Why Implementing Cybersecurity Defenses Is Imperative to Your Success

The technological advances of Industry 4.0 share enterprise information, streamline machinery functions and increase outputs and profits. However, these advances also increase the need for cybersecurity defenses in manufacturing companies.

Secure manufacturing supports more effective software, network, equipment, and data policies and protections. As a result, implementing cybersecurity defenses is imperative to your company’s success.

Discover the need for manufacturing cybersecurity defenses and suggested methods for implementation.

Highly Targeted Data

Manufacturing is one of the most targeted industries for cybercrime. For instance, manufacturing companies provide an accessible entry point to government networks. Also, stored credit card and bank account information, customer data, and employee records are among the most valuable information cybercriminals can access.

Increasing Attack Surfaces

The Internet of Things (IoT) has led to the creation of billions of interconnected manufacturing machines, equipment, and devices. These objects and networks create increased attack surfaces for cybercriminals.

Few Cybersecurity Mandates

As a critical infrastructure (CI) sector, manufacturing is a primary industry in the American economy. It also plays a key part in global economic activity. However, the federal government has few cyber risk requirements and mandates created to secure manufacturing companies.

Methods to Implement Manufacturing Cybersecurity Defenses

Integrate the Information Technology and Operational Technology Departments

Have your information technology (IT) department and operational technology (OT) department collaborate to create more coordinated cybersecurity defenses. Ongoing communication about the floor machinery, the smart equipment, and the software running them can help IT understand what is happening on the floor and can help OT understand the technical parameters and limitations of the smart equipment.

Perform an Equipment Audit

Have IT and OT employees audit your manufacturing equipment to increase visibility across your advanced technologies network. Having a complete picture of the equipment supported, its users, the usage policies, and the current cybersecurity defenses bridges previously uncoordinated activities for increased cybersecurity.

Conduct a Data Audit

Have IT and OT review and prioritize your operationally critical data and files. This information is essential for the end-to-end functionality of your organization. Examples include data that is used to manage product digital prints and spec sheets, proprietary documents about a product’s production process, and supply chain vendor information.

Prioritize the following according to operational importance:

  • Intellectual property files
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) from employees, customers, and vendors
  • Credit card and banking information
  • Research and development files
  • Protected health information

Elevate Data Storage Defenses

Have IT and OT create a multi-phased plan to implement tiered storage and cybersecurity defenses of the critical data and files. Customizing the defenses of the equipment, devices, software, applications, and data helps protect the entire organization from cyberattacks.

Segment Network Authentications

Have the enterprise network broken down into subnets. These subnets can be individually controlled and managed.

Subnets allow for granular network traffic controls, individualized network authentications, and user-access identifications. As a result, cyber threats can be more quickly detected, and an attacked network more quickly identified. Then, the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible.

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