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Though cybersecurity was primarily associated with finance in the past, businesses in all industries are becoming aware of the growing threat of cyberattacks. Manufacturing companies, in particular, are discovering the need to protect their networks, and their bottom lines, from harm. In 2018, roughly 50 percent of manufacturing losses resulted from phishing attacks, and with even large manufacturing companies affected by digital security breaches, it’s more important than ever to evaluate your company’s cybersecurity.

Manufacturers face unique challenges when addressing cybersecurity. As a result, it’s essential to work with your cybersecurity team to assess your risk and have a clear understanding of the technical details to make improvements. Here are four questions you should be asking your cybersecurity team or security providers.

1. What Is the Most Vulnerable Part of the Network?

Whether intentionally or accidentally, viruses and malware are often introduced to a network via its weakest link. When evaluating your company’s cybersecurity, ask your team which connected devices pose the greatest threat to your system. Both old legacy systems and new Internet of Things devices, such as sensors, tend to have low security.

2. Are Our Systems Compliant With Regulations?

Your business may have an obligation to protect sensitive data in accordance with federal regulations. If you store any customer financial information, for example, you’ll need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which regulates cardholder data.

You also need to consider regulations associated with any contracts you hold. If you supply manufactured products to the Department of Defense, your security infrastructure must meet minimum Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) requirements, or you risk losing your contract, which can affect your profitability.

3. Are We Prepared for Future Threats?

Even if your current security infrastructure seems strong, you need to remain vigilant. Cyberattacks are constantly evolving to target weaknesses in existing technology. Ask your cybersecurity team if your system is prepared to ward off future threats. Some manufacturing companies hire hackers or cybersecurity professionals to expose vulnerabilities in their networks so they can be corrected before a real attacker notices them.

4. Do We Need to Invest More in Cybersecurity Training?

Human error accounts for most cybersecurity breaches. In addition to upgrading your network security infrastructure and working with your team to predict threats, you may want to invest in cybersecurity training for all your employees, including those working on the production floor.

To prevent a threat from infiltrating your network and interrupting production, everyone needs to practice proper security procedures. Training should cover everything from not clicking phishing links to proper password management.

Improve Your Cybersecurity With MANTEC

Protecting your manufacturing company’s sensitive data allows you to continue manufacturing products efficiently and profitably. If you need help preventing or correcting cybersecurity problems, contact MANTEC for assistance. As a non-profit consulting firm, we’re capable of providing services with a high return on investment. We provide South Central Pennsylvania manufacturers with many cybersecurity services, including training and incident response, to help them succeed in all aspects of business.

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