Manufacturers who rely on automation, robotics and connected networks are especially vulnerable to cyber attacks. Here’s what manufacturers can do to protect against cyber attacks, ransomware and other attacks from criminals using the Internet of Things.

An important component of any continuity program is cyber security. While organizations have a responsibility to make sure they have all the necessary resources in place to protect against external cyber threats, it is important to remember that cyber security is not just the responsibility of the IT department within an organization. Everyone in the company can (and should) play a part in protecting against threats and helping to avoid malware infections and cyber breaches.  It is prudent to regularly remind your end users of their responsibility to protect sensitive data and systems. 

Know your risks of cyber attacks

Hackers could use malware that can be purchased on the black market to engage in spear phishing. This is a type of email phishing campaign that targets multiple people at an organization using inside information that makes the hacker’s inquiry look legitimate.

Owners and managers fear data breaches — and hackers often use that fear to cripple organizations through ransomware. This is a type of malware that’s installed on a computer or network without the user’s consent that relinquishes control back to management only if they agree to pay ransom to the malware operators. Once the money is paid, the hackers promise to remove the restrictions.

Cyber attacks can harm a manufacturer or distributor by causing safety issues, negative publicity, lost productivity, and compromised personal and corporate data.

Provide effective security awareness training for employees

Employees are a manufacturer’s first line of defense against hackers, but they can also be a liability if they’re not vigilant and knowledgeable about cyber threats. It’s critical to provide effective security awareness training about the latest scams and encourage employees to report suspicious emails immediately to the information technology department.

Many hackers look for easy targets — like thieves target houses with unlocked doors and windows to break into — so even the simplest security measure will deter some cyber breaches. For example, you can use inexpensive, over-the-counter encryption software and phishing filters to make it harder for hackers to get inside your network.

Reduce business losses with cybersecurity insurance

To minimize losses if a breach occurs, consider purchasing cybersecurity insurance for your business to cover direct losses from breaches and the costs of responding to them. Your traditional business liability policy probably doesn’t include such coverage.

You can also assemble a breach response team before a breach occurs. Once it’s formed, the response team can also identify potential weaknesses in your network and conduct breach response drills.

6 Easy Ways Everyone Can Fight Against Cyber Threats

    1. Use strong passwords
    2. Keep passwords hidden and private
    3. Don’t click on untrusted links or file attachments
    4. Take care when using insecure networks
    5. Don’t plug untrusted USB devices into computers or networks
    6. Don’t leave computers unlocked

For those wondering what they can do to insulate their organizations against attack, download below the ransomware checklist that LBMC has developed that includes a series of steps to help protect organizations against ransomware attacks such as these.

For additional guidance or assistance with ransomware, please contact us.