The manufacturing industry is a crucial sector that plays a foundational role in today’s economic and technological innovations. According to the Department of Homeland Security, manufacturing is one of America’s critical infrastructure industries and the world. Other sectors include health, energy, transportation, defense industrial base, water, food and agriculture, autonomous vehicles, communications, and satellites.
The manufacturing industry relies heavily on technology. Therefore, you should know that one of the biggest risks manufacturers face is cybersecurity. It would help understand why cybersecurity is a risk, the threats cybersecurity poses, how to prevent and manage these risks, and get IT support.
Why Is Cybersecurity The Top Risk For Manufacturers?
Cybersecurity threats can affect us in different ways and can be realized because of a few factors. The following factors make cybersecurity a top risk in your manufacturing firm include:
- Cybersecurity Threats Can Halt Operations: It is very costly for you, and concerned parties can experience other negative effects when manufacturing operations come to a halt. Some employees, especially those you pay by the hour, experience income shortages, others may go on unpaid leave, and others could even lose their jobs.
- A System Hack Can Damage Your Reputation: Cybersecurity threats can interfere with machinery and systems to create faulty products. If you fail to test them before they get into the market, you will have compromised your customers’ quality standards. It can take time to rebuild a positive brand image once your customers associate you with faulty products.
- Information Leak Poses Competitive Threats: Information leak is another major cybersecurity threat. Your competitors can use sensitive information to gain a competitive advantage.
- Most Manufacturers Are Small Firms: Most manufacturers are small business entities. Therefore, they are either not usually fully prepared to mitigate cybersecurity threats or lack infrastructure.
- Hacks Can Lead to Faulty Products: As a customer, you would be displeased if you received a faulty product or late deliveries. It only takes a few clicks and taps to put your business’ reputation in jeopardy in the current digital age. Your customers can express their displeasure about the faulty products or delays online. It is a huge risk because studies show that 85% of online customers put a lot of trust in online reviews. They actually put online reviews on the same level as a personal recommendation.
What Are The Top Manufacturing Cybersecurity Threats In 2021?
Cybersecurity threats manifest in various ways. It would help to understand each of the threats to learn how to prevent and manage them.
The Following Are Some Of The Cybersecurity Threats Manufacturers Are Likely To Experience:
Phishing is a fraudulent act of acquiring sensitive information to your organization like credit card details, passwords, and usernames. Cybercriminals usually trick you into revealing your sensitive information via email. You will find these emails very convincing because they have elements like letterheads to prove their legitimacy. However, you will notice that these emails address a general audience rather than you specifically. We come across terms like ‘Dear valued customer.’
- Identity Theft
Identity theft involves acquiring and using someone’s personal information illegally to obtain illegal access or sensitive information. Cybercriminals can use identity theft to access a manufacturer’s sensitive information like their customer database. You should know that identity theft can occur on both your employees and customers.
- Information Leaks
The European Union Networked Information Security Agency recognizes information leaks or intellectual property theft as a cybersecurity risk on its own. Your organization can experience information leaks from internal sources, which include employees or external hackers. Information leaks can cause you to lose your competitive advantage.
- Spear Phishing
We earlier noted that phishing is a fraudulent way of acquiring general information. Therefore it has general targets. On the other hand, spear phishing targets a particular individual or department in your company. For example, your employee could receive a phishing email that seems to come from the respective boss requesting logging in the information. However, as the boss or CEO, you would have this information, which makes the email a spear-phishing threat.
Spam is a persistent issue because spam mail may contain malware, and they never stop coming. Your team may dedicate some time to sort through spam mail, but it only decreases their productivity. Sometimes we tend to delegate the sorting to an automated service. However, automation can cause us to miss a genuine message from suppliers or customers.
- Cyber-Physical Damage
Physical damage of cyber equipment can also make a manufacturer realize effects like stopping operations or faulty products. It can occur by accident or through malicious intent.
- Compromised Web Pages
Cybercriminals can also get illegal access to your webpages and compromise them. Compromised web pages can have a significant impact on your reputation.
Your Website Is Compromised If:
- The cybercriminals take control over it.
- The hackers post misleading content.
- There are dangerous programs that could harm your user’s devices.
How Can You Manage Cybersecurity Risks For Your Manufacturing Firm?
You can use various methods to prevent and manage the various cybersecurity threats you face as a manufacturer. They include:
- Train your employees or team on cybersecurity risks and how to avoid them.
- Always update your systems accordingly, especially software.
- Monitor and test security features of new technology.
- Ensure you implement real-time monitoring to systems prone to attack.
- Formulate a response plan for various cybersecurity threats and attacks.
- Assess third parties and competitors to understand existing and upcoming cybersecurity risks.
- Hire professionals services to assess the risks and test your systems.
Do You Need Professional Protection From Cybersecurity Threats In Chicagoland?
LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.