According to the Wall Street Journal, cyber risk is nothing new to any company operating today, but for many manufacturers the threats are far more serious than ever. The current pace of digital transformation, coupled with increasing digital interconnections around the globe, are escalating the risks of cyber attacks on manufacturers today. What to do? Recent reports indicate that manufacturing is the most heavily targeted industry for cyber attacks in the past year. According to a study released by NTT Security, 34 percent of all documented cyber attacks during Q2 2017 were focused on … manufacturing.

What are your strategies and tactics to fighting cyber threats? Do you have a progressive cyber security program in place? Do you have a cyber security team?
How frequently do you conduct operation-wide cyber security audits? Are you aware of all of your vulnerabilities – IoT connection points, employee risk potential, data protection shortfalls?
Many manufacturers are turning to third-party auditors to get an independent picture of vulnerabilities in their internal control systems and IoT connection points. Are you?

According to the Wall Street Journal, smart manufacturing heralds a new age of responsive supply networks and tailored products and services made possible by advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced, real-time data analytics, and even groundbreaking robotics and new developments in artificial intelligence (AI). Through the use of these and other interconnected technologies, the age of smart manufacturing merges the digital world with physical action to facilitate better manufacturing practices throughout a manufacturing enterprise.

However, elevated threats that can accompany the many potential benefits ushered in by manufacturing’s digital age. Typically, most manufacturing companies do not consider themselves a hot target for cyber criminals and thus, not shockingly, have taken fairly minor measures – if any – to adequately secure their systems and protect their data. Unfortunately for these manufacturers, cyber criminals don’t see it the same way. In fact, a Kaspersky Labs report published in late 2017 states that in the first half of 2017, manufacturing companies were the most susceptible to cyber threats, with computers at manufacturing operations accounting for about one third of all cyber attacks. A recent Chief Executive article, Many Manufacturers Still Falling Short in Cybersecurity, reports that small manufactures are especially at risk as they often ignore the topic because of a lack of time and in-house resources. As a result, many who rely heavily on technology for production do not have a cyber protection plan in place to protect their critical assets. Manufacturers face many threats to their information systems and data. Understanding all the basic elements to cyber security is the first step to meeting those threats – and for many manufacturers the best way to reach this understanding is to turn to managed service providers equipped to take on cyber challenges.

Keep in mind, with smart manufacturing today, almost any connected device, whether on the shop floor in an automated system or remotely located, should be considered a risk – especially with advanced automation, data-rich production cycles and complex global supply chains making manufacturing particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. With increased access to data for an escalated field of stakeholders, it is important for manufacturers to consider what data should be shared and how to protect their data at all times. A 2016 study from Deloitte and MAPI found that one-third of manufacturers have never performed any cyber risk assessments of the devices operating on their factory floors.

Manufacturing needs to step forward into the age of cyber awareness, particularly as manufacturing facilities continue to reduce human intervention.

More and more small- and mid-size manufacturers are turning to IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to provide an extra layer of security and monitoring to ensure data is protected – 24/7. Today’s leading MSPs give manufactures access to remote Help Desk support, infrastructure management, firewall and virus protection, WAN/LAN health monitoring, a fully secure virtual environment, disaster recovery, scheduled on-site support and more – all focused on data protection and security 24/7 – keeping cyber criminals at bay. CompuData’s IT support plans give manufacturers peace of mind of knowing that, no matter, an award-winning IT team is guarding sensitive systems with Help Desk support, infrastructure management, firewall and virus protection, WAN/LAN health monitoring and more. Is your manufacturing operation safe from cyber attacks?

Protect your business. Contact CompuData’s Cyber Security experts today!

Author: CBIZ CompuData

CBIZ CompuData is the premier technology solutions provider for small and midsize organizations. With over 50 years of experience in delivering innovative technology solutions, we are leaders in Managed Cloud Services, Accounting/ERP Solutions, and Managed IT Services. We offer holistic technology solutions to enable our clients to scale, protect, and streamline their organizations.