Whether you believe it or not, all businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks, no matter how big or small. Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to steal sensitive information, which they can use for personal or financial gain.
Recently, hackers have been heavily targeting the manufacturing industry because these companies hold a lot of sensitive information such as trade secrets, intellectual property, and other useful internal data. As a result, many manufacturers are investing more in cybersecurity solutions. In fact, 73% of board members of manufacturing firms are now requiring third-party security vendors to meet their cyber risk requirements — a significant increase from 30% in 2016.
To protect your business from cyberattacks, you have to be aware of the many risks you will face online. Let’s take a look at some of them:
#1. Spear phishing attacks
These attacks involve sending emails purporting to be from a trusted sender to induce the victim into revealing confidential information. Spear phishing is especially dangerous to manufacturing companies, as it could lead to the unintended leak of business plans and patented designs, among other things.
For instance, someone from your company’s finance department receives an email about a certain tax form. The message is allegedly from a company executive and may request that the recipient provide login credentials to access one of your critical systems. If the user takes the bait, they will be inadvertently giving unauthorized access to confidential files.
Companies can use identity and access management (IAM) solutions such as Microsoft Intune to mitigate the risks of spear phishing. Intune protects your company-managed devices, providing IT managers the ability to control access to corporate data.
Spam messages are in no way beneficial for the regular person and all the more for manufacturing companies. Let’s say that your business is receiving approximately 1,000 spam messages per week. Leafing through these can be quite a chore, making it hard to find legitimate business inquiries difficult. This can substantially reduce productivity in manufacturing plants.
Combat spam by strengthening your email filters. You can configure your spam filtering to allow only emails from your safe list. Find a setting that will block out all the unnecessary emails while still displaying messages from clients, employees, and other partners. This will ensure that your manufacturing firm is receiving all the necessary emails while keeping spam out.
#3. Supply chain attacks
A supply chain attack occurs when a cybercriminal infiltrates your system through an outside partner that has access to your systems and data.
One of the most infamous supply chain attacks was the NotPetya ransomware. Hackers injected the malware in a patch of the Ukrainian accounting software MeDoc. When the update was applied, NotPetya was unleashed along with it. This caused issues within the systems of many companies around the world. Many organizations weren’t able to deliver goods and services to clients because their files were locked up.
To prevent such an attack, manufacturers must vet their partners carefully and conduct security audits regularly to ensure that the data they’re sharing with employees and clients is safe from theft.
#4. Compromised web pages
A manufacturer’s website can get compromised by hackers to make it inoperable. It can also be vandalized with misleading content to fool customers. For instance, cybercriminals can hijack a website’s contact page and reroute all sales inquiries to a fraudulent email account. When this happens, hackers can pretend to be employees from the company and send bogus business proposals.
A hacker can also configure malware to be quietly installed on a site visitor’s computer. These issues, along with the poor implementation of cybersecurity solutions, will ruin the reputation of the company.
To protect your website from hackers, make sure that all your software is updated to prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities. Improve your access control system by enforcing hard-to-guess passwords and limiting login attempts and password resets. Invest in an effective firewall as well, as this will block suspicious connection requests to your website.
Your manufacturing business deserves better cybersecurity. Our managed IT services will ensure that your systems are running at peak performance 24/7/365. We can also significantly reduce production costs and increase process efficiency so you can serve your customers better. Get a FREE security assessment today by clicking here