Security remains a top concern for all manufacturing companies in the United States, according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Identifying weak links

Robert Herjavec, one of North America’s most prominent business leaders and a familiar face on “Shark Tank,” advocates for the importance of strong security strategy in supply chain management. “It’s all about interconnectivity today and the key word is more — more endpoints, more connections, more data, more threats, more risks,” he says when asked how the technology industry has changed sine he first started the Herjavec Group, an IT security firm.

With increased accessibility and connections, risk to the data saved in those technologies is also placed at a higher risk. To exemplify the interconnectivity, consider New York City: “Today, when you walk through Times Square in New York, the billboards can track you via your mobile phone. You’ll receive spot advertising customized for you.” Herjavec marvels. In some cases, this is convenient. Yet it can also be the path to a violation of our privacy and personal or business data.

3 best practices

Herjavec outlines three essential rules of thumb when it comes to security for companies and manufacturers to avoid data breaches and attacks:

  1. Unplug. Avoid open wireless networks.

  2. Avoid coffee shops. Never complete any financial transactions in public Wi-Fi zones.

  3. Build complex passwords. Try using phrases, as opposed to word or number combinations, and do not repeat the same password for multiple logins.

Security providers

When it comes to choosing a security provider to properly secure data on IoT-enabled (internet of things) devices and applications, Herjavec emphasizes the importance of establishing partnership with your security provider. “This has to be a high-touch, collaborative effort, in order to ensure that a proactive model is built that best suits the enterprise’s security needs,” he advises.

Each party should have agreed upon the scope and timing requirements of each project. For managed services partnership, Herjavec says it’s important that:

  • An asset list exists to indicate the scope of what’s being monitored or managed

  • There are clear definitions in terms notable events or incidents that will be monitored

  • Defined ownership of process and an aligned path to escalation are created

  • An agreed upon operational readiness checklist exists

  • The provider is always available to offer support

By prioritizing cybersecurity and maintaining partnerships with security providers, manufacturers and business owners will be one step ahead.