Only Two-Thirds of EMEA Manufacturers Confident the Information is Protected From External and Internal Attacks, says IDC Manufacturing Insights

Milan, Italy, — In a recent survey conducted across major cities in Europe, IDC Manufacturing Insights found that more than 50% of respondents are unaware of the number and nature of security events their organization has encountered in the past 12 months. More insights are revealed in the report, Business Strategy: Know your enemies: EMEA Manufacturing IDC Security Survey Results (Doc #MIVC01T), which sheds light on the fundamental issues around core security initiatives within manufacturing across Europe.

The report finds that among the top three security threats faced by manufacturers, the greatest is perceived to be 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, employees usually have liberal access rights to information and systems far in excess of the requirements of their jobs. This issue is fast becoming important as manufacturers work more and more on overly extended supply chains, dealing with a number of partners and suppliers. IDC Manufacturing Insights 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.

“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,” said Pierfrancesco Manenti, EMEA research director, IDC Manufacturing Insights.

He adds “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 cyber attacks increases. Reassuringly, more than half of manufacturers in the survey said that they have already, or are planning to change the priority assigned to their plant floor security efforts over the next 12 months. The scenario is different, however, in the case of Web 2.0 technologies, as one-third of EMEA manufacturers have implemented technologies or put in place policies to deal with Web 2.0 interactions, including blogs or social networks.

“The report further reveals that key security issues relating to cloud computing services include data protection and compliance, data control over the cloud, privacy, and data localization issues. In order to extract the best out of cloud computing while minimizing the risks, manufacturers must evaluate their internal IT security and compliance in addition to that of a potential cloud vendor” concludes Pierfrancesco Manenti.

The IDC Manufacturing Insights report, Business Strategy: Know your enemies: EMEA Manufacturing IDC Security Survey Results (Doc # MIVC01T), covers the fundamental issues around the evolving role of the chief information security officer, manufacturers’ commitment to information security, and core information technology security initiatives. Also addressed in the document are security risk concerns pertaining to transformational innovation (including the emergence of mobile devices, cloud computing, and the embrace of social networking) and how manufacturers are dealing with the perennial threat of security. Finally, it gauges respondents’ expectations around changes in IT security budgets over the next 12 months.