In the light of recent media about risks in manufacturing, this article outlines some critical risks and the wide-ranging negative impacts on manufacturing companies and offers ways to mitigate the risks in production lines keeping the business revenue in a secure place.
Despite having a substantial operational technology (OT) network, normally companies are not aware of the extent of IT/OT convergence in their architecture. Companies initially chose to deploy software solutions for end-users systems, but not the Industrial Systems assuming their OT systems were secure and the fact is, they are the most vulnerable devices.
In this blog, I would like to enumerate some risks associated with manufacturing processes and how to reduce the risk on them and keep your revenue on schedule.
Supply Chain Interruption
Supply chain business partners can be hacked and it may have a significant impact on operations. Remember they are connected to the company’s network and they can compromise production lines.
Recommendation, avoid having network connections with third parties, if that is not possible, network segmentation is the way to go. Reduce the number of entry points and keep them under 24/7 threat detection to monitor unusual behaviour or cyberattacks.
OT systems are a key component of manufacturing and the best approach is to identify failures before they happen. It is a challenging task when you do not have the resources to monitor those components. Try to reduce the risk of unplanned maintenance of services and improve operational resilience.
Recommendation, there are cybersecurity solutions that can provide network monitoring and cybersecurity protection at the same time. Also, they can set them to send real-time alerts and provide an autonomous response.
This can be reflected in data exfiltration from a company’s insider that takes sensitive information out of the company for his own benefit.
Recommendation, implementing continuous monitoring and threat detection system to identify unusual behaviour.
Federal and State Regulations
The law in Australia has changed since February 2018. There are new legislative requirements under the Federal Government’s Notifiable Breaches scheme that is now in place and soon will be enforced.
Recommendation, Getting full visibility on devices that are connected to the network provides the ability to know what to protect and reduce your cybersecurity exposure.
It is not a secret that competitors always want to know about the secret recipe of business success, so their first step is finding weaknesses in your systems and taking advantage of them. As cybercriminals are now more sophisticated than ever, protection systems should be in place than ever.
Recommendation, get incidents to be immediately flagged and potential attacks to be identified before they are exploited.
Manufacturers that operate specialized equipment and machinery might find it expensive to repair or replace the business property in the event of a fire or electrical damage. Without an expedient return to normal operations, a competitive advantage can be diminished.
Recommendation, get automated response capabilities and stop cyber-attacks before they can impact your production line and allow teams to focus on higher-value tasks.
Technology and cyberattacks may cause a temporary disturbance to the systems, requiring a company to shut down a production line until they can update software solutions or even replace hardware components that have been compromised.
Recommendation, proactively search for cyber threats that have always been undetected by other security tools.
The cyber threat profile of manufacturing companies has rapidly evolved over the years. From cyber vandalism to cyber espionage, cybercriminals are stealing valuable company secrets. Thus, manufacturers have become an increasingly popular target for cyber-attacks
If a cyber-attack is launched on one single machine inside or outside of your network, it may result in an extended stoppage of the entire production process, with severe damage to final products and consequently cause financial losses for your company.
In the case of cyber-attacks aimed at disrupting operations, companies must consider all their options for ensuring continuity of supply chains and business operations, including improving cyber security.
With costs associated with disruption to operations and lost output potentially totalling millions of dollars, manufacturers need to step up their efforts to prevent any disruption on their systems networks.