According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the manufacturing industry is the second most targeted industry when you look at the number of reported cyber attacks. Why? Cyber criminals view small and medium-sized manufacturers as prime targets precisely because many of these companies do not have adequate preventative measures in place.

With more than 289,000 small manufacturers in the United States, small manufacturers are a vital part of our nation’s economic and cyber infrastructure. For most small manufacturers, the security of information, systems, and networks is not the highest priority, but a breach can be detrimental to the business, customers, or suppliers.

It’s important that manufacturers understand and risk management and establish a cybersecurity protocol to protect critical assets.

It’s important for everyone — manufacturers and others — to recognize the threat of cyber attacks and how to prevent them. The vulnerabilities exploited by cyber criminals can shut down your operations. This is requiring your company to spend thousands of dollars on enhancing security measures and reassuring customers you’re still trustworthy.

Cybersecurity Assessment Tool

One of the challenges manufacturers often face regarding cyber threats is that they’re not sure how vulnerable they really are. Have you ever thought about how you can assess your company’s vulnerability level? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to better understand where your company lands in meeting its cybersecurity needs?

Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think. You can get started by using the MEP National NetworkTM Cybersecurity Assessment Tool to self-assess the level of risk management to your business. 

If the assessment shows that issues exist in any part of your cyber security strategy or if you’re weak in a certain area outlined in the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. Impact will be able to help you reduce the risks to your manufacturing business. 

Cybersecurity frameworks and standards, including the NIST 800-171 standard, can help you address cybersecurity risks. Let us show you how.

The first step to making a change is knowing a problem exist. Let Impact Washington help you ensure compliance and move towards a strong, sustainable cybersecurity solution for your company.

Five Steps to Reduce Cyber Risks

This resource is for small manufacturers too quickly and cost effectively address cyber security threats. These simple, low cost steps are based on the official NIST guidance from the Cyber security Framework. These guidelines have been tailored to meet the needs of small companies so they can identify, assess and manage cyber security risks.

1. Identify

  • Identify and control who has access to business information
  • Conduct background checks
  • Require individual user accounts for each employee
  • Create policies and procedures for cyber security

2. Protect

  • Train employees and limit employee access to data
  • Install surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies
  • Patch operating systems and applications routinely
  • Install and activate firewalls on all business networks
  • Secure wireless access points and networks
  • Set up web and email filters
  • Use encryption for sensitive information
  • Dispose of old computers and media safely

3. Detect

  • Install and update anti-virus, anti-spyware, and other anti-malware programs
  • Maintain and monitor logs
  • Note unusual password activity

4. Respond

  • Develop and maintain a plan for disasters and cyber incidents
  • Notify your customers and the authorities 

5. Recover

  • Make full backups of important business data and information
  • Schedule incremental backups
  • Improve processes, procedures, and technologies

Additional Resources

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