Data Security Best Practices for Mitigating Risk

Data protection for manufacturers is not easy. With increased cyber-attacks, regulation changes, shrinking budgets, and a complicated political cross-border environment – data protection can feel like just another burden on the IT team.

Today’s growing manufacturing organizations face IT challenges that include increasing costs, evolving business requirements and aging technology. Finding new solutions focusing on ensuring the right processes and technology are in place are important to the growth of many manufacturing organizations. With these in place, attention can be turned to the important business of innovation and attracting/retaining top talent.

AGILITY IN MANUFACTURING

A manufacturer becomes much more agile through finding solutions that not only improve process but also bring together all the information needed to develop new products faster.  They also want to get them through the supply chain and on to the customer more quickly and cost-effectively.

With malicious insiders, external hackers and natural disasters on the rise, manufacturers must be proactive in protecting their data to avoid losing their competitive edge and credibility in the marketplace.

For many IT departments, dealing with sensitive information and increased regulation around how the data is used and stored has created increased pressure.  With structured and unstructured data – like CAD files, source code, business processes, proprietary systems and formulas being the most valuable intellectual property for manufacturers, finding systems to identify sensitive data is key to protect organizations before a disaster happens.  But for many manufacturers, the solutions are not cost-effective and don’t integrate well with legacy systems.

OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW

While finding new solutions can be hard for IT teams, the need to keep production running during an upgrade, paired with the uncertainty of what happens when you mix old and new systems together can be daunting.

The reality is that a large proportion of manufacturing organizations have some sort of legacy system to maintain. Machines of various vintages and conditions, a Manufacturing Execution System, or an aging AS/400 can create more complexity and the need for comprehensive heterogeneous options as departments try to implement new solutions.

COMPLIANCE AND REGULATION

In the past, manufacturers simply had to pass an occasional audit if regulations were in place. With increased data breaches and the government taking a regulated stance on cybersecurity, manufacturing organizations have had to increase education and implement new regulations and standards that they are required to follow.

With the implementation of GDPR, many organizations are having to find new ways to protect customer data along the supply chain but understanding how the data is used and processed can be complicated.

7 PRACTICAL TIPS TO PROTECT MANUFACTURING FROM GDPR FINES

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was created to strengthen how organizations handle the valuable personal data they are responsible for, whether they collect and process the data or contract a third party. Below are seven tips to help you get started.

Communicate – Before collecting personal data, explain what data you’re collecting, how you’ll use it, where it will be housed and who it may be disclosed to. If there is a breach, ensure you have a process to let people know within the 72-hour window.

Know what personal data means – GDPR protects people’s personal data. Take extra care of data regarding address, race or ethnicity, age, marital status, political opinions, religion (beliefs or non-beliefs), physical or mental health (including disability), sexual orientation etc.

Uphold individuals’ rights – Individuals are entitled to see what personal data you hold, where and how it is being used. They can also request to be forgotten which means you only have a short period of time to remove their information. Ensure your data is easily found and erasable – even when archived.

Data minimization – Don’t keep personal data for longer than is necessary; make sure that personal data is destroyed securely and in full.

Store information securely – Create new company protocols to increase data security. Use strong passwords and encrypt all personal data held on portable devices (such as laptops, memory sticks, and tablets).

Education – Ensure all employees understand the importance of keeping data safe and secure and what the processes are in regards to sharing and communicating data.

MOVING TO THE CLOUD

IT departments looking for technology to support new solutions while navigating legacy systems have found that cloud computing offers some compelling options. Depending on your needs, cloud hosting can help you keep costs down by decreasing your IT spend while providing a more flexible, agile and scalable option.

Cloud services also help to share data securely across platforms and with all partners, contractors, and suppliers while complying with strict regulations. The right service can provide organizations with a detailed audit trail to support demonstrating compliance in minutes.

It’s also important to understand when data is at risk. With ever-more sophisticated hackers going after important data, cloud technology can increase visibility. Utilizing data cloud services provides an easy, flexible and safe way to control, detect and respond to threats – both insider and outsider.

Although cloud and data protection technologies cannot solve all of the manufacturer challenges, they can contribute to innovative solutions that deliver the right goods to the right place at the right time—as quickly, reliably, cost-effectively, and secure as possible.

WE CAN HELP!

At Storagepipe, we do the work so you can get back to business. Our data protection and disaster recovery services provide the safe, secure and flexible controls to protect your structured and unstructured data against insider and outsider threats. With Storagepipe, rest assured your data is secured wherever it resides and wherever it is shared – across networks, storage, endpoints or in the cloud – across any operating environment.

Don’t let any disaster or data loss interrupt your business – talk to a Storagepipe expert today.