What are common cyber threats for manufacturers and how can they protect themselves

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In today’s digital age, manufacturers are increasingly relying on technology to run their businesses. However, this dependency also makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Cyber ​​threats come in many forms and can have a devastating impact on business operations. Phishing emails, for example, can give attackers access to sensitive data, while ransomware can disable critical systems. The cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline is a prime example.

IoT attacks can compromise product security and supply chain attacks can disrupt the flow of goods. As manufacturing companies become more connected, they must adopt robust cybersecurity measures to protect against these threats.

One of the first steps is to understand the risks the business faces. Different types of manufacturing companies will have different vulnerabilities, so it is important to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment.

Once risks are identified, manufacturers can put controls in place to mitigate them. This can include encrypting data, implementing strong access control measures, and rolling out security awareness training for employees.

Data encryption

One of the most effective ways to protect data is to encrypt it. This means that although attackers can access the data, they will not be able to read it unless they have the encryption key.

There are a number of different encryption algorithms that can be used, and manufacturers should choose the one that best suits their needs. They should also ensure that their encryption keys are stored securely and backed up in case of loss or theft.

Access control

Another important step manufacturers can take is to implement strong access control measures. This means restricting access to critical systems and data to authorized users only.

The most secure approach to access is the principle of least privilege. This means that users should only have the level of access that is absolutely necessary for them to do their job. For example, an administrator might need full access to all systems, while a salesperson might only need read-only access to customer data.

Leverage software

If the software used is not secure, the data is not either. Improved safety is often one of the main reasons companies turn to cloud-based manufacturing software. Cloud-based systems can make it easier to manage updates and ensure your devices are always running the latest security features.

With cloud manufacturing, you can remotely deploy firmware and software updates, as well as monitor devices for suspicious activity. Cloud-based systems also make it easy to add or remove users and change permissions, allowing you to quickly adapt your security measures as your needs change.

Additionally, manufacturing in the cloud can provide a higher level of visibility into your manufacturing process, making it easier to identify potential security risks.

Security Awareness Training

According to Kaspersky’s report, employees make companies vulnerable from the inside and that’s because an effective but often overlooked method to protect against cyber threats is to educate employees about them.

Security awareness training can help employees understand the risks and what they can do to mitigate them. It should cover topics like phishing, social engineering, and how to spot suspicious activity. Employees should also receive guidance for reporting any suspicious activity they may encounter.

Regular updates

As new threats emerge, it’s important for manufacturers to keep their security measures up to date. This may involve patching software vulnerabilities, updating access control measures, and deploying new security technologies.

It is also important to regularly review security procedures and ensure that everything is still fit for purpose.

Work with a partner

And finally, to secure your manufacturing business, you might want to work with a partner that specializes in cybersecurity. They can help you assess your risks, implement controls and keep your systems up to date.

It’s also important to choose a partner you can trust. Look for a company that has experience working with manufacturers and has a good reputation in the industry.

Cybersecurity is an important issue for all manufacturers. By taking steps to assess risk and put controls in place, they can help protect their business against a range of threats.

Manufacturers can take effective steps to up their cybersecurity game by encrypting data, implementing strong access control measures, and deploying security awareness training.

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