I recently had the opportunity to present to a join meeting of the American Society For Quality (ASQ) and The Institute For Supply Chain Management (ISM) on the subject of ePedigree. The title of my presentation was "ePedigree: Security As A Quality Objective" and I was joined by Bikash Chaterjee of Pharmatech Associates.
One of the attendees was Dr. Richard Dawe, an associate professor from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He teaches about global supply chains, and ee was very intrigued by my presentation. He essentially found it quite interesting that in all the discussions about ePedigree, security issues rarely get any mention.
One of Dr. Dawe's MBA students asked me to assist he with a project she is working on centered on ePedigree. I spent some time explaining the enormous security challenges with implementing ePedigree in general, and also about security challenges in the RFID "portion" of ePedigree.
What I find absolutely fascinating about discussions at this particular level (meaning the academic level) is that I find myself feeling very warmly embraced by the teachers and students. This is because I bring them information they cannot easily find through any of the organizations that claim to specialize in providing answers about ePedigree.
As I mentioned in a previous posting, organizations (like SupplyScape) are working very hard to convince companies (like pharmaceutical companies) to get "ePedigree Ready", and raising the spectre of security obviously throws a huge monkey wrench into the works. It essentially amounts to a cover up of the issues, because many of these ePedigree implementation organizations are well aware of the security issues. For those that are not aware of the issues, ignoring opportunities to become more aware is perhaps an even bigger crime.
When I explain a mere handful of the security challenges and risks associated with insecure ePedigree and RFID implementations, I consistently get the classic "eyes wide and mouth open" response from the audience, who are shocked to learn this new information. What is even better is when I show them documented evidence of what I am discussing.
I hope more academics become involved and spread the word.