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The security risk manufacturers are ignoring

The security risk manufacturers are ignoring Photo

When an employee walks onto the floor of a manufacturing facility, the security team has a very good idea of who that person is. Through the interview process, they have had the opportunity to vet that employee for possible security threats and risks, such as legal troubles, previous criminal history, credit history, even going as far as to look at their social media accounts. 

Despite these thorough procedures, manufacturers don’t carry out the same security process for visitors and contractors coming through their doors; allowing hundreds and thousands of people through their facility without knowing anything about them. This creates a blind spot for security teams who should treat each person as a possible threat, regardless of whether they are an employee, contractor or visitor.  

Screening procedures for many manufacturers don’t generally include background checks on new job applicants coming to the facility, delivery personnel, maintenance crews for HVAC systems, and janitorial staff. They can pose a high-security risk like an employee, except that the security team is in the dark.

Beware of the lone actor

Many believe that the most considerable security risk for manufacturers are large groups of possible attackers. However, it is often the lone actor that poses the greatest danger for a security team. That’s because they can slip through undetected. These individuals could have a past criminal history or qualifications that would warrant an escort or denial of entry to the building. 

However, due to a lack of screening and a policy to perform a background check on every individual coming in, a lone actor can be granted access to sensitive information, physical assets like laptops and servers. It also includes access to employees, all of which can result in potential threats.

To reduce the impact alone actor can have on a manufacturing organization, security processes need to change. Systems need to look at every individual to see if there is something of concern. Having an automated screening process as part of a visitor management policy can properly screen any person coming into a facility, mitigating risk. No individual should be able to pass through a security checkpoint without having a complete background check. 

Employees have extensive screening completed during the hiring process, but lone visitors and contractors remain in a gap. Upon entry, everyone should be seen as the individual - and possible threat - that they are. 

Removing a security blind spot for manufacturers: an organizational effort

To remove this security blind spot, the entire manufacturing organization needs to change its mindset regarding visitor management and security. Members of different departments, such as HR, marketing, sales, and operations, must have a zero-trust, security-first attitude when considering allowing individuals into a facility. Risk mitigation simply can’t all be on the shoulders of the security team. 

An educational training program should be part of a new security effort to individualize visitors coming into the facility to address this mindset gap. This program includes training employees about the new level of screening their visitors, guests and contractors will have when they arrive. By making them aware of the risk lone actors present to the organization, it’s more likely that the entire manufacturing organization will widely adopt increasing screening.

Download The security blindspot: The non-employee risk manufacturers are ignoring to learn more.

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