Computer Security Washington DC
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Many businesses are now using the standard office computer in factory facilities, to control production. The problem is a standard computer, no matter if it s a desktop or tower is not designed for anything else but an office.
Once you remove the computer from its safe office environment, it is extremely venerable, no air conditioning just dirt, dust, fluid and abuse.
When businesses issue computers to the shop floor, they have two options; to purchase and install dedicated Industrial Computers or to purchase protective PC enclosures. Let us look at these in more detail.
1. Dedicated Industrial Computers, these normally require expensive software and a maintenance agreement setting up, were an engineer comes to site to service the computer, making sure the software is up to date and running as it should be. The problem lies when the Industrial Computer fails, it could take days for an engineer to visit site and repair the hardware, costing as much as $20,000 per hour in lost production, this coupled with the expensive initial set up costs are sometimes restrictive.
2. PC enclosures, these are manufactured from steel and will accommodate a wide range of computer hardware, so they can actually grow with your business, should you wish to change monitors or migrate from PCs to thin clients or small factor PCs. Now they are several types of cooling for these units, the most cost effective is the filtered fan units, then there are cooling tubes, these are similar to air conditioning units without any moving parts, so they do not break down and are cheaper than air conditioning units.
A standard computer and printer can not work in environments were dust and fluid are, these will in a matter of time get into the hardware and wipe the memory, resulting in the hardware failing, lost data equals lost production and lost production means lost revenue for the business. However the advantage of PC enclosures is that a PC can be swapped out from an office to the factory floor and production could be back on track within minutes after a hardware failure. No special software is required; this will be pre installed onto the PC when the company purchases it, so no expensive software issues here.
Computer enclosures also protect the computer from employee abuse, especially when employees bring in games to play on un supervised shifts, they could be loading games onto the networked computer from a virus infected CD or disc and the virus would then be all over the company network.
When production costs are in the region of $20,000 per hour, would you not have a system that is protected, or would you rather leave it too chance?
2 years ago, 60 out of 100 companies poled left their Computer Security to chance, that has changed dramatically in the past 12 months, with 78 businesses protecting their IT investment. The standard Return On Investment for an Industrial PC is around 24 months, a PC enclosure is only 6 months, sometimes less. However, most multi national manufacturers realize that protection is demanded rather than required and most in not all have some sort of protective computer case.
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