Any IT provider should understand that your data is critical to your success. Unfortunately, in today’s ever-changing IT industry, hackers are starting to be a greater problem. Dynamic IT companies are offering complete products like cyber security for manufacturers to keep your data secure. They are using revolutionary monitoring software and the vigilant eye of trained technicians.
Manufacturers today face a growing number of cyber threats that can disrupt operations, compromise sensitive data, and damage reputation. As they increasingly rely on technology to streamline operations and increase efficiency, the risk of cyber attacks also grows. To protect against these threats, it is crucial for manufacturers to develop a comprehensive cyber security strategy that addresses the three pillars of cyber security: external threats, internal threats, and business continuity.
By implementing best practices and taking proactive measures to address each of these pillars, manufacturers can safeguard their digital assets and ensure their continued success in a highly competitive marketplace. In this article, we’ll explore the three pillars of cyber security for manufacturers and provide insights into how they can protect their operations and assets from cyber threats.
3 Pillars of Cyber Security for Manufacturers
- External threats
- Internal threats
- Business Continuity
Cybersecurity is an essential aspect of modern manufacturing operations. As technology continues to advance, the risks associated with cyber threats also increase. To protect their digital assets and maintain business continuity, manufacturers must implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that addresses three key pillars: external threats, internal threats, and business continuity.
The first pillar is External Threats. These are a common threat to cyber security for manufacturers and come in the way of Ransomware or Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. These can hurt an organization and create a barrier between you and your data. For instance, IT providers work with organizations to implement industry best practice solutions & processes to keep their infrastructure secure. In addition, they also use advanced monitoring software to scour the internet’s “Black Market.” This search looks for credentials linked to your domains on the Dark Web.
External threats are the risks posed by cyber criminals, hackers, and other malicious actors outside the organization. These threats include phishing attacks, malware, ransomware, and social engineering scams. Phishing attacks, for example, are often used to trick employees into providing sensitive information or clicking on a malicious link. Malware and ransomware can infect systems, encrypt data, and demand payment for its release. Social engineering scams can involve fake tech support calls, fake job offers, and other scams that trick employees into divulging sensitive information.
To protect against external threats, manufacturers must take proactive measures, such as deploying firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and anti-virus software. Regular security audits and penetration testing can also help identify and address vulnerabilities in the system. Employee training is also crucial to raise awareness about common cyber threats and how to avoid them.
The second pillar is Internal Threats. Although not always malicious, the damage can be crippling. Due to this, today’s IT providers focus on the “Human-Firewall” and many offer an education platform to empower your staff. This will enable them to become aware of the risks as a continuing education program should be geared towards employees who may be putting your company at risk. This can be achieved through in-person classes and online modules. Socially engineered phishing attempts are also good options and regular reports will present these results with a summary of recommendations on processes and how to make improvements.
Internal threats are the risks posed by insiders, including employees, contractors, and third-party vendors who have access to sensitive data and systems. These cyber threats include data theft, unauthorized access, and sabotage. Data theft can involve stealing sensitive information, such as customer data or trade secrets, and selling it to competitors. Unauthorized access can involve employees accessing systems or data they are not authorized to access. Sabotage can involve employees intentionally causing damage to systems or data.
To mitigate the risks of internal threats, manufacturers must implement access controls, monitor user activity, and conduct background checks on all employees and contractors. Access controls can involve limiting access to sensitive data and systems to only those who need it to perform their job functions. User activity monitoring can help identify suspicious behavior, such as accessing data or systems outside of normal business hours or accessing data they are not authorized to access. Background checks can help identify potential red flags, such as a history of cybercrime or financial fraud.
The third pillar of cyber security for manufacturers is Business Continuity. Unfortunately, with all of these variables in place, you are still at risk. Hackers are paid to stay one step ahead of the anti-intrusion methods because hacking is a profession like any other. Luckily, IT providers are able to protect your entire infrastructure. IT companies have many options for getting you back up and running in the event of a cyber intrusion, Ransomware attack, or even a physical disaster at your facility.
Business continuity refers to the ability of an organization to maintain operations and recover quickly from cyber attacks, natural disasters, and other unexpected events. To ensure business continuity, manufacturers must have a disaster recovery plan in place, including backups of critical data and systems, as well as procedures for restoring operations in the event of an incident. Regular testing and updating of the disaster recovery plan is also crucial to ensure it remains effective.
With a complete security plan, you can rest assured that your data is secure. You can educate your staff to enable them to identify risks and avoid them. On top of educating your employees, you can also use cutting-edge security software and appliances. In addition, 24/7 monitoring can help you make sure you have a safe infrastructure. And the presence of your company’s credentials (including passwords, login & personal information) will be tracked and managed.
Together, these 3 areas of focus comprise a business continuity strategy that takes into account all areas of risk. The right IT provider should be happy to offer you the cyber peace-of-mind that allows you to focus on being successful, while they focus on reducing downtime and increasing overall cyber security at your organization.
Cybersecurity Regulations for Manufacturing Businesses
Manufacturers must comply with various cybersecurity regulations and standards to protect their digital assets and ensure customer trust. Compliance with these regulations can also help manufacturers avoid fines, legal liabilities, and reputational damage. Some of the most important cybersecurity regulations and standards that manufacturers should be aware of include NIST SP 800-171, CMMC, and GDPR.
NIST SP 800-171 outlines requirements for protecting the confidentiality of controlled unclassified information (CUI) in nonfederal systems and organizations. Compliance with NIST SP 800-171 is required by the Department of Defense (DoD) for all contractors that handle CUI.
CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) is a new standard that the DoD will require for all contractors that handle CUI. CMMC requires contractors to be certified at one of five levels of cybersecurity maturity, depending on the type and sensitivity of the information they handle.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a regulation that applies to any organization that collects or processes personal data of EU citizens. GDPR requires organizations to implement technical and organizational measures to ensure the security of personal data and to report any data breaches within 72 hours.
Employee Training and Awareness
Employees are often the weakest link in an organization’s cybersecurity defense. A lack of awareness and training can leave manufacturers vulnerable to cyber attacks. Therefore, manufacturers should provide regular training and awareness programs to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices and potential threats.
Phishing awareness training can help employees recognize and avoid phishing attacks, which are a common tactic used by cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data. Password management training can teach employees how to create strong passwords, use password managers, and avoid password reuse.
Social engineering tactics, such as pretexting and baiting, can be used to manipulate employees into disclosing sensitive information. Therefore, manufacturers should provide training on how to recognize and respond to these tactics.
Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and manufacturers must stay up to date with the latest attack vectors and tactics. Some emerging threats that manufacturers should be aware of include supply chain attacks and IoT-based attacks.
Supply chain attacks are a type of attack where a cybercriminal targets a third-party vendor or supplier to gain access to a manufacturer’s systems or data. Manufacturers should conduct due diligence when selecting third-party vendors and suppliers and require them to adhere to strict cybersecurity requirements.
IoT-based attacks are a growing threat, as manufacturers increasingly rely on connected devices to automate and streamline operations. These devices can be vulnerable to hacking, which can give attackers access to sensitive data or control of critical systems. Manufacturers should implement strong security measures, such as network segmentation and device authentication, to mitigate the risk of IoT-based attacks.
Cyber security is a critical component of modern manufacturing. By adopting a comprehensive cyber security strategy that encompasses the three pillars of cyber security – external threats, internal threats, and business continuity – manufacturers can protect their digital assets, preserve their reputation, and ensure business continuity in the face of cyber threats.
Regular employee training, security audits, and penetration testing are all important components of an effective cyber security strategy. By taking proactive measures and implementing best practices, manufacturers can protect their digital assets and ensure their continued success in an increasingly technology-driven world.
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