We live in a connected world. The Internet of Things (IoT), the ubiquity of data and the Fourth Industrial Revolution deliver gains in productivity and efficiency through connections across the manufacturing sector. Yet the same connections that strengthen us could also weaken us: as our shared data becomes more powerful it could prove to be our Achilles heel, and it’s the weak link in the chain that hackers are increasingly keen to exploit.
The importance of security for electronic manufacturing
Recent concerns have highlighted how security threats could derail the application and uptake of IoT. A study released by Hewlett-Packard discovered that 70% of the most commonly used IoT devices contain at least some vulnerabilities.
But these concerns about security are not just about the end-products but can be found in the manufacturing process itself.
Here are some of the stories that have hit the headlines in the last few years:
And here’s a story that did not make quite such a big splash but is even more alarming.
These shocking statistics are from a report on cyber-security for manufacturers, published by EEF and AIG and carried out by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
It goes on to suggest that this threat will only deepen with increasing digitisation – and notes that 91% of manufacturers are investing in digital technologies.
The report also found that across the manufacturing sector cyber security maturity levels are ‘highly varied’ both in terms of awareness of the cyber security challenge and the implementation of appropriate risk mitigation measures.
Which suggests there are many weak links in the supply chain out there.
Critical questions to ask your EMS provider
The good news for electronic manufacturers is that GDPR has helped to focus minds. Manufacturers are increasingly willing to question their suppliers to ensure adequate security procedures are in place.
The EFF/AIG report found that 58% of manufacturers have been asked to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cyber-security processes by a business within their own supply chain. Worryingly, 42% haven’t, and of even more concern is that 37% of manufacturers admitted they would be unable to do this if asked today.
If you are looking for an EMS provider to partner with here are four critical questions you should ask about their security arrangements.
(Chemigraphic provided our own answers after each one.)
1/ How do you ensure the security of your customer’s product data?
2/ How do you ensure security on-site?
3/ How do you manage your supply chain to ensure data security?
4/ Can you show me an example of a project of yours that had high security requirements?
Sure. This case study of work with a cyber-security sector customer is just one example of a project we’ve delivered where customer data and through processes were highly important.
Ask us about your data’s security with us
Everything Chemigraphic do is governed by robust processes. These are designed to meet exacting standards of security while delivering optimal efficiency and consistently excellent results. It believes that through intelligent planning, proper process and strict control, anything can be achieved.
Article written by John Johnston, NPI Director, of Chemigraphic.