How to Build a Strong Cybersecurity Defense for Your Manufacturing Company


Manufacturers face many cybersecurity challenges. They are at risk for data breaches and downtimes, costly repairs, and damage to their reputation.

Cybercriminals target manufacturing companies for their valuable intellectual property, financial information, and operational data. Many manufacturing companies need to be adequately prepared for these threats. Here are some ways to build a robust cybersecurity defense for your manufacturing company.

Invest in Security Software

Manufacturing companies often lag in terms of cybersecurity when compared to other industries like healthcare, finance, or energy. This is especially true for small- and medium-sized manufacturers who tend to underestimate the risk of cyberattacks because they believe their company needs to be more significant and critical to attracting hackers. Unfortunately, thinking this way could make your company an easy target for hackers looking for a well-stocked supply of valuable data and easily accessible networks.

Manufacturers must invest in security software that addresses their operational technology (OT) and IT systems simultaneously. They must also meet compliance regulations outlined in CMMC and the IoT Cybersecurity Act and industry-specific requirements like GDPR, FTC, and HIPAA. Please complete these requirements to avoid costly fees and penalties and a loss of confidence from customers.

Change the paragraph to: To bolster their cybersecurity framework, manufacturers are encouraged to invest in security technologies specifically designed to protect their Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) networks. Compliance with standards outlined in the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), the Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Act, and sector-specific regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is essential. Compliance is critical to preventing hefty fines and penalties while maintaining customer trust.

Within this security strategy, the role of Identity Access Management (IAM) is crucial. The purpose of IAM is to ensure precise control over who has access to specific resources, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access them at the correct times and for legitimate reasons. This fulfills the dual objective of enhancing an organization’s security measures and adhering to compliance requirements by effectively managing user identities and access permissions.

Invest in Backup

While cybersecurity is often considered an issue only IT should concern themselves with, all departments must view it. After all, one breach could impact the entire company’s availability, efficiencies, and compliance.

Considering the number of times that small businesses have paid ransom to recover data, it is no surprise that cybercriminals are targeting them more than ever. Often, they believe these companies don’t need strong cybersecurity because they aren’t dealing with large sums of money.

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. These cybersecurity resources for manufacturers or companies deal with sensitive customer information, transaction records, and the data needed to keep production running smoothly. Combined with many of these companies using outdated technology and machine-to-machine communication (M2M) that is easy to hack, they are an attractive target for hackers.

Taking the proper steps to ensure that your manufacturing company’s data is protected can make all the difference in the success of your business. To help you do this, it is recommended that you seek out a third-party cybersecurity company to perform gap assessments, offer expert advice, and deliver a range of solutions to protect your organization from attack. For example, a solution combines security information and event management with threat response automation to close the gap before cyberattacks occur.

Implement Network Access Control (NAC)

With cyberattacks making headlines in industries like education, banking, and the energy sector, many manufacturers have fallen into the misinformed belief that they are not a target for threat actors. However, those small – and medium-sized businesses can provide an easier target for hackers looking for easy access to corporate networks.

NAC is a crucial security tool that helps prevent threats from entering the network by verifying that all devices and users comply with pre-defined security policies before gaining access. NAC solutions also include switches that act as enforcement points, ensuring a proactive approach to network security.

In addition to preventing unauthorized access, NAC can detect and isolate threats already gaining entry into the network. This allows companies to prevent lateral movement, isolate compromised devices and quickly take action to remediate the threat. NAC is also essential for medical organizations and other industries that rely on IoT technology, as it helps to ensure that all connected devices are monitored and secure and that data flows are limited.

With a solution, you can enhance your NAC strategy by continuously identifying and mapping unmanaged devices in the network, whether connected to your NAC infrastructure. This is a crucial step to help ensure that any rogue devices do not gain access and can be taken offline or made inaccessible during a breach.

Train Your Employees

As the threat landscape shifts, the manufacturing industry should move with it. Proper cybersecurity measures protect valuable data and assets from cybercriminals while helping comply with GDPR, HIPAA, and more regulations.

Educating employees on the basics of password security, safe internet browsing practices, and identifying phishing attempts is an excellent start. It’s vital that training is offered regularly to keep best practices top of mind. Training should also be tailored to the type of employee or role in the company: For example, training high-level executives should dive into more advanced social engineering tactics to help them avoid a ransomware attack that could be financially devastating.

In addition to internal education, manufacturers should consider collaborating with third parties to help strengthen their defenses. Many manufacturers rely on various endpoints, such as partners, suppliers, shipping companies, investors, and storage facilities, to perform their daily operations. Hackers can use These third-party relationships as entry points to access the company’s network and access data. This type of attack is known as a third-party vulnerability.

Cybersecurity should be a priority for any business. However, companies in the manufacturing sector need to realize they need stronger protections even more than others because of the risk of losing vital contracts if a breach happens. With attacks getting bolder, demanding more money in ransom, and threatening the infrastructure of the nation’s power grids, it’s time for manufacturers to step up their game with effective and comprehensive cybersecurity measures.