Is Your Company Safe?

July 24, 2023 | Financial Firms Thrive in Business-Friendly Iowa Jack A. Carra, CIC, CLCS, Senior Vice President, Assured Partners,

In a 2023 report, the top five industries targeted by cyber attacks were manufacturing, professional, scientific, educational, and technical services with manufacturing surprisingly leading the pack for most targeted industry with a shocking 19.5%. Why is cyber security now a pressing topic and even more so in manufacturing? 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a new form of running manufacturing plants arose due to personnel being unable to, in person, operate these plants. AI and robotics became an unprecedented new normal for operation protocols, now forcing employees to learn a new way of working and operate these machines and technology from their home. Business Interruption due to a cyber attack could be devastating for a manufacturer. With the manufacturing industry now being one of the top targets of cyber attacks, here are the five buzz words you need to know to recognize the full scope of cyber threat and the damage an attack can cause.

  • Phishing – a suspicious email most times coming from “a person you know” asking you to click on a link or campaign that is actually a scam. If something seems suspicious, do not click the link.
  • Ransomware – this occurs when encryptions from hackers lock computers and demand money from the user to unlock them.
  • Viruses/Malware – infected software downloaded on your computer to steal information.
  • Intellectual property attack – an attack for the main purpose of stealing personal information. An estimated 21% of sensitive files are unprotected.
  • Supply chain attack – attacking your supply chain partners in order to interrupt flow and production.

It is compelling that there is such a strong will to prevent cyber attacks and training being conducted, yet the number of attacks against small businesses continues to rise. Is there a disconnect in methodology for how cyber safety is being taught to employees versus how attacks are coming through? Here are some tips on how to stay in front of the issue to keep you and your employees safe from these attacks.

Refrain from sending personal information from your work email to your personal email. If you must, encrypt the email.

Ensure that you are using your device on a secured network and employing a multi-factor authentication (MFA) as well as endpoint security, meaning anti-virus or anti-malware software, to secure your device and make hacking more difficult.

If proper IT instructors are too costly, start by educating yourself and your team on common threats and how to prevent them.

Analyze data that is stale or sensitive to decipher what is necessary to house on company computers and what could be deleted.

Control data access. Only allow people to view or edit a file that are key solely the key stakeholders. When sharing a Microsoft file with others, ensure that internal information stays internal by choosing the option of “only people within the organization” can view or edit.

It is important to understand your company’s current cyber safety protocols and even how they can improve in order to save time, money, and breaching of personal information.