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Every year, industrial and manufacturing companies suffer losses totaling many millions as a result of external attacks on their information systems and internal violations perpetrated by their employees.

Such losses not only lead directly to a reduction in income and an increase in the costs of products for consumers, they pose a threat to production secrets, damage the perception of the company’s brand and impose unforeseen financial obligations.

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Safety of Production Secrets

As one of the most high-tech sectors, manufacturing is more vulnerable to forms of unfair competition such as industrial espionage. In their attempts to gain access to a company’s technology secrets, competitors more often than not resort to ‘assistance’ from company employees, forcing them to pass on information containing commercial, official or other closely guarded secrets. The incentive to work for a competitor is usually financial compensation or blackmail.

It has become possible to prevent such leaks through using InfoWatch products, which are capable of recording attempts by employees to forward secret documents outside the organization, as well as to identify the activities of those conducting industrial espionage.

Regular Management of Production and Optimization of Business Processes

Projects to develop and integrate automated production systems and business processes in manufacturing companies are intended to reduce production costs and increase the efficiency of production capabilities, capitalization and the firm’s ability to attract investment.

The planned optimization of business processes is heavily complicated by relics of the past in the form of ‘patchwork’ automation, which has been developed over the years and is still retained in many companies today. In some companies, there are several dozen uncoordinated, ‘homegrown’ systems. It has become clear that this situation not only continues to create barriers to planned development, but also seriously threatens to undermine the business. To ensure that such software operates properly requires information security teams to pay greater attention to undocumented capabilities and implants specially prepared by programmers that can, at the behest of the author, copy confidential information in order to sell it on, introduce changes to financial documents for the benefit of third parties, and cause other material damage to the organization.

InfoWatch solutions enable you to audit the code in business applications and the modifications that have been made to them, to identify vulnerabilities and undocumented capabilities, and thus prevent unsanctioned access to data and information leaks. Together with our partners, InfoWatch can conduct an expert assessment of the company’s information security and determine the level of compliance with regulatory requirements, and also propose effective measures to protect the company’s information assets.

Improving Time Management

InfoWatch’s experience of deploying information security systems shows that without the use of specialist control mechanisms, up to 80% of all outgoing web traffic in a company can consist of requests to visit non-work-related sites: browsing social networks (vk.com, facebook.com, etc.), use of webmail (mail.ru, gmail.com, hotmail.com, etc), blogging and reading blogs (livejournal.com), use of file exchange servers (depositfiles, rapidshare, ifolder, dropbox, sendspace) and others.

This type of activity not only has a detrimental effect on productivity, but incurs an additional risk that the company’s confidential information will be shared on public Internet sites.

Timely work with employees can help to reduce significantly the risks of confidential information being leaked to competitor organizations, and it also saves the company from encountering potential problems resulting from the disclosure of corporate secrets on popular Internet sites. Moreover, InfoWatch solutions enable you to increase the efficiency of your staff, to prevent unethical behavior and erroneous activities on the part of employees, to track the reaction of staff to new policies and to react quickly to HR threats.

Continuity of Production Processes

Theft, disruption, sabotage, and terrorist attacks rarely occur without the involvement of employees of the organization and pose an enormous risk to the entire production process and to people. Even a short-term production stoppage leads to a loss of money, time and reputation, which can result in logistical problems and consequently deterioration in relationships with product distributors.

Information security teams are obliged to focus on preventing any unlawful activity to guarantee continuity of operations within the company. InfoWatch products provide a reliable technological means of resolving such challenges, to prevent data leaks and monitor infrastructure.

Why is this Important?

Manufacturing companies continue to expand the boundaries of their production cycles, which were previously confined within the walls of a single workshop. The automation of production processes and maintenance operations, and email communications are leading to increased production efficiency and a better-quality end product. Modernized processes are becoming vitally important factors in maintaining a competitive edge in today’s world economy, but they create new channels for attacks of various kinds and illegal use of information systems, thereby facilitating the rise of additional information security threats.

Particular attention should be paid within manufacturing companies to controlling the flow of information in the following categories:

  • research and development documents;
  • drawings, diagrams, plans;
  • media recordings – soundtracks, sound recordings, films, broadcasts;
  • large graphical files which could contain scanned drawings, contracts, technical specifications;
  • software code;
  • formulas, descriptions of new technology, etc.