Protecting specialized dairy supplier from cyber harm

March 3, 2022

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Following the merger of several co-operatives around New Zealand, a highly specialized dairy supplier achieved rapid business growth, resulting from their innovative development and commercialization of milk-based formula products. This success saw the business exporting globally to markets which included Australia and Taiwan, alongside New Zealand and their formula products are now established in over 30 countries worldwide.

With higher demand on product and a complex manufacturing facility the organization began to understand the importance of ensuring the factory and equipment were protected from potential cyber harm that could impact operations.

The First Watch solution

Technology such as computers and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems ensure food manufacturing facilities such as dairy factories can operate safely and efficiently. With this increasing reliance on technology, it’s important that cyber security risks are regularly evaluated and analyzed.

While cyber-attacks on a system might involve only the technology components and their operation, these impacts can extend beyond this into the physical business, human, and environmental systems to which they are connected. Whether a cyber event is caused by an external adversary, an internal member or inadequate policies and procedures, it can initiate a loss of system control and overall negative outcomes.

First Watch was ready with the solution this client needed, offering expertise and experience within the niche market of Operational Technology (OT) security as it applied to critical control networks.
Our solutions for food manufacturing facilities promote safety, environmental responsibility, and efficient operations. Providing a cyber security vulnerability assessment allowed this client to examine three core factors:

People – We took a closer look at the cyber security awareness level within the organization. This provided the client with a better view of staff and their understanding of security policies and procedures. They could also determine if staff had been adequately trained, or if further training needed to be implemented.

Process – Reviewing the current cyber security policies and procedures implemented within the organization to ensure these met key requirements.

Technology – Our team analyzed the cyber security technologies currently in use within the organization, looking at how are these technologies configured and deployed.

The assessment also took inventory of all the assets within the organization, looking at how they are connected and programmed. Our team document each vulnerability within the client’s operation before providing a clear roadmap to mitigate risks.

The final analysis included a project plan for improvement and an estimate of costs for budget planning. This work is in an on-going capacity, to ensure continuity of cyber security implementation and maintenance.

Ongoing results

‘Thanks to First Watch’s cyber security expertise for industrial control and SCADA systems, along with their advanced assessment tools and techniques, we have addressed a wide range of potential risks to the safety, security and reliability of our food processing system’.

Following a cyber security vulnerability assessment carried out by First Watch, the client was able to clearly identify all critical gaps within their systems and each step required to improve the overall security and reliability of their factory environment.

Our team of experts helped the client develop, implement, and manage a comprehensive security program to ensure they aligned with current compliance and industry regulations, while also ensuring ongoing protection of vital information and systems which allows the business to operate efficiently and safely.

The First Watch solution has provided staff with better awareness of potential cyber security threats and given the organization the tools to take action to ensure their product continues to reach customers – both nationally and globally.

Fast Facts
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