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As the new year begins, it's a great time for manufacturing companies to reflect on their cybersecurity posture and make resolutions to strengthen their defences against potential threats. Cybersecurity is an increasingly important concern for manufacturers, as they are the most targeted industry by ransomware attacks. Manufactures are going through digital transformations, connecting older systems with greater vulnerabilities, and often have a large amount of sensitive data and intellectual property that is valuable to attackers. Compounding this is the cost associated with shutting down production if a company is compromised.
Here are seven resolutions that manufacturing companies can make to build resilience to cybersecurity threats in the new year:
1. Conduct a cybersecurity assessment:
A cybersecurity assessment is a thorough review of a company's current cybersecurity practices and processes. It can help identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in a company's defences, and provide recommendations for improvement. By conducting a cybersecurity assessment, manufacturers can get a clear picture of their current cybersecurity posture and take the necessary steps to improve it.
2. Implement strong password policies:
One of the most basic, yet effective, ways to improve cybersecurity is by implementing strong password policies. This includes requiring employees to use complex passwords, regularly changing passwords, and avoiding the use of easily guessable passwords or the reuse of passwords across different accounts.
3. Train employees on cybersecurity best practices:
Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of the IT department. All employees play a role in protecting a company's data and systems. By providing training on cybersecurity best practices, such as spotting phishing emails and understanding the importance of strong passwords, manufacturers can help ensure that all employees are aware of the risks and know how to protect against them.
4. Use multi-factor authentication:
This one is tied to best practices but worth having its own mention. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an additional layer of security that requires users to provide more than one form of authentication when accessing company systems or data. By using MFA, manufacturers can greatly reduce the risk of unauthorised access to their systems and data. There are many different types of MFA, such as using a password in combination with a security token or using a biometric factor like a fingerprint or facial recognition.
5. Invest in cybersecurity technology:
There are many different types of technology available to help manufacturers improve their cybersecurity posture. This can include general software for firewalls, antivirus, and more industry specific technology for intrusion detection and response. By investing in the right technology, manufacturers can better protect their systems and data from cyber threats.
6. Establish an incident response plan:
An incident response plan is a set of procedures and guidelines for responding to and managing a cybersecurity incident. By having an incident response plan in place, manufacturers can minimise the damage caused by a breach and more quickly return to normal operations.
7. Regularly update software and systems:
Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software and systems to gain access to a company's data and systems. By regularly updating software and systems, manufacturers can ensure that they have the latest security patches and features, which can help prevent attacks.
By making these resolutions and taking action to implement them, manufacturing companies can improve their resilience to cybersecurity threats and better protect their sensitive data and systems.