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June 29, 2011

Assessing Risk for Cloud-Based Manufacturing

Nicole Hemsoth

Manufacturers require a number of sophisticated computational tools for modeling, simulation and for daily business requirements but they also need serious security in place, especially when conducting design or other work in the cloud.

Manufacturing data, aside from the raw products that are created from it, can be worth millions. The newest product designs that have not been realized outside of CFD or other applications and the data detailing manufacturing processes are the very lifeblood of these organizations.

However, as an article in Industry Week points out, hackers are moving beyond stealing credit card numbers and into enterprise intellectual property—a hot commodity that has manufacturers on edge about cloud.

The article claims that there are already problems with “locating and protecting intellectual property throughout an organization.” This is due to the fact that “IP comingles among other unstructured data and proliferates in highly dispersed locations across the organization: folders on file servers, on laptops, USB drives…and now in the cloud.”

The author, Dave Elliot from the Symantec side of the Cloud Security Alliance offers a number of pieces of advice about manufacturing clouds, including the following:

“Prior to deploying cloud technology, manufacturers should formally train employees how to mitigate the security risks specific to the new technology to make sure sensitive and confidential information is protected. Equally important is implementing a strong governance framework. Manufacturers must gather information from providers and from their own systems, and monitor for security events and compliance with accepted best-practice and specific regulation/standards where appropriate. Check that your providers are fulfilling their SLAs and contracted obligations. pLAN for how you’ll respond to and remediate problems.”

Full story at Industry Week