According to a recent report by professional services firm Sikich LLP, most manufacturing companies aren’t prepared for cyber attacks, such as the theft of intellectual property and sensitive data.
Manufacturers might not think they are in the crosshairs of hackers and cybercriminals, but news story after news story shows that manufacturers aren’t immune to online threats. Between 2008 and 2010, more than 50 small- to medium-sized businesses in the Seattle area were hit by cybercriminals, to the tune of around $3 million. The crimes often involved fraudulent financial transactions.
Fortunately, businesses can mount a very effective defense against cyber threats by simply making things difficult for would-be criminals. Since hackers know many manufacturers are vulnerable, they’ll likely move on if your business isn’t one of those soft targets.
Adopt data encryption measures
All digital information your company deals in, from employees’ social security numbers to company bank account numbers, should be encrypted. This can be done by switching on the full-disk encryption option that comes as a standard feature on most operating systems. Measures like the Windows-based BitLocker take a few minutes to activate, but once its one, it encrypts all your data without affecting performance.
The one big drawback to standard encryption functions is that they only work when a user is logged off. This means they don’t protect against viruses and malware.
Keep company property secure
Many cybercrimes against businesses are perpetrated by people who either steal or stumble upon company laptops. The boldest cyber criminals have even been known to steal entire servers in order to get at valuable data.
Physically locking down these assets makes smash-and-grab theft a bit tougher. A steel cable and lock isn’t going to stop more determined criminals, but it will slow them down and deter opportunists. Many companies also make physical security measures for servers, like rack-mount locks and USB security keys.
Tracking software can come in handy if thieves do happen get their hands on company property. In addition to alerting owners as to the whereabouts of their property, some tracking software is also capable of locking the asset down or capturing pictures of the thieves using a webcam.
Protect your network
Hackers have been known to drive around looking for an open Wi-Fi network to take advantage of, and the best defense against such an attack is to not have any wireless access at all. However, with so many productivity-boosting tools dependent on Wi-Fi, having all your equipment hardwired is almost impossible in today’s business environment.
Therefore, make sure your network is protected by the latest encryption standard: WPA2. This standard has a longer encryption key that is harder for hacker algorithms to crack.
Train employees on cybersecurity
Often, the weakest point of any cybersecurity system isn’t digital, it’s flesh and blood. Let employees know they must always guard company laptops and never open suspicious email attachments. Any other cybersecurity steps should be laid out in company internet policies and incorporated into periodic training sessions.
ZDA has the experience and expertise to be the provider of choice for your supply chain recruiting needs. Contact us today to work with a top recruiter in supply chain!