Security & Privacy in the Digital Age
The digital nature of today’s world has impacted all aspects of daily and professional life, including everyday operations within the manufacturing sector. From 3D printing to a new social media emphasis in B2B marketing, all aspects of manufacturing are quickly changing. One of the most recent and most concerning shifts involves security and privacy, with manufacturers increasingly finding themselves at risk of security breaches. A report from PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO survey found that digital technologies ensuring enhanced cybersecurity were deemed among the most important tools of the mobile age by 78 percent of CEOs.
Enhancing security and privacy is no easy task, especially given the rapidly-changing nature of the digital landscape and the swiftness with which hackers adapt to new security protocol. However, there are several steps manufacturers can take to minimize security risks. A few key approaches for enhancing security are detailed below:
New Technology and New Security Risks
The increased integration of advanced technology into everyday products is a boon for consumer engagement and satisfaction, but it is accompanied by numerous risks that were, at one time, nonexistent. Manufacturing.net highlights in-vehicle WiFi as a prime example of this problem. Drivers continually demand in-vehicle connectivity, but this opens up these businesses to a whole host of hacking risks. There is no easy solution, but careful consideration of the risks that may accompany a new product or feature is a good start. From there, manufacturers can implement controls designed to minimize the potential for future hacking.
Cloud technology has greatly enhanced mobility within the manufacturing industry, but the security and privacy risks that accompany this approach to data storage should be of great concern to manufacturers lacking advanced security systems and protocol. At minimum, all information stored on the cloud should be accompanied by several layers of protection, including firewalls, secure OS, and audit trails. Physical security protocols must also be considered, with potential safeguards including CCTV surveillance, several points of automated authentication, and the use of guards at all access points.
Intellectual Property and Inside Breaches
Intellectual property is one of the biggest areas of vulnerability for the average manufacturer. Although the potential for outside security risks should be carefully monitored, many manufacturers are at far greater danger of inside security breaches. Thus, it is important to assess how much access various individuals have to sensitive information. A variety of controls and layers can be implemented in order to minimize the risk of inside security issues.
The exciting opportunities of the digital age are, unfortunately, accompanied by numerous security risks. There is no way to completely eliminate these hazards, but the potential for security breaches can be greatly reduced through the implementation of enhanced physical and cybersecurity systems.
Forbes.com – Article
Manufacturing.net – Article