Secure Industrial Collaboration

Information Sharing Along Supply Chains

The traditional flow of physical goods in one direction of the supply chain is nowadays matched by bi-directional information flows that allow for quicker reactions to changed market situations or workpiece-specific process adaptations. Especially, short-lived and dynamic suppy chain relationships introduce new challenges in well-established structures.

  • Information sharing along supply chains (over multiple hops) is a desirable feature as is enables reliable tracking and tracing even in highly dynamic and flexible markets. Accountability and verifiability is therefore needed to improve the trust and reliability of shared data and information. Due to the competitive business environments, especially the sensitivity of information and relationships must be considered. Hence, the trade-off between privacy preservation and transparency is critical here!
    Take a look at our existing work: Private Multi-Hop Accountability for Supply Chains
  • Most data sharing approaches only consider the data processing within an architecture. However, especially for data exchanged and forwarded along the supply chain, the authenticity and reliability of received information is very important. As most data is collected in untrusted environments, the sensing of information is severely limited and error-prone. Consequentially, solutions to also reliably measure, report, and process information are needed. Otherwise, the value of the exchanged data is reduced and any drawn conclusions are less reliable.
    Take a look at our existing work: Secure End-to-End Sensing in Supply Chains

Information Sharing Across Supply Chains

Apart from the flow of information along supply chains, valuable information can also be exchanged across supply chains, i.e., between unaffiliated companies. The motivation here is to improve existing processes and into integrate external knowledge into local processes without requiring a dedicated central knowledge base. As all exchanged information is valuable and can leak important details, one significant challenge in this area is to protect the participating companies accordingly. Similarly, companies utilizing external information need to be sure that the information is reliable and authentic.

  • Data markets and dedicated data exchanges, with the purpose of improving productivity and reducing costs, can help companies to enable information flows across supply chains. Data cannot simply be copied to a central entity, as it must be secured to not leak sensitive business information. Another important aspect is the identification of suitable companies to exchange data with. Without a centralized indexing, identifying a relevant source of knowledge is very difficult as business information is kept private.
  • Apart from exchanging data for the purpose of improving their processes, companies can also be interested in comparing their business performance to other relevant companies (e.g., competitiors). To ease these comparisons and to reduce the risk of unintended information revelations, such a comparison should be protected accordingly.


    For questions and inquiries regarding Secure Industrial Collaborations, please contact:

    Jan Pennekamp

    E-Mail: jan.pennekamp[[at]]

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