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Data security in the forest industry requires rules, cooperation, and accountability


Data security in the forest industry is important, as disruptions in the industry have many direct and indirect effects. For example, in the sawmilling and woodworking industries, data security problems in the supply, production, and distribution chain can have a wide impact on the entire industry.  The forest industry is a highly interconnected industry, which in many ways depends on the interplay between operators of different sizes. Forest machine operators, logistics partners, the sawmill industry, downstream processors, and all parts of the industry are highly dependent on each other for a responsible and secure daily life.

The importance of data security for business continuity, profitability, and reputation is already well-known to most people. Many people are still surprised by how close security threats can get and how serious they can be. In the worst case, the effects can extend far along the industry value chain and take a long time to recover from for an unprepared organization.

The security threats for industrial companies are not necessarily as traditional and obvious as in the consumer business. A particular feature is the decentralization of production chains, the need for numerous parties to have access to the systems in the chain, and the vulnerability of the whole chain to disruptions in its components. 

Blackmailing, espionage, sabotage, misuse of production resources, theft of sensitive data, and disruption of the supply chain can be attempted through traditional IT means, as well as through production systems-related information technology, or OT (Operational Technology).  

Onion-like protection for data security in the forest industry

When it comes to data security, it is almost impossible to be prepared for everything. It is essential to create onion-like layered protection and to identify and mitigate the key risks to the business. 

Onion-like protection means that there is a series of successive walls. If for some reason one wall is breached, you'd be confronted with another wall, and another, and so on. At the core of the onion is business data, which is secured with access management, data encryption, and backup, for example. The core is surrounded by a layer of security for applications, the server environment, and the network, with event monitoring and access restriction through firewalls and secure connections. The next layer consists of physical security, such as the control of premises, and everything is surrounded by an outer, but by no means the least important layer: security policies, house manners, and, for example, the data security know-how, awareness, and attitude of individuals.

The importance of production-critical software partners

Systems in the forest industry have been built alongside the digitalization of society. There are solutions from different eras, delivered and integrated by software partners. Software partners should be required to demonstrate their continued commitment to data security, both technically and in terms of expertise. A good example of this is the global growth company Lunawood, a user of the Timber by Pinja ERP solution. At Lunawood, data security has been a long-standing focus and is considered a key theme. As part of the collaboration, we have, among other things, carried out a security audit of the delivered software solution, which is used by its salespeople, as well as by a global network of partners.

Creating software that meets international requirements for data security requires a lot of work. At Pinja, this means audits by industry-leading partners, vulnerability monitoring, system architecture design from a security perspective, regular security testing, training, incident and disaster recovery planning, and performing exercises.

An expert partner helps build data security together 

For our clients, a functional and secure software solution is a crucial tool without which business will either be significantly hampered or completely halted. The solutions we deliver serve our clients' businesses as part of a bigger package, so it's important for us to always look beyond the boundaries of our own yard. That's why we also offer a wide range of business data security-related consultancy services, including security audits, maintenance of the production IT environment, and comprehensive IT outsourcing services.

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Tommi Särkkä

Tommi Särkkä

I am Pinja's Chief Technical Officer, and I am responsible for the production of our company. Essential to my work is constant interaction with different groups of staff, solid technology knowledge, and the development of internal rules. I am also a member of the Secure team at Pinja. In my job, I particularly enjoy the continuous development. In my spare time, I am an active beer enthusiast, an occasional traveler, and perhaps an upcoming skydiver.

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