In the past few months, you’ve probably seen some of the following stories about cyberattacks in the headlines: One password allowed hackers to disrupt Colonial Pipeline; Howard University cancels classes after ransomware attack; Meat company JBS paid $11 million ransom to hackers. So, as a high-level manufacturer, what can your organization do to protect itself? Start with these cybersecurity tips.
Tips to Improve Cybersecurity
Regularly Review Your Cyber Defenses
Cybersecurity is a never-ending process. And unfortunately, organizations across the globe need to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Thus, it’s essential to regularly review and upgrade your cyber defenses. If your in-house IT department isn’t robust enough to oversee a comprehensive security program, consider partnering with a dedicated cybersecurity company. Also, don’t overlook relatively simple but impactful strategies such as:
- Updating software to the most recent versions
- Applying multifactor authentication or two-step verification
- Securing endpoints to prevent unrestricted access to your networks
Provide Employee Cybersecurity Training
Even the toughest cybersecurity defenses can be toppled by a single employee mistake. For example, the 2013 Target data breach started when a third-party worker clicked a phishing link. Therefore, make sure your team knows how to prevent, identify and report potentials threats. Begin by offering training during the onboarding process. Then, give refresher courses as required. These may be annual or semi-annual professional development events. Additionally, if a new threat appears, you may decide to call everyone in for an impromptu session. Topics to cover may include:
- Avoiding phishing schemes
- Effectively using passwords
- Securely logging in from different devices and off-site locations
Thoroughly Vet Your Vendors
Your organization may have worked diligently to create a rigorous cybersecurity program. However, an oversight by one of your vendors could still lead to a cyberattack on your business. These are known as supply chain attacks or third-party attacks. Basically, a cybercriminal slips malicious code into a trusted piece of hardware or software. You install the hardware or update the software and, just like that, it compromises YOUR systems. For instance, in March 2019, hackers hijacked ASUS’s Live Update tool and distributed malware to almost one million unsuspecting people. Although supply chain attacks are some of the most difficult to prevent, the best tactic is to thoroughly vet all your vendors. Ask them to explain and outline their cybersecurity programs. Their processes should be similar, if not more comprehensive, than what you would expect from your own organization.
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