Advantages of Cybersecurity for the Manufacturing Industry

Cybersecurity protects against phishing attacks, ransomware, data breaches, and financial losses. Even small manufacturing businesses have a lot of confidential customer information. A breach could expose this information or damage machines, costing clients much money.

Increased Productivity

The advancement of technology in manufacturing, known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) or Industry 4.0, has increased productivity and efficiency. However, this technology has also created a large attack surface for hackers. The increasing connectivity of operational devices to informational systems makes many new endpoints not adequately protected. This allows hackers to access personal and financial data, steal proprietary research or product designs, disrupt operations, or sabotage equipment. Manufacturers must go beyond traditional cybersecurity solutions and explore cybersecurity available for manufacturers, such as ongoing employee education, device hardening, and multi-factor authentication to protect their networks, systems, devices, and data. They need solutions specific to their industry and can address the unique threats they face. Manufacturers have massive production systems that often include legacy devices that are difficult to upgrade to meet modern security standards. As a result, they may have an unprotected attack surface that attackers can exploit to launch devastating attacks like advanced ransomware or crippling distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. By implementing an effective security solution, such as an edge micro-segmentation system from Byos, manufacturers can ensure that their networks are resilient and that their production can continue, even during an attack.

Increased Profits

The manufacturing industry is often a single step in a long supply chain, making them an easy target for cyberattacks. Attackers can hold a manufacturing company hostage by demanding a ransom, or they can use attacks to disrupt production and cause harm to customers. While new technology can improve productivity and efficiency, it also increases the number of endpoints hackers can attack. New machines that connect operational technology to informational systems, such as those introduced with Industry 4.0, create many new entry points, especially if they don’t have security measures. Employees also have increased access to sensitive data that could be targeted by bad actors in social engineering and phishing attacks. Taking precautions to protect this data can help prevent the loss of intellectual property and a decrease in customer trust. As threats advance, manufacturers must follow cybersecurity best practices and comply with compliance regulations like CMMC or the IoT Cybersecurity Act.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Considering the sensitive information manufacturers store on their customers, they can’t afford to lose consumer trust. Data breaches have cost companies millions of dollars in fines, legal fees, customer loss, and reduced ability to obtain loans. With cyberattacks now targeting government organizations, utilities, and power plants, it’s time for manufacturing companies to get their security on point. Threat actors are getting bolder and demanding higher ransoms for compromising information. Those not up to speed will be left behind and could miss out on valuable contracts. Cybersecurity is essential to manufacturing in the age of Industry 4.0, where robots, automation, and digital technology are becoming more prevalent. Focusing on cybersecurity instead of investing in new technologies will slow progress and lead to costly consequences. By establishing cybersecurity standards and implementing an OT security solution, you can secure your Smart Factory from threats, hackers, and risks.

Reduced Downtime

The manufacturing industry must prioritize cybersecurity to protect itself from increasing cyberattacks and threats. It also needs to ensure an audit trail for compliance and cyberattack insurance in case of a breach or other incident. Downtime can be costly for mass-producing companies, so manufacturers must invest in a robust cybersecurity solution. Hackers know this, so they deploy ransomware into a manufacturer’s network that encrypts their software and files. They then demand a ransom, which can be very expensive for the company to pay in the short term.

Additionally, hackers can cause damage to machinery and other equipment in factories if they’re not adequately protected. Keeping sensitive information off unprotected devices and educating employees on what to look for in phishing emails can help prevent this damage. Furthermore, an Information Security Management System (ISMS) can also help, such as ISO/IEC 27001, which improves and validates your cybersecurity standards, protecting your business from attacks.

Increased Brand Value

As cyberattacks grow in frequency and severity, governing bodies nationwide establish stricter cybersecurity standards. This makes it more critical than ever for manufacturers to set up cyber management programs, establish a strong foundation in the cloud, and meet compliance regulations like CMMC or the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act. Please do so to avoid expensive fees and penalties. In addition to the factory’s devices, manufacturing companies communicate information with many other endpoints, including suppliers, investors, shipping partners, and storage facilities. If hackers can access these third parties, they can use them as a gateway into the manufacturing company itself. Manufacturers should consider adopting new cybersecurity solutions built for industrial systems. These solutions, such as edge micro-segmentation, help secure legacy devices and reduce the attack surface. Adopting established cybersecurity tactics like ongoing employee education, device hardening, and multi-factor authentication will also significantly reduce the risk of a breach. By leveraging these solutions, manufacturers can better protect their operations and ensure they continue delivering the products the world relies on.