5 Dangers of Housing Manufacturing Data On Site

Data is your manufacturing organization’s single most valuable asset. It dictates your processes, describes your customers, and details your strengths and weaknesses. It contains information that is proprietary, irreplaceable, or subject to regulations. And if some or all of it were compromised, it could create an existential threat to your business.

Considering how important this asset is, manufacturers need to make data security a paramount priority. That means thinking very carefully about where that data is located and what kinds of risks, threats, and vulnerabilities it is subject to.

Many forward-thinking manufacturers now rely on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and specifically cloud ERP for manufacturing platforms because it handles so many challenges related to large-scale data management. But the added benefit of relying on the cloud is that it moves data off site and into a more safe and secure environment.

The superior security of the cloud has been well documented. But what has been less emphasized is just how vulnerable on-site data is, particularly in a manufacturing environment. Any manufacturer that is serious about avoiding setbacks and carrying out ambitious initiatives needs to be hyper aware of the real threats looming over them. With that in mind, learn about five dangers of housing manufacturing data on site.

Intentional Tampering

All of today’s manufacturers operate in extremely competitive markets. And with so much on the line, there is a powerful incentive to engage in industrial espionage and even outright sabotage. Any data that is stored on-site is particularly vulnerable to these threats since it only takes one bad actor to gain access and throw a wrench into the works. The cloud makes it much easier to put rigorous access controls in place and ensure backup and recovery.

Accidental Destruction

Even with every safety measure in place, a manufacturing environment is volatile and unpredictable. The risk of something like a fire or flood is real, and accidental destruction can be caused by everything from a careless employee to a severe storm. Data that exists in whole or in part on site may be permanently lost when an incident compromises your facility. But when it is housed in the cloud, recovery is instant and business continuity is assured.

Regulatory Noncompliance

Manufacturing has always been highly regulated. But now that it’s more data-driven than ever, those regulations apply as much to information management as workplace safety. The penalties for non-compliance range from hefty fines and fees to a diminished reputation with clients and customers. Complying with regulations for data security is a lot less certain when the information is exposed to the vulnerabilities of on-site storage. And if and when those regulations change, it is a lot more challenging to keep compliant. The cloud offers a much more flexible platform for satisfying the demands of regulators.

Prohibitive Costs

Data security is expensive. It requires a significant investment in technology and staff. And if your data is housed on-site, it requires an additional investment in access controls. Manufacturers must choose between spending more than they would like, or accepting more risk than is responsible. The cloud, by contrast, eliminates some threats and reduces the cost of protecting against others. Cyber security does not have to be a source of financial strain.

Uncertain Vigilance

It typically falls to an on-site IT team to secure on-site data. And unless that team is adequately staffed, appropriately equipped, and thoroughly committed to data security, there can easily be holes in your safety net that no one anticipated or intended. Moving data to the cloud allows manufacturers to outsource much of the maintenance and monitoring required of cybersecurity to professionals who can make it their only priority.

A lack of past incidents is not evidence of adequate security. It only takes a single data issue to create waves throughout your enterprise. Would you rather wait for that to happen or start moving data to the cloud preemptively?