Manufacturing and cybersecurity have a complicated relationship.
A lack of adoption of key information security practices continues while cyber attacks within the manufacturing industry are on the rise. With a single data breach, a manufacturer can lose consumer trust and years of proprietary information to competitors. No longer can cybersecurity be viewed only as a simple checklist for compliance requirements.
Although it may be impossible to eliminate all risks, understanding and assessing vulnerabilities and implementing a cybersecurity initiative can provide the greatest level of risk reduction. Follow these three steps to implement a cybersecurity initiative in your manufacturing company:
Step 1: Focus on the Most Important Aspects of your Business
Every industry varies in the type of data that is most important to protect; in healthcare its patient information, in retail its payment card data. However, for manufacturers, the most important information is their intellectual property and trade secrets.
These patents, designs, and formulas are critical for a manufacturer’s success and should be considered top priority when implementing a cybersecurity policy. To start, conduct an IT risk assessment to better understand the current threats to the business. The assessment should identify any potential threats, the impact to the company if those threats were to happen and the current probability of those threats coming to fruition. From there, review the results of the risk assessment and make intelligent decisions about policy, such as where intellectual property is stored, who has access to it and how it is being backed up.