Manufacturers Must Rethink Cybersecurity to Remain Compliant.

Author:Sharp, Stuart

Companies are rushing to update their security protocols in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and change the way they handle customer data to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for any transaction originating in EU member states. Businesses the world over are impacted, and one industry that will need to pay close attention to data security is manufacturing.

Why should manufacturers care?

While GDPR is specific to Europe, it also impacts companies with a presence in the EU and organisations that handle the personal data of European citizens. Failure to comply with regulations will be costly--GDPR allows fines up to 4 percent of a company's global revenue or penalties up to 20 million euros--whichever is greater. GDPR will also require organisations to notify EU authorities within 72 hours of a breach and completely erase data when customers revoke their consent.

For manufacturers in particular, the new regulations will influence how they store, process and manage data for customers located in the EU. Any manufacturer that ships to an individual within the EU, employs European citizens or is involved in internet marketing will find themselves subject to GDPR compliance. Additionally, manufacturers handle sensitive data such as blueprints, NPI documents and merger and acquisition deals. This type of information alone makes manufacturing one of the most targeted industries by cyber criminals, and forces manufacturers to re-evaluate how they currently handle the personal data of their customers, employees and partners within the supply chain.

With GDPR due to come into effect on Friday, manufacturers have limited options. Manufacturers looking to stay in the EU will need to re-evaluate their cybersecurity strategies to remain compliant with stricter data regulations.

How manufacturers can meet GDPR compliance and bolster internal security measures

Today, the biggest challenge manufacturers face as they work towards GDPR compliance is consolidating and normalising the disparate data they receive from their various supply chain partners and customers. Before implementing any security protocols, manufacturers first need to understand what personal data they collect, where their data lives, how it is used for operations, and how it is protected.

In order to remain fully compliant with Europe's data regulations and to avoid hefty fines, manufacturers can take the following steps to secure any personal...

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