When people think of cybersecurity, they might typically think of big data mining or financial companies. But the truth is, no industry or company is safe when it comes to cyber hacking. In fact, manufacturing companies are often more vulnerable precisely because they do not expect to be attacked. Manufacturing and cybersecurity in 2018 go hand in hand, and if your manufacturing company is falling short in cybersecurity, you could be in serious danger.
To help make sure you are protecting your manufacturing interests as thoroughly as possible in the digital space, here are some thoughts on how many manufacturers are falling short in cybersecurity and how to improve it for your manufacturing business:
- Don’t Ignore the Threat
The main way that manufacturers are falling short when it comes to cybersecurity is by ignoring it entirely. Do not do this. If you have a computer that is connected to the internet or a network server in your office, you are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Take the necessary steps to protect your business.
- Don’t Forget OT Security
Manufacturing companies that are aware of potential cyber threats may take IT security measures such as installing firewalls, antivirus programs and secure password protocols, but they ignore OT, or operational technology, security. OT security refers to practices and the accompanying technology used to protect assets, information and people. These are systems you will put in place to monitor and possibly control physical devices and processes to protect your business.
- Contingency Plan
One security practice that is vital to have in place — and that so many manufacturing businesses do not — is a contingency plan. Have a plan for what should happen if your computer systems should be hacked or go down suddenly. It might be a backup server that holds your data, an emergency email that goes out to any vendors or customers that could be affected by the hack or a satellite facility that can take over operations if things go wrong at the main site.
- Consider Having a Dedicated Security Professional
Many manufacturing companies may feel that they are in so little danger from potential cyber attacks that they do not want to waste money on an IT professional whose primary duties include cyber security. While it is often not cost-effective for a manufacturer to have a team of IT professionals in place, the combination of one or a few IT experts, along with some investment in cybersecurity technology — like automated and AI solutions — is usually worth it for the protection it provides.
There is no way to avoid the fact that businesses’ reliance on technology is only growing. That is true in manufacturing as well, where automation and artificial intelligence continue to revolutionize the industry.
By making sure you have the proper cybersecurity measures in place now, and being prepared to expand upon those as dependence on digital technology increases, you will be in a position to take the lead when others in your industry are busy fighting off digital threats.
For more information and new manufacturing tips, visit Global Electronic Services.