The weakest link in manufacturing cybersecurity

Organizations can implement state-of-the-art cybersecurity systems, but one critical vulnerability can remain: human error. While many cybersecurity strategies protect against advanced hacking techniques and malware, they often overlook simple mistakes made by employees. From unintentional data breaches to phishing scams, let’s highlight common mistakes made by manufacturing employees that can put companies at risk.

Approximately 25% of all cyber attacks worldwide Target manufacturing, and in the US Average cost of a data breach Approximately $4.5 million.

Human error is a significant issue.One of the main reasons manufacturing companies appear to be easy prey for cybercriminals is because Dependency on legacy systems While incorporating newer and more advanced technology. This is because a lack of compatibility creates many security gaps, making systems difficult to manage and resulting in complex networks that are nearly impossible to audit.

Taking human error out of the equation also means making some tough choices for security. Find AWS alternatives or must undergo rigorous trainingthis is valuable because human error plays a huge role in the cybersecurity of today’s manufacturing facilities.

Technical security risks

Before taking up human error as a weakness of society, Manufacturing cybersecurity First, you need to understand the technical vulnerabilities that could expose your organization to attack.

  • legacy system. Most legacy systems in the manufacturing industry lack adequate security, making them ideal targets for cybercriminals. Manufacturing industries often rely heavily on older, specialized equipment and machinery. A new replacement will either not be up to the job or a complete repair will be too expensive. As a result, the industry remains exposed to vulnerabilities that cannot be mitigated without significant expense.
  • Big digital footprint. Manufacturing companies are typically huge in terms of employees, buildings, and digital footprints. This large digital footprint means that an organization’s attack surface is also very large. have more vulnerabilities Much more than a small company. In some cases, an enterprise may have millions of individual nodes (devices, systems, services), resulting in millions of vulnerabilities.
  • Extensive IoT network. The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized many industries, including manufacturing, and has helped improve monitoring and communication.However, many IoT devices run on outdated software This is due to the complexity of managing and updating each device on a regular basis.

Human error: the weakest link

Manufacturers are typically large companies with many divisions, third-party vendors, and many employees. This means that no matter how well-equipped an organization is when it comes to cybersecurity systems, a lot of human error can occur. Humans often ignore security protocols, whether by accident or simple omission. This can leave you vulnerable to social engineering attacks, falling victim to phishing scams, failing to protect your login information, or forgetting to update your device.

Human error goes beyond the typical failures like opening a phishing email or making mistakes in code. It could be vendor lock-in due to choosing the wrong cloud provider, or it could be more like having a mole inside by using his SAP consulting services for a company that is not well-versed in working with industrial customers. It could also be malicious.

Although not specific to the manufacturing industry, the following five human errors are the most likely scenarios for a data breach to occur within an organization, potentially resulting in significant downtime and significant costs. there is.

  1. Insufficient password management. Passwords can be hacked at an alarming rate, according to a recent study This shows that a 12-character password consisting only of numbers can be hacked in less than 25 seconds. Therefore, to ensure sufficient security, passwords must include upper and lower case letters and symbols. Research shows that it would take hundreds of years to crack this type of password using the same software. Unfortunately, many people take the easy option and reuse the same weak passwords across various channels, both personal and professional. For this reason, manufacturing companies need to invest in training to teach employees the importance of password management.Building a culture of only using strong passwordswe use different ones for each device or system, keep them updated regularly, and strive to keep them secure.
  2. I haven’t updated my software. Many employees have a work laptop or mobile phone, or use IoT devices on a daily basis. All too often, prompts to update these devices with the latest patches and security settings are ignored or delayed, creating an opening for cybercriminals. flat Use a simple PDF editor Can be an unconscious invitation to excessive curiosity cyber criminal People who want to attack the facility. Of course, these devices can be updated automatically, but this is not possible in some large organizations that may use multiple systems and networks.In this regard, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VaPt) software This is extremely useful as it allows you to test that your system is not affected in the first place and estimate how much resources you need to allocate to mitigate the potential consequences of human error.
  3. Mishandling of data. Mishandling of data and general carelessness in the workplace are major vulnerabilities in manufacturing. This can include accidentally sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient or exposing unintended information.
  4. Allow unauthorized access. Remote working means that an employee’s family and friends have access to company devices, such as a laptop.Looks harmless but may install malicious softwarechanging settings or configurations, accidentally divulging information, or downloading malicious files from the Internet. Not only is this unauthorized access a violation of data policies, but it can also facilitate a major cyber attack that could cost your company millions of dollars.
  5. Minimum security awareness. Basically, all of the above comes down to lack of security awareness.. Without training, employees may not understand the ramifications of clicking on potentially malicious links or allowing children to use company devices. This lack of security awareness is why cybercriminals consider human error to be an organization’s biggest weakness.

From dedicated training courses to simple security protocol reminders, establishing a strong cybersecurity culture is paramount. Manufacturing companies can invest in advanced cybersecurity systems, hire highly skilled IT professionals, and develop robust data protection strategies. However, all this can be pointless if your employees lack security awareness and are not adequately trained on security protocols.

Human error accounts for the majority of cyber-attacks in the industry, such as opening malicious links in emails, using incorrect passwords, and failing to update devices. This is why awareness will be a priority for all manufacturers in the coming years.

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