In today’s digitized world, manufacturers increasingly rely on technology to run their businesses. Unfortunately, this also makes them more vulnerable to cyber attacks. These attacks can have devastating consequences, ranging from losing sensitive data to disrupting production lines.
Fortunately, there are steps that manufacturing companies can take to protect themselves from these threats. Here are eleven simple and powerful tips:
1. Keep Your Software Up to Date
One important thing to prevent cyber threats to the manufacturing industry is to keep your software up to date. Attackers continuously find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software, so you must stay ahead of the curve. There are two key ways to do this:
Install Security Updates as Soon as They’re Released
Many manufacturers use software that is updated on a regular basis, such as operating systems and web browsers. Whenever there is a newly released security update, make sure to install it right away.
Use Automated Updating Tools
In some cases, it can be difficult to remember to install updates manually. Fortunately, there are automated updating tools that can help. For example, Microsoft’s Windows Update service can automatically install the latest security patches for your operating system.
2. Change Your Passwords Regularly
Another important step to protect your business from cyber attacks is regularly changing your passwords. Hackers often try to gain access to accounts by using stolen or guessed passwords, so keeping them fresh is essential.
You should change your passwords at least once every three months and more often if possible. When choosing new passwords, use a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols.
3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Secure your accounts by enabling two-factor authentication. This can add an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password.
A few online services, such as Google and Facebook, offer two-factor authentication for free. You can also find it built into some routers and other devices.
4. Back up Your Data Regularly
In the event of a cyber attack, it’s important to have backups of your data. This way, you can restore your systems quickly and minimize the impact of an attack.
Consider backing up your data regularly, at least once a week. Two ways to do this include using an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage service.
5. Be Careful with Email Attachments
One of the most common ways for attackers to spread malware is through email attachments. Teach your employees to be careful when opening an email with an attachment from someone they don’t know. Generally, it’s best to avoid opening email attachments unless you’re sure they’re safe. If you must open them, use a virus scanner to check them first.
6. Keep Your Antivirus Software Up to Date
This software can detect and remove malware, making it an essential part of your security arsenal. Make sure to install updates for your antivirus software as soon as they’re available. You should also run regular scans of your systems to check for malware.
7. Educate Your Employees
Educating your employees about cybersecurity is important by letting them participate in manufacturing training. They should know how to spot suspicious emails and attachments, as well as how to keep their passwords safe.
You can provide training for your employees regularly, or whenever you introduce new security measures. You can also offer incentives for employees who follow good security practices.
8. Encourage Them to Improve Their Knowledge and Skills
To keep your business secure, encourage your employees to improve their knowledge and skills. They should be aware of the latest cybersecurity threats and how to protect your systems from them. In addition to the training you provide them, motivate them to find free resources online (such as this manufacturing innovation blog by DVIRC) to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and other aspects of keeping the company safe.
9. Encourage Them to Report Suspicious Activity
Be sure your employees know how to report suspicious activity. They should feel comfortable coming to you with concerns about possible cyber attacks. You can set up a reporting system for employees or simply encourage them to speak up if they see something unusual. Thank them for their help in keeping your business safe.
10. Hire a Cybersecurity Firm
If you’re concerned about your business’s cybersecurity, you can hire a firm to help you. These companies specialize in protecting businesses from cyber attacks and can help you implement the best security measures for your company.
Make sure to do your research before hiring a cybersecurity firm. Read reviews and compare pricing. You should also make sure they have experience in protecting businesses like yours.
11. Consider Cyber Insurance
You can also protect your manufacturing business from cyberattacks by considering purchasing cyber insurance. This type of insurance can help cover the costs of an attack, such as data recovery, legal fees, and customer support. It can also help you recover quickly by providing access to resources and experts.
When picking a policy, read the fine print carefully. You should also consider the reputation of the insurer and the coverage they provide.
Manufacturing companies can consider implementing these eleven simple and powerful tips to combat cyber attacks. Remember, cybersecurity is an important issue, and you need to be aware of the threat.