5 Ways Manufacturers Can Improve Cybersecurity

As cybercrimes and cyber-attacks are on the rise, cybersecurity and IT professionals share on this Take Five video how packaging and processing machine builders can protect their people, processes, assets, and reputation from cybercriminals.

Quick hits:

  • Manufacturers aren’t safe from cyber attacks. In fact, they are increasingly being targeted by hackers who are after sensitive information and money.
  • Delkor Systems experienced a cyber attack vis a phishing email scam.
  • How cybercrime has changed during COVID-19.
  • 5 Practical considerations to take to improve cybersecurity measures.

Related to this episode:

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Listen to the story here:

   Read the transcript below:

Hi, my name is Natalie Craig. I'm the managing editor of OEM Magazine. Last week, Stephanie talked to you about cyber security in regards to predictive maintenance, and this week we're going to continue the discussion of cyber security by diving into just how you can protect your company from a cyber attack. Because, as popular as cyber attacks and cyber crime is right now, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. I think a lot of manufacturers, in talking with them, think that they are safe from cyber attacks because this only happens to larger companies or your everyday person, but that's just not true. In fact, manufacturers are even more prone to cyber attacks, especially with COVID-19. We'll talk about that in a little bit.

But first, if you don't think it can happen to you, it actually has already happened to many of your peers. Many of you are familiar with Delkor. They actually experienced two cyber attacks a few years ago. As they were recovering from the first one, the second one came in. It was more sophisticated, which obviously affected the OEM greatly. Their cyber attacks that they experienced were actually phishing attempts via email, which are very common. About 3 million phishing attempts and emails are sent per year, so this is very common. This also affects manufacturers as well.

What makes these attacks super successful is the fact that cyber criminals are actually spoofing email addresses, which means they're taking an email address that looks like it's from your company, looks like it comes from your partner or your supplier or your customer, and they change one tiny character in it so that it's really undetectable to you. You might get an email from a partner or a supplier, and it might say, "Hey, just need those billing details," or, "need you to click this link for this invoice," and it looks like an actual email from these people that you trust. That's what makes them so successful, and that's the kind of cyber attack that plagued Delkor a few years ago.

They're not alone. A lot of manufacturers are actually reporting that they have experienced a cyber attack, more than half of them in fact, and 11% of those manufacturers have actually reported that this was a major breach and actually kept their company from going about business as usual. There may have also been potentially a lot of damage. Since that cyber attack, a few years ago, Delkor has actually implemented multiple security measures and safety nets, and they've implemented things like multifactor authentication features within their email platforms, which is really helpful, and it's something that a lot of companies do. But, unlike Delkor, there are a lot of manufacturers, more than half in fact, that told Sickich that they haven't even implemented any cybersecurity measures or techniques, which leaves them very vulnerable to cyber crime.

COVID-19 has actually accelerated the frequency and the success of these cyber attacks, because we're all handling business digitally now. It's really easy for cyber criminals to come in, pose as someone you trust, and get that sensitive information from you. I spoke with cyber security professionals and IT professionals to learn how you can actually go about protecting your people, your processes, your assets, and reputation from cyber attacks and cyber criminals.

The first line of defense that you can take is train your employees to be aware of these cyber threats. Your employees are usually the first people getting these emails, these phishing attempts, and you need to train them what to look for when they're clicking on links or opening attachments that maybe they shouldn't be.

You also need to keep your cyber security suppliers and partners close. If a cyber attack is to happen, you're going to want to call these people immediately, so that they can help you recover.

You're also going to want to have an effective backup system and plan in place. If a cyber attack occurs, you need to hit the ground running immediately to recover your data and your personal information, or maybe even funds that have been stolen by a cyber criminal.

You also want to monitor and protect your control systems. If you notice any abnormalities in those control systems, it could be really easy to prevent a cyber attack from happening if someone has gained access to your systems.

You can also leverage local resources. There are many resources in your state that help manufacturers specifically with cyber security.

I also have an essential checklist for you that you can provide to your IT professionals at your company to make sure that you are protected from cyber attacks, and you can access that, as well as read this entire article that we reported on at this link.

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