Every year, the number of cyberattacks rises, and businesses that were formerly considered safe are now more vulnerable than ever. Smaller manufacturers are abandoning analogue methods in favor of digital to stay competitive. While this might be a terrific method to boost productivity, it can also expose firms that aren’t prepared to assault.

Fortunately, there are a few steps that firms may take to strengthen their cybersecurity. Working with specialists to assess their present defenses, resolving any weaknesses, and investing in staff training are all examples of this.

Is the Manufacturing Sector in Danger

The manufacturing business is the second most commonly targeted industry in the United States, according to the US Department of Homeland Security, based on the number of recorded cyber assaults.

What is the purpose of focusing on the manufacturing industry?

Cybercriminals generally regard smaller manufacturers as accessible entry points into bigger industrial chains. Hence, they are more likely to be attacked than their larger counterparts.

Unfortunately, there is still a widespread misconception among small company owners that they are too tiny to be targeted when they should be extra cautious.

Why Do Manufacturing Companies Need Cyber Security?

Manufacturing companies should invest in strong cyber security infrastructure for a variety of reasons. These reasons might range from the risk of their product’s design and intellectual property being compromised to the possibility of financial damages. The following are some of the most compelling reasons for manufacturing companies to reconsider their cyber security strategy:

Cybercrime Incidents are on the Rise:- Cybercrime will cost $10.5 trillion in damages by 2025, according to a report issued by Cybersecurity Ventures. To give you a greater picture of the magnitude of the harm, the report stated that after the United States and China, cybercrime will become the world’s third-largest economy. This should be enough of a wake-up call for businesses to step up their cyber security efforts.

The Manufacturing Industry Offers a Wide Range of Benefits:- Manufacturing companies are attractive targets for cyber hackers because they may profit from their intellectual property or halt production for a ransom. Cyber thieves may be interested in the information these companies have about their clients and suppliers.

Manufacturing companies are vulnerable in a variety of ways:- For intermediate items, manufacturing, businesses work with many vendor companies. Cyber thieves might take advantage of this structure to get returns using phishing attacks that contain bogus invoices and bank accounts. VEC (Vendor Email Compromise) assaults are one type of attack.

The Manufacturing Industry is Still Educating Itself: – Although the manufacturing industry has gone digital, it is still in the learning process regarding cyber security.

Competition in the Business World:- Business rivalry is intensifying, especially in these difficult times. As a result, it is critical for manufacturing companies to protect themselves against harmful activities aimed at them with the goal of harming their reputation and overall reach.

Cyber Security Measures for Manufacturing Firms

Anti-virus software and other endpoint security measures should not be the only cyber security measures used by manufacturing companies. Manufacturers should also take some of the steps that might address the fundamentals of cyber security. These are some of the measures:

Employee Cyber Security Awareness– Regarding cyber security, unaware personnel are ticking time bombs. They can make it simple for bad actors to get access to the company through phishing, vishing, smishing, and other attack vectors. It is critical for manufacturing companies to ensure that their personnel are informed of cyber dangers that might harm their company’s operations. ThreatCop is a cyber security awareness tool that may make the process of imparting information and awareness to employees and the company much easier.

Security of an email domain is vital for an organization’s entire business reach, customer happiness, and possible leads. Emails sent by the company are quite crucial in this regard. If, on the other hand, the organization’s official email domain gets into the wrong hands, it can cause significant damage to its reputation. Lack of email domain security may be disastrous for manufacturing enterprises that operate as suppliers to a variety of other businesses. Email spoofing, VEC assaults, BEC attacks, and spear-phishing attacks can all be used to do this. Email domain security technologies like KDMARC can in helpful in this situation.

Identity Access Management (IAM):- Limiting access to sensitive processes and information within a company is critical. IAM can be used to safeguard the Industrial Control System (ICS) in the manufacturing industry. This is critical to protecting production processes and finished goods against manipulation and other undesirable changes.

Incident Response Tools:- Incident Response Tools can help detect cyber threats early on. Threat Alert Button (TAB), a phishing incident response tool, is beneficial for reporting suspicious emails and removing fraudulent emails from employees’ inboxes.

Regular Offline Data Backup:- Creating data backups in offline places regularly is one of the cyber security best practices. This can aid in the organization’s defense against ransomware and DDOS assaults.

What Can I Do to Safeguard My Company?

You may take a few actions to strengthen your present security posture and defend against assaults. Even the finest cybersecurity measures aren’t impenetrable to vulnerabilities. Therefore, processes should be in place so that all stakeholders (including management and staff) are aware of how to respond in the event of an incident.

Take a look at your current defences.

You must first understand your present defensive systems’ limitations before you can enhance them. A complete audit can help you inventory your present protections, but if you truly want to know where your weak points are, a pen test might be the way to go.

Hiring an ethical hacker to stress test your present defences is what a pen (penetration) test entails. They try to break through your present defences and keep extensive records on the techniques they used and how effective they were. After the test, the ethical hacker meets with you to discuss their results and give recommendations.

Potential Vulnerabilities Should Be Addressed

You may take action to fix your possible weak points now that you know where they are. Because most small and medium-sized businesses lack the financial means to staff full-time in-house cybersecurity teams, more companies are opting to outsource their cybersecurity.

Working with a cybersecurity firm gives you access to monitoring and help forever. Your cybersecurity professionals can assist you in auditing your present defences, addressing any weaknesses, developing robust but targeted incident response plans, and assisting with staff training.

Make sure your incident response plans are solid.

Having a backup plan is usually a smart idea. In case of a cybersecurity attack, you should always have clear, resilient, and adaptable incident response strategies in place. These plans should address possible occurrences, define how a potential danger is recognized, and ensure that all-important players are aware of their responsibilities.

Ensure that your software is up to date.

One of the simplest things you can do to assist protect your company’s digital assets is to keep your software up to date. When a software business detects a flaw or vulnerability in their product, they provide patches to address the problem. Patches, on the other hand, can only be used if organizations update their software.

Unpatched software is especially dangerous since software vendors publicize updates and the faults or vulnerabilities they are supposed to address, allowing hackers to plan their attacks accordingly.

Keep an eye out for potential problems.

If you don’t know what risks are out there, you won’t be able to appropriately defend your digital assets. Managed threat intelligence allows you to keep a watch on your whole business, alerting you to suspicious actions and rapidly confirming risks so they can be dealt with.

Invest in Employee Training

What You Need to Know About Cybersecurity in the Manufacturing Industry Right Now

Even the most comprehensive and well-crafted cybersecurity strategy is pointless if it isn’t put into action. Employees must understand why cybersecurity is so important and how they can help protect the company’s digital assets. As part of their onboarding process, new workers should get cybersecurity training, and all employees can benefit from yearly refresher training.

You should also think about running tabletop scenarios. Tabletop scenarios are similar to fire drills in that they allow your team to practice responding to dangers in a low-risk setting. Your staff work together to solve the problem and minimize or even avoid interruption and harm, while the facilitator presents a scenario. After the scenario is complete, your team sits together to discuss their findings, noting any holes in your present practices or staff knowledge that may be remedied.

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