There’s no denying it – digitalisation is revolutionising mechanical engineering.
Companies need to take action if they want to keep up with today’s rapid technical advances, as market demands for efficiency and throughput times can only be satisfied with a company-wide digitalisation strategy. But how can you tell how much progress your business has already made in terms of digitalisation? Many SMEs are asking the same thing and we want to give them concrete and helpful answers. In this blog post, we’ve decided to focus specifically on data storage and protection, as whenever digitalisation is considered as a whole these important aspects often aren’t given the attention they deserve.
Data backups in industry
Businesses are facing new challenges when it comes to managing and safeguarding the ever-growing volume of data involved in mechanical engineering. The procedure used when archiving CAD data and project files relating to customer orders is therefore a key aspect when assessing the state of digitalisation in mechanical engineering. Let’s imagine, for instance, that a company archives its data on individual employee computers or workstations. This company certainly has a long way to go. Nowadays, malware attacks or hardware failures caused by one employee’s careless actions can result in far greater damage than ever before. Besides bringing about financial losses, delayed projects can also have repercussions for the company’s image if the customer’s plans are disrupted as a result.
An additional system for backing up important data – ideally with a redundant design – should therefore feature in all digitalisation strategies in the mechanical engineering sector. Here, redundant means that data is backed up several times over so it is easier to restore. Although those who store all their data on a central server with a backup solution are one step further to achieving optimum data security, merely having this kind of solution isn’t enough. In addition, it is vital to make sure the backup solution is placed as far away from the main server as possible – otherwise there’s a risk that water damage or a similar type of incident that affects the server will also destroy the backups. In principle, companies can also use their server to provide a customer with the latest project data as a download.
Digitalisation in mechanical engineering demands a cybersecurity concept
Cloud solutions promise great things for mechanical engineering companies. Expenditure is transparent and predictable, which makes them a cost-effective alternative to a company server. The provider’s technical facilities ensure data is backed up several times over, meaning losing data is highly improbable. What’s more, companies can share the latest version of a project in the cloud with customers at any time – just by sending a link. All the same, a sophisticated data backup infrastructure should usually be accompanied by appropriate data protection measures. After all, an up-to-date antivirus solution is nothing more than the first step to safeguarding a business that is active on a digital front.
Relatively small steps have a big impact, particularly where IT security is concerned. Limiting user rights is an ideal way to stop a virus or similar malware that has infected a single computer from spreading throughout the entire company via the PC’s network connection. Digitally advanced companies are already using security systems built on antivirus solutions and limited user rights in line with the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). Although primarily concerned with how personal data is used for online marketing purposes, this regulation is still relevant for the digitalised mechanical engineering sector, where valuable project data is playing a greater role. By adhering to the GDPR, companies show just how seriously they take their customers’ and partners’ security – and consequently benefit from an improved public image.
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