Ensuring robust data security in the cloud – the EPLAN way

Author: John Boynton

It is a truism nowadays that all organisations, from the smallest local businesses to the largest multinationals, are to some extent involved in dealing with data. Engineering companies, manufacturers and systems providers are no exceptions: they host large amounts of personal, financial and plant data, which is often stored in the cloud. Yet feedback shows that the customers of these businesses are increasingly concerned, for security reasons, about their projects being hosted in a public cloud.

Protecting engineering data

In our day-to-day lives, we have learned to trust internet banking to keep our finances and personal details safe in the cloud. In the office environment, we all use hosted email services, as well as collaborative online tools such as Dropbox, GDrive or WeTransfer. We use these systems dozens a times a day without so much of a thought about the security of the information we transmit. But when we think about it, using these collaborative online tools means your engineering data will already be stored in a cloud. The issue is, you don’t know what cloud, how secure it is and who has access.

When it comes to protecting cloud data, the manufacturing and engineering sectors need no new techniques or technologies: protecting engineering data in the cloud is the same as protecting any other type of data. Well established protocols, such as authentication and identification, access control, encryption, secure deletion, integrity checking, and data masking are all that’s needed, provided that they are applied properly and consistently.

Robust cloud solutions with EPLAN

As the security and safety of our customers’ information is a paramount concern for us, EPLAN’s ePULSE portfolio is hosted by one of the top three public cloud providers, Microsoft Azure. This ensures first rate security and allows excellent control. With a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure, there are huge teams of dedicated experts constantly working with the latest tools and techniques to keep data safe 24/7. They conduct regular penetration tests to ensure customers’ intellectual property remains secure and under the ownership of the customer. These procedures are more sophisticated than most internal company solutions, which minimises the risk of malicious attacks.

In addition, EPLAN have a dedicated Security Operations team who cover 24/7 monitoring of EPLAN systems to ensure that the highest industry regulations are complied with and covers the following areas:

  • Platform monitoring
  • Threat intelligence
  • Incident management
  • Ongoing Optimisation

To discover more about the Trust Centre:

Visit ePULSE Trust Centre WebsiteePULSE Trust Centre Flyer

You have control of your data!

To help customers feel empowered and in control of their data, the user and access management tools provided by EPLAN ensure that all data uploaded to the cloud can be controlled with full user rights management administered by the user. Internal and external documents can be separately controlled, making it easy and safe for companies to share project information outside their own organisation.

How does this work in practice? Let’s imagine that a pdf document is sent via email. Once the email is sent, in principle the document could be forwarded to multiple people without the sender’s consent or knowledge. With EPLAN’s user management tools, it is possible to specify down to individual user level who can access the data and whether or not they can forward, print and download it.

But what about temporary data access for a one-off job? Even this can be managed securely with EPLAN, by enabling temporary project access to customers, suppliers or other external consultants. Users can choose who gets access and for how many days, making this approach both effective and flexible.

To conclude, data for manufacturing projects is no less secure than the best of Internet banking systems. With EPLAN ePULSE and Microsoft Azure, users can be rest assured that their intellectual property, projects and customer information are safe and secure, leaving engineers free from security concerns to do what they do best - innovate, design and create.

Sign up to EPLAN ePULSE for free today and give it a try for yourself: 

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