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How quality can help manufacturing cybersecurity

No matter what you think about cybersecurity in general, you cannot help but notice that manufacturers continue to endure data breaches. That said, what can you do as a quality management professional to strengthen your company’s cybersecurity posture? In this blog post, the serious issue of cybersecurity in manufacturing steps to the fore with tips on how EQMS can help your colleagues in IT improve cybersecurity.How quality can help manufacturing cybersecurity_IQS

Cybersecurity incidents in the past

Over the last few years cybersecurity incidents have been on the rise in manufacturing. The truth is that this disturbing trend is continuing with no signs of abating any time soon. For instance, “Cybersecurity for advanced manufacturing,” a 2014 white paper published by the National Defense Industrial Association, said that “Symantec reports that manufacturing was the most targeted sector in 2012, accounting for 24 percent of all targeted attacks.”

Furthermore, NDIA’s landmark study also said, “state-sponsored data breaches became the second most common variety of data breaches in 2012, following only organized crime, according to a study by Verizon.” Likewise, “McAfee’s 2012 Threat Predictions identifies industrial networks as the leading cybersecurity vulnerability,” NDIA noted.

But what about manufacturing cybersecurity today? Surely, if threats of this magnitude were identified in 2012 they would have been addressed by now, right? Unfortunately, recent findings show otherwise.

Cybersecurity incidents remain problematic today – and for the foreseeable future

You can turn to a recent article “Survey finds that cyber security incidents rise as supply chain risks broaden,” written by Quentin Orr for, for an update. In his article, Quentin notes that a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that detected cyber security incidents in 2014 rose 17 percent.

Specifically, PwC’s survey also suggested, “another overarching cybersecurity liability is a lack of insight into the security practices of supply chain partners. As recent breaches demonstrate, the risks of compromise via third-party vectors warrant a firm commitment to due diligence of supply chain partners.”

As a quality management professional, you already know how difficult it is to manage a global supply chain. Now you have to remind yourself to include cybersecurity in risk management assessments; you need to give IT as much assistance as possible when it comes to preventing data breaches, accidental and malicious alike.

“More than a third (36 percent) of survey respondents did not implement basic security standards for external partners, suppliers and vendors. And just 42 percent perform risk assessments on third-party partners,” Orr wrote. If your company has not made a concerted effort to address supply chain risks related to cybersecurity incidents, you may be falling behind industry leaders who are taking the risk of third-party cyberattacks seriously.

What can EQMS do to help strengthen cybersecurity?

To improve cybersecurity across the board, you can help make IT’s job a little easier by integrating the software systems you use every day. You may be working with a disjointed set of point solutions that do not communicate well with other enterprise systems, creating silos of critical intelligence.

Since silos of data are by their very nature not managed in a holistic solution, the risk of cyberattacks may increase as isolated software systems become prime vectors for data breaches. To put it simply, hackers may be able to pillage an isolated database server without alerting your company’s intrusion detection system.

The biggest benefit of enterprise quality management software is arguably the fact that you can truly break down silos of data and intelligence and manage quality in a single system, a central hub of enterprise-level visibility of quality in real time. By eliminating silos, making your software portfolio simpler and easier to manage, you will be helping your colleagues in IT more than you think since complexity and poor system integration raise the risk of being hacked.

In truth, no single software can solve the problem of increased cybersecurity incidents for manufacturers of every kind. What you can do, however, is deploy software such as EQMS that can set the stage for cybersecurity initiatives to be successful.

IT Leaders Role in EQMS Selection_IQS

Michael Rapaport

Michael Rapaport is the President of IQS, Inc. in Cleveland OH. Michael is responsible for enabling operational excellence across the company as well as building capabilities for IQS’s growth. Vision, strategic planning, and innovation are the cornerstone to Mike’s 30 years of leadership in the technology industry. He is passionate about data visibility and continuous improvement and believes in helping manufacturers save time and money with real technology solutions.



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