Creating a Healthy Business Cybersecurity Strategy: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

In a Sikich Manufacturing Pulse survey from last August, results indicated that 34% of industry executives experienced an information security incident within the last five years – and that of those, nearly 70% were business email compromises (BEC).

Manufacturing businesses of every size need a cybersecurity plan to protect themselves from these evolving threats – more importantly, these organizations need to have a plan to mitigate cybersecurity risks identified within your environment. Often, manufacturers are targets of cyber-attacks as many traditionally lack strong security practices. Other reasons include being tied to critical infrastructure or complex supply chain systems, meaning, if one organization is forced to shut down due to a cybersecurity breach, the effects are detrimental to the larger group of manufacturing organizations.

Further, this industry is the target of foreign adversaries with the goal of gaining access to manufacturers’ technology through cyber-attacks and industrial espionage. Financial gain drives foreign adversaries to collect U.S. manufacturing Intellectual Property (IP) to yield product reproductions at a lower price. The foreign adversary goal is to sell back the reproduction to the U.S. economy, ultimately outselling the original product provider and negatively impacting U.S. businesses’ sustainability.

All of this to say, acquiring a general awareness of ongoing or future cybersecurity risks, as well as an established baseline for identifying them, is part of an overall comprehensive cybersecurity plan and the initial step of a successful one.

Utilizing a trusted partner relationship is step one-and-a-half.

According to our recent survey conducted with Arctic Wolf’s Security Operations Center (SOC), findings revealed that this industry is among the top five that fall victim to BEC. Further, Artic Wolf reports that the manufacturing market has seen 63% more BEC investigations than any other industry, coming in ahead of healthcare, education, business services, insurance, and technology, among others.

What does this signify for the security of your business? When one day of shutdown can mean the difference between a steady ROI and losing customers, it’s essential that your manufacturing business doesn’t take a hit from a cyber-attack. Below, we outline our top guidance for proactively mitigating cybersecurity risks:

  • Mitigation Techniques: By implementing cybersecurity mitigation techniques, such as multi-factor authentication, next-generation firewalls, security awareness training, threat intelligence, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, you can better position your manufacturing company against cyber-attacks.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Ensure your business benefits from comprehensive coverage across the entire security operations framework, allowing organizational security concerns to be addressed promptly. Ransomware attacks can result in the inability to produce goods, particularly when security backups aren’t in place.
  • Cloud-Native Platform: Always utilize a cloud-native platform that delivers automated threat detection and response at scale, leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Security Operations Warranty: Make sure the solutions you adopt for your organization include a warranty that offers financial assistance for cybersecurity incidents, adding an extra layer of assurance.
  • Enhanced Threat Detection and Response: If you don’t have the expertise in-house, consider outsourcing to a trusted technology partner that can enhance your security operations. Managed Service Security Providers (MSSPs) deliver advanced monitoring and management of security devices and systems, utilizing technologies like AI and machine learning to quickly identify and mitigate threats.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Remember that the plan you implement today may not work in a few years. It’s vital to stay flexible and implement a system that can scale to match the changing needs of your organization, providing flexibility as you grow or as threats evolve.
  • 24/7 Monitoring and Response: Whatever the solution you adopt, make sure it’s one that operates around the clock, offering continuous protection against cyber threats and enabling rapid response to incidents.
  • Risk Management: Your cybersecurity strategy should align with your organization’s risk appetite. You can rely on MSSPs to assist in identifying, assessing and mitigating risks.

We always recommend prevention over cure to save manufacturers from having to stop operations and not meet customer demands. With the increased risk of information security incidents plaguing this industry, it’s important to have the proper security measures in place today. If your manufacturing business is just getting started on a cybersecurity plan or you need additional support services for internal team members, please reach out to our experts, who provide holistic cybersecurity solutions aligned to your business strategy.

See the latest Manufacturing Pulse results here.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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