar is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Innovation and Technology at the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. He has authored over 80 papers published in SCI/Scopus indexed journals. Presently, his total Google Scholar citations exceed 2300, accompanied by an h-index of 29.