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33% of EMEA manufacturers are not confident on data security

The report - from IDC Research's Manufacturing Insights operation - also found that more than 50% of respondents are unaware of the number and nature of security events their organisation has encountered in the past 12 months.

Delving into the study - entitled "Business Strategy: Know your enemies: EMEA Manufacturing IDC Security Survey Results" - reveals that amongst the top three security threats faced by manufacturers, the greatest is employee error or accidental loss of sensitive information.

Other top security initiatives for EMEA companies include antivirus followed by firewalls. In the absence of appropriate policies and procedures for prevention of data loss, IDC says that employees usually have liberal access rights to information and systems far in excess of the requirements of their jobs.

This issue, says the report, is fast becoming important as manufacturers work more and more on overly extended supply chains, dealing with a number of partners and suppliers.

Against this backdrop, IDC advises manufacturers to balance the need for multilevel structured and unstructured information sharing with IP protection and process safety, as that would present a major challenge in the future.

According to Pier-Francesco Manenti, EMEA research director with IDC's Manufacturing Insights operation, manufacturers need to better prepare themselves against threats from a new breed of information technology tools in future.

"In particular, attention needs to be focused on plant floor security, cloud computing, Web 2.0 technologies and mobile applications", he said.

"The survey shows that over 31% of surveyed manufacturers believe that security risk on the plant floor will increase over the next two years as vulnerability to cyberattacks increases", he added.

IDC's research director went on to say that the report also reveals that key security issues relating to cloud computing services include data protection and compliance, data control over the cloud, privacy, and data localisation issues.

"In order to extract the best out of cloud computing while minimising the risks, manufacturers must evaluate their internal IT security and compliance in addition to that of a potential cloud vendor", he said.

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