Quite simply, manufacturers that evolve with technology will ensure bountiful business, and those that don’t soon will be staring down the barrel of lost clients, lower productivity, and fewer sales. Even if your products are stellar, you need security and speed to compete in today’s marketplace. Fortunately, there is a local company that can provide IT support and management that’s tailored to your industry.
Velocity Network (VNET) has been serving the Erie area and the surrounding region for nearly 30 years. They partner with small and medium-sized businesses in order to establish safe and secure networks, increase productivity, and provide IT help desk services for organizations large and small.
Security Is Essential
A firewall is essential for even the smallest of manufacturers. This security measure can come in the form of hardware or software. Basically, a firewall is the barrier between your network and hordes of hackers and harmful viruses. By controlling access to the resources of a network through a positive control model (allowing, denying, and monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic), you can better protect your infrastructure.
However, to defend yourself from today’s threats, it’s necessary to regularly update your cyber security measures. A Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) offers greater protection by constantly updating itself to combat the latest and most malicious malware. Without it, your company is vulnerable to today’s cruelest technological threats, such as ransomware, in which case all of your data—and potentially your clients’ data—is held hostage indefinitely or until a ransom is paid (in some cases, indefinitely).
Suit up with Multiple Levels of Security
If you’re unsure of the level of security your company needs, contact an experienced IT Service that specializes in business security to get an assessment of your current network and infrastructure. They’ll identify your short-term and long-term goals and recommend the technology that’s best tailored to your situation. Any organization should deploy as many layers of security as possible to keep outside threats from infiltrating their network. Depending on the business, these different levels may include, but are not limited too:
- Next Generation Firewall
- Antivirus software on all devices
- Sandboxing & Spam Filtering
- Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan
- Mobile device management
Once your network is in jeopardy, cyber-security breaches can run rampant. For this reason, often the best course of action is to invest in as many proactive solutions as possible to prevent the problems from happening in the first place.
Complying with Your Client’s Security Specifications
Much like quality certifications, small and medium-sized manufacturers are now required to comply with the security specifications of their major league clients in order to continue the business relationship. Corporations need to know that there is a disaster recovery plan in place, that information is being
protected, and their employees understand the threats that the Internet poses to their network. For many manufacturing companies, having a documented Security and Disaster Recovery plan is a prerequisite to obtain contracts from large multi-national vendors. Firms that do not have these plans in place will forfeit their ability to work with these companies.
While this may seem excessive, take a moment to recall the 2014 Target scenario, wherein the company’s network credentials were stolen through a third party HVAC vendor who was unprotected. Not only was this large retailer’s information hacked, but malware was placed on their cash registers to collect customer’s credit card information as well.
At first glance, passing these supply-chain compliance procedures can appear difficult, however, Velocity Network facilitates this procedure from beginning to end. Ultimately, added security both protects your business and gives you a leg up on other manufacturers that haven’t made the investment.
Yes, this type of upgrade entails a cost, but your security specifications can earn you new clients and will protect your business from cyber-attacks that could potentially cause excessive downtime and a damaged reputation.
How Much Does it Cost When Your Network is Down?
If asked to show a Return on Invest (ROI) from a working shop press or injection mold, many manufacturers could probably scribble the exact numbers down on a napkin, and conversely, pinpoint the loss when their machines are down. However, few owners realize how much it costs when their network isn’t working properly.
Faster connections and a safer network are now as import as the well-oiled machines in your facility. On average, a slow connection and minor day-to-day IT problems can cost a small manufacturing company over $10,000 or more a year, and this is without any cyber security breaches. Massive manufacturers reported losing over $1.5 million an hour for their network downtime.
Where Security Meets Support
“We do end to end – explain it, install it, and support it, even after the sale,” says Matt Wiertel, Director of Sales and Marketing at Velocity Network. “We want to be as much of a member of your staff as you allow us to be.”
Velocity Network works with your company until the problem is fully understood so as to provide a solution quickly and effectively. They’ll partner with your in-house IT personnel to ensure that your staff is educated and that your investment will benefit both your business and your employees.
“It is a Wild West out there,” says Wiertel. “People are clicking on everything, they’re using their smartphones and tablets to download documents, and they take that same mentality into the office. But, you need a higher level of awareness in the workplace.”
Realistically, no manufacturer’s employees are cyber security experts, nor do they need to be. However, it’s important to implement a training program that allows them to be successful and have a baseline knowledge of cyber security.
Investing in the right technology is just as important as buying a hammer that swings just right, investing in a press that pumps out flawless parts, or building a mold that forms seamless products.
Be sure to visit Velocity Network to learn more about cyber security, fiber internet, and an incredible array of industry leaders and the products/services they offer.
On April 13th from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM, the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel will host an expo that showcases the best technology practices and products for regional manufacturing companies. Over 20 technology solution providers and support organizations will be present for this targeted trade show.
Attendance is FREE for regional industries!