Cybersecurity has become a government priority, but the manufacturing industry has been slow to implement strong cybersecurity practices. Sensitive data, including emails, customer information, passwords have been stolen by hackers for a range of crimes such as identity theft, fraud, and sabotage. One of the most widely reported incidents occurred recently, when Facebook announced that hackers had stolen the personal information of 50 million users.
The introduction of GDPR
Incidents like this led to the establishment of GDPR, a set of regulations designed to protect the personal data of Europeans. GDPR applies to any company that processes or intends to process the data of individuals in the EU, regardless of whether the company is based inside or outside the EU.
As a result, we’ve seen commercial businesses, manufacturing companies, and other organizations take steps to improve their cybersecurity posture and protect the data of their customers and employees.
Sensitive business data at risk
One of the most valuable assets of any manufacturing company is its data. This data can include anything from information on upcoming products to customer financial data and intellectual property. If this data falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to compete against the company, sabotage its operations, or commit fraud.
Manufacturing is falling behind other industries when it comes to cybersecurity
The Cybersecurity for Manufacturing report found that 59% of manufacturers said they’ve been asked by a client or partner to improve their cybersecurity, yet only 26% have a board-level executive with responsibility for cybersecurity.
Failure to comply with GDPR can lead to heavy fines. That is why businesses are taking steps to improve their cybersecurity posture, looking to test the robustness of their systems and implementing GDPR-compliant processes.
So how can manufacturers enhance their cybersecurity posture? Here are some key steps:
Educate employees on cybersecurity
It is important to educate employees on cybersecurity risks and how they can protect themselves. This includes awareness of phishing scams, social engineering attacks, and how to spot a suspicious email.
Use a jump host for remote access
A manufacturing company should set up a jump host for any remote access to the manufacturing network. This will help to ensure that only authorized users can access the manufacturing network.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to enter a code that is sent to their mobile phone in addition to their username and password.
Conduct a security assessment to identify vulnerabilities
A manufacturing company should work with a reputable cybersecurity firm to conduct a security assessment. This will help identify any vulnerabilities in the systems and processes. Once you’ve completed a thorough review, as well as a digital asset discovery, consider employing a threat intelligence platform for real-time security monitoring.
Apply single sign-on to access your separate networks and applications
Single sign-on allows a user to access multiple networks and applications with one set of credentials. This reduces the risk of password reuse and makes it easier for users to manage their passwords.
As manufacturing companies become more reliant on technology, they are also becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks. These attacks can have a devastating impact on the company, its customers, and its reputation. That is why it’s important for manufacturing companies to implement a strong cybersecurity strategy. By taking the precautionary steps listed above, manufacturing companies can help to protect their data and keep their operations running smoothly.