As our lives become more tied to our online experiences and transactions, so grows the need for our businesses to be secured against cyber attacks. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, online theft accounted for more than $1.3 billion worth of financial loss in 2016 alone.
The manufacturing sector is no exception to cybersecurity troubles, especially as an industry that often finds itself on the forefront of technological change. The manufacturing sector adopts new trends and technologies, like AI and the Industrial Revolution 4.0, far faster than other industries. These advances bring with them new loopholes for savvy hackers to exploit, bringing financial loss or even opening up our economies to espionage and disruption by foreign powers.
What might be even more disturbing is that a commonly held perception - that hackers are primarily going after huge banks and corporations - is becoming less and less true. Because those larger businesses and corporations can afford more robust cybersecurity defences, it’s actually more likely that criminals go after small businesses with fewer security measures. It’s simply easier for the criminal to get in.
Easy Steps to Fortify Your Business’s Cybersecurity Defences
Though it’s always beneficial to work with cybersecurity experts, not every manufacturing business can afford the high costs of a top-of-the-line cybersecurity system. But there are some more cost-effective steps you can take to mitigate the risk of hacker interference.
- Make sure to back up all crucial business files and administrative work. (A good practice even outside of cybersecurity concerns, for organizational purposes.)
- Be sure to secure Wi-Fi networks and keep them hidden.
- Train your employees to follow basic cybersecurity techniques.
- Install and consistently update antivirus software on all your company computers.
- Have employees sign in to unique user accounts.
- Consistently change passwords.
- Hire a company to do an IT audit of your business, to try and penetrate your own cybersecurity defences. Doing so will reveal weaknesses in your system.
Help Curate the Next Generation of Cyber Defenders
Young people who are particularly literate in computers, internet use, and coding may find this job opportunity particularly inviting. The jobs are plentiful and IT employees get to tinker with computers all day, knowing they are the first and usually last line of defence against online crime.