Why Cybersecurity for Manufacturing is a Hot-Button Topic

As warehouses get back to business as the pandemic continues, smart owners and operators are looking to bolster their cybersecurity programs. Cybersecurity for manufacturing is in the news — and with good reason. The pandemic did more than just cause disruption, it opened up massive cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the supply chain.

Let’s face it — cybercriminals are opportunistic. They want to focus on high-value targets, and they look for the weakest links to provide them the access they need. This practice is so widespread that up to 59% of organizations have experienced a cyber-incident through their partnership with third-party companies.

While there is no denying that the threat of cyberattack is real, there are many things manufacturers and warehouse operators can do right now to identify risks and protect against threats.

Cybersecurity for Manufacturing: Steps to Take Right Now

Protecting customer — and partner — data is a critical focus for warehouses and manufacturing companies. Hackers that gain access to the management system or software of a warehouse facility can install ransomware, disrupt freight schedules or orders, or simply steal payment information and other customer data.

To ensure your warehouse of manufacturing facilities is secured as well as possible, consider these actions.

  1. Keep Infrastructure and Software Current

Legacy technologies don’t have the latest cybersecurity protections and protocols, and some even have known weaknesses that hackers can — and will — exploit. Ensure your hard- and software are up to date and have a continuous, or at least episodic, monitoring plan to keep track up updates is essential.

  1. Have a Strong Policy and Provide Education

A strong cybersecurity policy should be implemented and distributed among employees, preferably through a document that is signed upon hire to demonstrate the importance of adherence. Additionally, periodic training should be deployed that will help employees avoid social engineering, phishing, and other cyberthreats and train them on good cyber hygiene practices.

  1. Control Access and Monitor

IT solutions such as firewalls, anti-spyware, and antivirus technologies are important, but so is a complete access control program. Access to specific information, departments, or processes should be limited to specifically authorized personnel only.

Oversight should be taken to ensure that when an employee leaves the company or is transferred to another position, their access is reviewed and adjusted to reflect changes in their employment. Third-party access, such as supplier partners, should be limited and controlled as much as possible.

Round-the-clock monitoring of equipment and software for suspicious behavior is a must-have to detect — and prevent — attacks before they cause damage.

  1. Backup, Backup, Backup

While it seems intuitive to have a backup for data in the event of disaster, theft, or loss, it is important to have more than just one.

Redundant backups of data are a critical element for business continuity should a breach occur. Ensure you have several on-site backups, both on-site and off-site backup, or more than one secure off-premises location to store data.

  1. Have A Plan

Sometimes even the most secure environments can experience a breach, theft, or loss of data. To ensure business continuity, it is critical to have an incident plan in place. This plan will provide guidelines for procedures that will occur the moment a threat is detected.

Response team members should be designated, alongside assigned tasks they should accomplish once the plan is set into action.

The attack should be investigated, documented, and isolated followed by a period of remediation and recovery that should include virus or malware removal, access control adjustments, password changes, and system reconfiguration where necessary.

Trust Virginia Business Systems with Your Cybersecurity Needs

Solving cybersecurity challenges in the fast-paced world of manufacturing and warehousing can be a difficult task, especially if you have little or no in-house IT assistance.

Our team at Virginia Business Systems (VBA) can step in and help you protect your infrastructure — and your data — with top-level IT knowledge focused on emerging threats in today’s cyber landscape.

From an in-depth assessment of your current infrastructure to a custom-tailored cybersecurity defense, 24/7 monitoring, and expert assistance creating a disaster recovery plan for business continuity, our team can bring all the elements of cutting-edge protection to your operation.

Protect your facility from emerging cyber threats with leading-edge technology and knowledge. Contact VBS today and learn how our IT experts can help you decrease your attack surface and protect your data today.

April 12th 2021