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How Manufacturing Companies can Safeguard Software and Assure Robust Quality and Compliance

How Manufacturing Companies Can Safeguard Software
How Manufacturing Companies Can Safeguard Software

Although application security and compliance are relatively modern concerns, they impact every industry that uses technology, even traditional industry sectors such as manufacturing. Most manufacturers that do business on a large scale have embraced technology as a necessary business component in the digital economy.  Many manufacturers have built heavily integrated functions across the entire manufacturing process, as well as tying in related areas such as operations and logistics. These complex software interrelationships enable manufacturers to work efficiently and cost-effectively. However, it also makes software security for manufacturers more complex.

Moreover, the rise of smart and connected products has further accelerated the significant role software plays in the development of products and services. Connected services and products such as mobile applications and web-based products are often built using a mix of both open source and proprietary software. As this trend escalates, and as applications continue to rise in business importance, so too does the risk of application-based attacks. Manufacturers must secure the underlying code, components, and dependencies in their software to minimize risk of exposure for both themselves and their customers. 

Securing the software supply chain

When it comes to software security for manufacturers, the crux of the matter lies in securing  the software supply chain, particularly in the following areas: 

  • Open source license compliance. To avoid facing legal difficulties for breaching software usage licenses, manufacturers must ensure that any software, components, or dependencies used in their applications comply with existing licenses.
  • Regulatory compliance. manufacturers must also comply with particular laws and guidelines that exist in different geographies, to ensure that their products and services are permissible there.
  • Application security. Complex software also raises the risk of vulnerabilities, and the potential for attackers to exploit them. While detecting, updating, and fixing vulnerabilities is crucial, it becomes increasingly difficult to do manually as software proliferates.

As a result, many manufacturers have turned to software composition analysis (SCA) software, which can scan and remediate vulnerabilities, as well as create a software bill of materials (SBOM) to document, itemize, and track open source components. 

Kärcher’s approach

A good example of the benefits of improving software security for manufacturers, as well as building robust compliance, is Kärcher, the world’s leading provider of industrial, commercial, and home cleaning technology. As an innovator in its sector, the company is a heavy user of software in product development.

More than 1,000 employees work in R&D on a wide range of projects. These projects involve too many dependencies, for efficient manual updates and fixes. To properly manage them, ensure compliance, and identify and mend problems, the company needed a tool that automated these processes and enabled it to create SBOMs. 

The company turned to Mend SCA, which provided Kärcher with comprehensive automated security risk assessment and remediation capabilities. Moreover, the SBOM feature has enabled the company to meet software supply chain quality assurance and compliance criteria in the multitude of markets in which it operates.

As a result, Kärcher has been able to save its developers time and resources on security scanning and fixing vulnerabilities, while improving security in the software supply chain and the software development life cycle. Even better, its developers can customize the solution to meet the specific needs of different software projects.

Mend has improved the application of policies and compliance across the company. It has drastically minimized vulnerabilities and has accelerated the remediation of those it does detect so that Kärcher and its customers can be assured of the quality of its software, components, and dependencies.

Can you be confident that your security and compliance are as thorough?

Learn more about Kärcher: Read the full case study

Meet The Author

Adam Murray

Adam Murray is a content writer at Mend. He began his career in corporate communications and PR, in London and New York, before moving to Tel Aviv. He’s spent the last ten years working with tech companies like Amdocs, Gilat Satellite Systems, Allot Communications, and Sisense. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature. When he’s not spending time with his wife and son, he’s preoccupied with his beloved football team, Tottenham Hotspur.

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