Applied® recognizes the importance of information and technology. With established practices and policies around systems and cybersecurity, Applied adopts enterprise class systems to ensure the continuity of business and delivery of information to optimal points of use. We actively monitor technology trends to weigh risk and identify issues that drive continuous improvement efforts or provide necessary enhancements of our technology defenses.
Through technology, Applied enables transparency and control to better manage operations and improve process efficiency. In addition, through our digital applications – like the Applied.com website, external and internal portals, and mobile applications – Applied provides customers, suppliers and associates access to information that deepens our business relationships, provides a more transparent engagement, reduces consumption of paper resources, and enhances our ability to serve.
With regards to cybersecurity, we consistently reinforce a “see something, say something” approach where all associates carry the responsibility to help protect and ensure the security and accuracy of our information. Mandatory cybersecurity courses are assigned annually and serve to heighten associate awareness of potential risks and related safety measures. Additionally, periodic internal Cybersecurity Update e-mails review trending threats and safeguards. Applied also recognizes Cybersecurity Awareness Month every October through increased communications that help ensure our online business and lives are kept safe and secure. On an executive-level, regular updates on information security matters are reviewed and discussed in our Board of Directors quarterly meetings.
• Hardening our network – continuing to fortify systems and applications in our network infrastructure
• Increasing security requirements – including two-factor authentication, more complexity in passwords, and tightening of privileged access
• Improving laptop / desktop tools – rolling out additional tools on our computers designed to “quarantine and control” malware and block unwanted connections to certain local devices
• Reducing risky technology – following industry best practices, including tighter controls over scripts run on Company networks, among other measures