E-Commerce VS. Manufacturing Cybersecurity

Protecting data while ensuring a smooth operations was the focused on the digital world and has been become a bit more complex in the recent years especially for the manufacturers and e-commerce leaders during this pandemic. As the consumers demand increases the cybersecurity compliance also increases which means knowing how data protection is tied to e-commerce and manufacturing could help companies gain the trust of their customers.

In order to understand this matter the director at AT&T Cybersecurity Consulting, Bindu Sundaresan’s organization has offered help in reducing cyber risk with planning and professional service on customers in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, finance and more for the past 12 years of the firm.

“You name the emerging technology irrespective of customer security maturity, we are there,” Sundaresan says. “We are starting to see some implications of rushed transformation efforts, putting companies at larger risk. They have to take stock of their altered risk profile as the threat surface grows and with the adoption of digital technologies in pursuit of new business models and enhanced customer experiences such as e-commerce in manufacturing.”

In modern age e-commerce is not just for retailers or e-tailers it has transformed the way for major industries that are conducting business from manufacturing, B2B and even shippers, which is according to Sundaresan

“It’s a whole function, end-to-end in terms of when the ordering is placed to checking on what stocks are available, to shipping,” Sundaresan says. “This is all happening through front-end e-commerce websites. E-commerce in general is an attractive target for the malicious actor, because that’s where the money is.”

In the digital space the data protection requires a strategic and tedious process. In order to successfully secure the consumer data, company data and overall cybersecurity, starting with the basic all parts must be considered. Although the digital application was simplified this does not ensure the successful launch of data-secured applications.

“Follow the data, think about every connection, think about the data flow, think about every connection you are making for every asset within your organization. Web application security must be taken seriously. Application Security 101 is how you should secure your third-party and open-source code because approximately 96 percent of apps today use borrowed code. Sure, it is a great way of standing an application up, making it run fast, and saving development time and resources. But at the same time, it will introduce vulnerabilities into your infrastructure.” 

Web application has some advantages and vulnerabilities if its not properly deployed. To effectively secure and operate it one must consider the limitations and vulnerabilities of the selected tools over protected information.

“It’s not just about fraud protection or credit card data behind these applications,” Sundaresan notes. “It is about the denial-of-service attacks that can happen, making your website unavailable. It is not somebody stealing, it is somebody getting availability. It is about using your website and your brand to craft another webpage that looks exactly like your brand, and then do SQL injection on it. E-commerce websites now have sophisticated tools with shielding applications and technologies available. These are all affordable and easily consumable, eliminating the need to go in and actually change the code.”

Almost all of use are using some type of e-commerce platform whether if its intentional or not such as the IoT device or other form of digital technology that could connects us and the outside worlds of products and goods.

“Everyone cares about privacy, and this is a common thread across industry verticals,” Sundaresan explains. “We all use internally built applications, APIs and take payment information. Anyone that takes credit card information needs to comply with the PCI standard. It covers a lot of web applications and e-commerce security controls that are a must. Compliance is not the end goal, but it’s a great starting point for your framework.”

The data protections measures in manufacturing were approached from a different angle in which the consumer payment information or personal identification is not part of the coverage. Even though consumers were not directly dealt with many manufacturers there still have a need for security digital transformation in the sector.

“As a manufacturer, you have to think about what the attack surface looks like and what the protection surface looks like,” Sundaresan warns. “It is critical for manufacturers to think of each new connection as a potential vulnerability to their attack surface. Gone are the days where manufacturers are going to look at just safety and well-being as the only priorities–security is now top of mind, and it should be.” 

The COVID-19 has affected and changed manufacturing and all other industries, The changes that the pandemic has brought and how manufacturers were affected an are now prioritizing data security were highlighted by Sundaresan.

“COVID propelled smart manufacturing, showing us that security is more about risk and resilience rather than just providing a technological element to operations. We have enough tools out there, and it’s time to initiate the joining of forces and look at how data can be exploited because of unpatched systems in manufacturing.” 

Sundaresan and her team at AT&T Cybersecurity Consulting learned that the saying “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” has been more relevant during this pandemic for the supply chain in which challenges the notion that a company that is not focused on B2C operations does not eliminated the risk for data breaches and threatened the security.

“In the 20 years I have been working in the industry, there is not one thing that we don’t do at AT&T Cybersecurity. Some assume we might only do large projects or cater to those if they are connected to our network. That is not the case. In relation to the industry as a whole, an important takeaway is to remember that what manufacturing and healthcare are going through now, retail and finance went through this same thing about two, three years ago.” 

Article from globaltrademag.com

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