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2023 Cyber Security Operations And Technology Solutions

cyber security - computer engineer

In today’s world of advanced technology, it could be two days before someone detects a cyberattack on your system. At that point, data and application corruption is likely, data destruction is possible, and the impact could span manufacturing systems and client lists. 

Considering the average downtime resulting from a lack of reliable cyber defense is over two weeks, the loss of income will be notable. 

With the growth of the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), the digitalization of so much of the production planning and process and the increased reliance on system networking, Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) are blending at a surprising rate. This means that cyber security operations and technology solutions, including having a security professional on staff and a security operation center (soc) are more important than ever. 

 

Protective Measures: What’s Employed and What’s Not Yet Widely Used

Operational Technology (OT) security is becoming increasingly important due to the growing integration between IT and OT systems. By having an effective OT security system in place, companies can minimize the risk of malicious activity on their networks and systems. 

Information security includes measures such as regular monitoring for vulnerabilities, authentication and encryption, secure network segmentation, patch management, and network configuration management. Employing these measures helps ensure that attackers cannot gain access to critical infrastructure or disrupt operations. cyber security

One such measure is the recording of logs. Logs are vital for the tracking of system activity, to ensure there is a record of events that took place not just during an attack, but also during normal business operations. They help in traceability and can be used to monitor unauthorized access attempts and malicious activities. 

Backups should be conducted regularly in order to enable fast recovery from any cyberattacks or data loss. Recovery processes must also be put into place as part of any OT security strategy. These can range from simple manual steps to automated processes that can restore system functionality after an attack has occurred.

 

NIST/ENISA Security Standards

While there are security architectures that can be employed by manufacturers, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, many organizations still lack adequate protection against cyber threats. Therefore, manufacturers need to evaluate their current level of security to assess their risk levels and determine which areas need additional protection.

Both the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States, and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) have set standards for functions that will increase the security of your platform against attacks: 

  • Identity creation: Each element of the network needs a unique identity. 
  • Detection protocols: Having protocols in place to detect breaches means better response time and strategic handling of the situation.
  • Response: Plans need to be created to improve response time when a cyber attack occurs. 
  • Recovery: Plans for the recovery process cut down on wasted time and reduce confusion. If the device repeatedly is under attack, it may be necessary to consider alternatives to improve your system security.

 

Real-Time Costs for Cyber Security Issues

The prevalence of cyber-attacks means businesses can no longer do the bare minimum and hope for the best. Ransomware attacks are becoming more common, with more than 85% of organizations having suffered from at least one attack in the past 12 months

When cyber attacks occur, studies show the average cost of downtime per hour can be as high as $260,000. Around 45% of unexpected issues arise due to hardware failure, while 39% are attributed to software issues. This means the time for security solutions is before you are dealing with a cyber attack that focuses on your facility. 

When it comes to company-wide best practices, there are four common areas to prioritize: 

    1. Education: Employees should be prepared with the proper training, certifications, and additional education as necessary. This training/education should be updated regularly to make sure everyone is equipped with the most up-to-date information. 
    2. Funding: Funding is a two-pronged approach to preparing your company to fight cyber attacks. By funding cybersecurity efforts, you show the company is serious about being prepared and on top of issues before they occur. The decision to fund these efforts also shows your employees and clients the level of seriousness, thereby cultivating a culture where cybersecurity is prioritized. 
  • Focus: Setting aside time regularly to keep up with the changing attack approaches and solutions for cybersecurity means you show your clients you are doing what it takes to keep your data - and theirs - secure. 
  • Implementation: Deterrents like multi-factor authentication are a solid first step in implementing measures to increase cybersecurity. Remember that security for your remote workers should also be prioritized. 

Cyber Security Protocols & Your Electronics Manufacturing Services Provider

Businesses need to be adequately prepared for a cyber breach to mitigate the damage caused. Being prepared includes prevention tactics, such as implementing security measures; detecting the attack as soon as possible; and having an incident response plan in place.

It is important to create and maintain a well-thought-out cybersecurity strategy at every stage, starting with prevention measures: 

  • Password Management: Creating secure passwords and keeping them somewhere safe are two pieces to effective password management. 
  • Firewall: A standard firewall is considered the minimum effort a business should implement if they are active online. Additional levels of security are added with both an internal firewall and an external one, as well as firewalls for employee computers at each location that may be accessing the network. 
  • Regular Data Backups: Data can be lost or compromised. While not a regular occurrence, it is a possibility. Regular data backups mean the company will have uncorrupted data available in either case. Data backups should be considered both locally and network-wide. It is also valuable to have a cloud backup to enable access off-site (with the right security protocols to keep that access for those who should have it only). 

Cyber Security Today | Next Steps

Education, training, and preventative measures are essential for preventing a cyber attack on a manufacturing company. Companies should regularly review employee access rights to the company’s data and systems, and regular employee training on proper security protocols should be scheduled.

It is also important for companies to have a strong policy in place to maintain and utilize security technologies. Companies should create and maintain a plan for responding quickly and effectively to any security incidents that may occur. By taking the necessary steps to protect against and respond to cyber security threats, companies can keep their networks and data safe.

Learn more about Matric’s capabilities in electronics manufacturing: 

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