The era of connected security on manufacturing floors

Posted on 16 May 2017 by The Manufacturer

The continued push towards better efficiency and streamlined workflows has allowed manufacturing companies in the UK to optimize parts of their factory lines.

The push to become more competitive has only accelerated, especially after the Global Financial Crisis and, more recently, Brexit.

Optimization is not the only focus of manufacturing companies and their supply chains. A recent trend of improving security at manufacturing facilities has also been creating headlines. Increased security is also necessary factor to add in order for UK’s top manufacturing companies to attract more businesses from abroad.

Demand for better security

The demand for better security at manufacturing facilities come not only from existing clients but also from potential clients currently based in Europe and the United States. Security has become an increasingly important factor, especially in the manufacturing process of high-tech products. Information security, in particular, is a key ingredient that can make or break the industry.

The manufacturing industry is responding to the increasing demand by introducing better security practices and procedures. Standards are being put in place among specific manufacturing groups. In the automotive industry, for instance, standards and best practices from the European Commission are being adapted to suit UK’s current market.

Information and data protection

There is no doubt that information security is a key component in today’s manufacturing landscape. Trade secrets, specifications, and other details are stored digitally and distributed to automated machines and robots on the factory floors. The need for securing these files is on the rise, but companies such as McAfee and Symantec are already updating their enterprise solutions to accommodate the new demand.

On top of that, we’re also seeing an increase in the use of encryption and additional security measures across the British manufacturing industry. Access management is being handled more meticulously, allowing only a handful of key employees to have access to certain information. Compartmentalisation is becoming a standard in many leading companies.

For a more comprehensive data protection, redundancies are being put in place, both on-site and in the cloud. In the event of a catastrophic data loss, over 50% of UK’s factories can resume operations within a few hours now that these additional backups and redundancies are in place.

Physical security just as important

What’s interesting to note is the increasing demand for better security devices. Security specialists are bringing in new methods of securing premises and buildings, including a robust access management system designed to limit access to certain parts of the facilities.

To top it all off, the entire security suite is backed by a comprehensive logging mechanism. Access to both physical facilities and sensitive information is recorded and analysed, allowing the manufacturing industry to truly benefit from the enhanced security like never before.

Combined with the optimisations that have been implemented across the landscape, better security will certainly make the British manufacturing industry more competitive than before. Top international companies are already moving their manufacturing operations to the UK as new set standards are being met.