SaaS Simplifies PLM Security

Written By: Mindy Hayes
  • 1/9/2023
  • Read Time : 2:30 min

Reduce complexities and ramp up security with Windchill+ 

Whether a budding enterprise or an established industry tycoon, discrete manufacturers must prioritize cybersecurity. A single security vulnerability may impact dozens – or hundreds – of applications, and the threat to your operations evolves every day. Your PLM system, from engineering to manufacturing and service, represents a treasure trove of intellectual property for attackers. All of which underscores why fortifying your digital defenses should be at the top of your IT department’s list of responsibilities.

There are many security challenges posed by PLM solutions today: collaborating with suppliers without exposing your organization’s network; deploying PLM across your entire enterprise; updating solutions and processes while navigating legacy customizations; and developing smarter, complex products that are especially susceptible to security breaches. 

The cost, expertise, and activities required to maintain industry-standard security (let alone world-class) varies considerably depending on your PLM approach. It’s important to understand and weigh these factors when evaluating your next PLM deployment. Despite the impact it may have on your operations, you’re not in the security business—but your PLM provider ought to be. 

Traditional PLM Solutions

Many manufacturers employ an on-premise PLM system, and some have configured their own cloud solution (DIY cloud). As such, they accept most, if not all the risk and responsibility, meaning they must rely on their own expertise to remain vigilant against and respond quickly to security threats. Such manufacturers also depend on costly response teams for threat prevention in order to maintain best-in-class security. 

On-prem and DIY cloud PLM users are also on the hook for patching and updating their own solutions, so vulnerabilities are often left unresolved until IT can get around to it – assuming they have the expertise to handle it themselves. Not to mention the time spent on installing patches, or the extended exposure they experience as they wait on manual patches. This kind of work requires technicians to have deep domain knowledge of your systems, with a strong understanding of all configurations and compatibilities. 

PLM as a Service

Manufacturers are finding more and more success with SaaS (software-as-a-service) offerings. Security is one of many driving forces behind this trend and is sure to factor into the value of emerging SaaS PLM. Windchill+ from PTC accelerates enterprise product development while increasing security and reducing vulnerabilities.

SaaS PLM gives users the benefits of full-stack security while the provider absorbs the costs by handling both application and infrastructure. With Windchill+, PTC serves as a single point of responsibility, so you don’t waste time tracking down bugs or balancing risk against budget. This service also offers highly tuned vulnerability detection to both actively identify weaknesses and conduct third-party penetration testing.

Another benefit of a service model is always having the latest security updates. Windchill+ automatically applies security enhancements across your PLM system. You can also depend on PTC to provide layers of security, from security protocols and certified data centers to regular system audits and third-party resources.

There are many measures you can take to secure your operations, but ultimately it comes down to how much risk is acceptable. DIY cloud and on-premise PLM users accept considerable risk, but as a software service provider, PTC’s risk tolerance is minimized. Being responsible for the PLM security of all Windchill+ customers generates economies of scale, which enables PTC to invest in security technology, processes, and skilled experts more than most companies could. The result is a next-generation SaaS PLM solution that not only gives your teams the capabilities and performance they need to keep pace in a rapidly changing industry—it provides the assurance that your systems and intellectual property are safeguarded with a best-in-class level of security.

Enhance Security with PLM

Explore what manufacturers need to think about as they consider if, when, and how to adopt SaaS PLM in this buyer's guide from analyst firm Tech-Clarity. 

SaaS PLM Buyer Guide

Learn what to look for in a solution

  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Windchill+
  • SaaS

About the Author

Mindy Hayes

Mindy Hayes is a Content Specialist working out of the PTC Portland, Maine office. She received a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maine, and has experience writing for several different industries throughout her career. When she is not working you can find Mindy reading, attempting various DIY projects, or spending time with friends and family.