Keep Your Manufacturing Business Secure

Each day more manufacturing plants are being hit with cyber-attacks. So why the sudden increase? The answer is that cybercriminals have found that too many manufacturing companies do not have high-level security to protect their database. They’re an easy target, so why not steal from the candy store that has the easiest lock on its door?

Another factor includes the type of information that most manufacturing databases will have. In your database, you have the name of companies, their lead people or CEO, you also have addresses, phone numbers—And you may even have credit card or banking information.

This type of information is extremely valuable to those who do business on the Dark Web. Thieves work here every day buying and selling valuable information to interested parties. Certain types of data bring more money on the Black Market.

Are You A Prime Target For Hackers?

In the past, health care organizations have been a prime target for cyber thieves. So many have been hit with a breach that it has caused all or most of them to upgrade their security protocols. Recently Brookside ENT and Hearing Center in Michigan was hit with a ransomware demand. This is the type of thing you think will never happen to your business but these days, it is becoming more common.

Hackers were able to break into Brookside’s data base and encrypt all the files. Next, they sent a ransomware demand of $6,500. In many cases, businesses do pay the ransom even though the FBI warns not to do this. There’s no assurance that the hackers will give you the encryption code if you pay the ransom. Sometimes they do, but in many cases, they will only provide access to part of your database and the rest may be lost.

The doctors who ran the clinic decided not to pay the ransom and the results were devastating. After refusing the ransom demand, hackers deleted all patient records. All documents, files and patient histories were completely lost. Finally, the doctors made the painful decision to close their doors to the public.

Imagine losing your manufacturing business over a ransomware attack. You’ve work hard to build your company, hire good employees and it’s taken blood, sweat and tears to get where you are. Suddenly, some hacker on the other side of the world encrypts your data and demands a $10,000 ransom. Either you pay or you could wind up having to close down your business, just like the clinic above.

Could Hackers Steal Your Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) such as digital prints, product proposals, and trade secrets regarding proprietary manufacturing processes is valuable to cybercriminals both inside and outside our country. Bad actors from nation states can profit from your trade secrets. And criminal organizations sell and buy these secrets every day on the Dark Web.

Is Your IP Safe From Competitors?

All companies aren’t honest, even though we’d like to think so. Your Intellectual Property is attractive to your competitors who can use it to improve their processes and products at your expense. Cyber thieves are often hired to do this. Sometimes your competitors have a very simple motive. They want to ruin your reputation and drive you out of business. And they can do this by stealing your intellectual property. Plus, if they can physically disrupt your manufacturing operations with IT security breaches that cause downtime, this works in their favor.

Are Insiders Stealing Your Confidential Data?

According to an article in “Electronic Design,” in June 2018, Tesla revealed that they caught a malicious insider in their midst. They experienced two frightening insider scenarios: the exfiltration of valuable intellectual property and the alteration of critical code from their manufacturing operations.

We all want to believe that our employees are honest, but when money is involved, it’s amazing what some people will do. And, if a competitor can convince your employees, both current and past, to reveal your confidential information, they win, and you lose.

One final way your data can be breached is through ignorance, carelessness, or simple human error. This type of stuff happens every day across America and it’s dangerous to your manufacturing business.

How Can You Keep Your Manufacturing Company Secure?

First, you must recognize that you’re under attack whether you know it or not. We’re in a cyberwar, and you must be on the defense. If your operations are knocked offline due to a cyber attack, or bad actors get hold of your company secrets, your business is at risk of failure.

Work with your IT service provider to do as the National Institute of Standards and Technology advises in their “Cybersecurity Framework Manufacturing Profile.”

1. Identify – Develop the organizational understanding to manage cybersecurity risk to systems, assets, data, and capabilities. The activities in the Identify Function are foundational for effective use of the Framework. Understanding the business context, the resources that support critical functions and the related cybersecurity risks enables an organization to focus and prioritize its efforts, consistent with its risk management strategy and business needs.

2. Detect – Develop and implement the appropriate activities to identify the occurrence of a cybersecurity event. The activities in the Detect Function enable timely discovery of cybersecurity events.

3. Protect – Develop and implement the appropriate safeguards to ensure the delivery of critical infrastructure services. The activities in the Protect Function support the ability to limit or contain the impact of a potential cybersecurity event.

4. Respond – Develop and implement the appropriate activities to take action regarding a detected cybersecurity event. The activities in the Respond Function support the ability to contain the impact of a potential cybersecurity event.

5. Recover – Develop and implement the appropriate activities to restore any capabilities or services that were impaired due to a cybersecurity event. The activities in the Recover Function support timely recovery to normal operations to reduce the impact from a cybersecurity event.

The manufacturing industry faces numerous security challenges, and they require unique solutions. Manufacturing businesses in Southeast Texas need an IT advisor who can provide the IT Security Services necessary to protect their intellectual property and keep their plants running smoothly. You’ve spent too much time and money building your company only to let cyber thieves steal erything.

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