Best Practices for Data Security in Manufacturing

In 2017, news of Ransomware Wannacry cryptoworm that targeted large institutions, including manufacturing organizations and governments’ agencies across the globe, spread like bushfire. The virus attacked companies and encrypted the files in their system, making them inaccessible unless the organization owners paid a hefty ransom. It was a horrific experience that no one would want to get into. 

Notably, Ransomware is only one type of threat to your data and organization. This brings us to one key question, “How do you protect your manufacturing facility’s data?” Here are some of the best practices for data security: 

Create a Privacy Policy for Your Organization 

The bottom line of any business is winning the trust of customers and partners. Part of this involves being able to keep their details as private as possible – without leaking or misuse. Therefore, you need to create a good privacy policy that outlines how their information will be protected. In the policy, you should include:

  • The nature of personal data that the organization gathers. 
  • How the information is used. 
  • Who has access to the information. 
  • The method of data protection and guarantee.
  • Provide assurance that their data will not be shared without clients’ consent. 

Maintain a Robust Data Inventory 

There are different categories of data in every business, and they keep increasing as an organization grows. By keeping an updated inventory of your data, it becomes easy to follow all the details of your organization, from the production to customer details. 

In the event of a problem, such as a data breach, as mentioned by Iskander Makhmudov, it will also be easy to assess the damage and rectify the problem. You should also consider data encryption as an additional layer of security to ensure that only those with decryption codes can gain access. 

When creating data inventory, you might consider categorizing it into the following groups: 

  • Confidential: This category includes clients’ private info, such as bank routing numbers, social security numbers, and street addresses. 
  • Internal: This data category can cover details such as designs, company secrets, formulas, and recipes, depending on the company under consideration.
  • Sensitive: This data group can include info such as audit records, tax reports, and board meeting minutes. The info should only be accessed by a few authorized persons. 

Always Keep a Data Backup 

If your data is stolen or damaged by malware, it can be a serious challenge trying to get it back. Think of a situation where an encryption malware damages data about the latest orders from your customer. This could compromise your production and even result in major losses. However, if you had a backup, restoring the data would be a lot easier. Consider backing up your data every couple of hours for better protection. 

These best practices are only a few of the most important things that you should do to protect your manufacturing unit’s data. In addition, you should also train your staff on cyber-security and have an emergency protocol for data loss