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Manufacturing Risk Advisor – September 2018 - September 2018

Manufacturers Face Recruiting Troubles

Although the economy is growing, hiring has slowed for many manufacturers—especially for those in search of specialized candidates. In fact, the economy’s current strength is one of the biggest factors contributing to the shrinking pool of job seekers.

Manufacturers of all sizes have had a hard time recruiting new employees, but small businesses also have to compete with larger companies that can offer extra benefits or higher salaries. According to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, 37 percent of small businesses had unfilled positions in July, the highest such proportion since 1974.

Manufacturing has experienced 94 consecutive monthsof job growth, but recent recruiting troubles may be anearly indicator of an ongoing shortage. A study conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute estimated that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled by 2025, and only 1.5 million of those roles will be filled due to a lack of qualified applicants.

5 Steps to Protect Intellectual Property From Hackers

Intellectual property, business plans and trade secrets are key to any manufacturer. Hackers also know the value of this data, as nearly half of all cyber attacks against manufacturers target intellectual property, according to a data breach investigation from Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

Getting everyone in your workplace to follow a strong cyber security plan is a central part of protecting your intellectual property. Here’s a five-step framework from the National Institute of Standards and Technology that you can use when creating a cyber security plan:

1. Identify—Research cyber threats that may be unique to your business. Common manufacturing exposures include social engineering, third-party vendors and outdated software systems.

2. Protect—Determine the most effective ways to manage your cyber risks based on your available resources. You can also consider using a third-party cyber security consultant if you don’t have a dedicated IT department.

3. Detect—Instruct employees to immediately notify managers of any suspicious behavior. This can include unfamiliar emails, malfunctioning systems, missing devices or misplaced data.

4. Respond—Have a system in place to immediately respond to cyber attacks and mitigate the damage. If you experience a data breach, you may also haveto notify partners, law enforcement or other parties.

5. Recover—All cyber security plans should detail how to restore operations and reduce the impact of cyber attacks. Incorporate what you’ve learned from past attacks into future plans.