Unless you’re paid to be clued into security measures, it can feel like a big undertaking to consider and prepare for the growing range of cyber-security needs. If you’re like most of us, electronics and related security matters bump along in a semi-automated function. When an app or operating device such as a phone or desktop suggests an upgrade, it’s easy to hit “ok” with little thought to what’s happening behind the scenes. Just such a scenario is ideal for hackers who plan on challenging the status quo when least expected.

Continuing Vigilance

Not surprisingly, much of the cyber-security information released at the beginning of the year warned of more security breaches to come and the need for efficient procedures to counteract lurking security threats. An article published on AnalyticsInsight.net said, “99% of vulnerabilities exploited will keep on being ones known by security and IT experts for at least one year.” For everyone, businesses and individuals included, this translates into the need for continued focus on known security vulnerabilities. The website predicted increased automation in cyber security and cyber security spending, use of artificial intelligence (AI) to attack and defend attacks, growth of 5G technologies, greater IT infrastructure and cloud-related security threats.

Managing Risk

So, what does this mean for the manufacturing industry? Technology continues to be a major makeup of the industry. The use of technology allows for expansion within the industry as new technologies enable the introduction of new jobs, which in turn welcomes new blood to manufacturing. This technology includes the use of “smart” machines, which are connected to the internet. An increase in the use of “smart” machines means an ongoing need for individuals possessing higher levels of expertise in security for operational technology (OT) networks.

OT networks work together and include an integrated system of networks. Before the age of security attacks, OT systems stood alone with little consideration given to methods of outside protection. Today, such systems handle real-time info and real time means the propensity for real-time risks. Capturing information in transfer remains a growing concern, particularly with larger amounts of information living in the cloud. Considering the sheer number of devices in use and the persistence of ingenious hackers and companies, customers and consumers have their work cut out for them.

Security Starts Today

Knowing the possible risks, it’s important security measures remain at the top of the to-do list throughout the manufacturing industry. This includes creating a secure network designed to insulate from attack originating from inside and outside of the organization. Security measures to consider include:

  • Controlling user access to the network and its applications
  • Safeguarding structures (alarm systems and locks) from physical harm
  • Scanning with anti-virus and intrusion-detection software
  • Creating data confidentiality by routing through VPN or using SSL
  • Enforcing firewall protection against outside attack

Convenience and technological advances mean it’s more important than ever to secure your organization against the threat of cyber and AI attacks