It is reported that human error lies behind 80% (or more) of the cybersecurity breaches. An accidental or malicious behavior or slight neglect could be among the top reasons for a serious data breach.
There are quite a few examples of renowned organisations who were once the victims of cybersecurity attacks. One such example is the German steel mill that was hacked in 2015. The attackers gained access by sending a phishing email containing a malicious attachment to one of the employees. The organisation’s manufacturing execution system (MES) was among the systems that the hackers gained access to and damaged.
The first step that the manufacturers should take towards cybersecurity is to provide at least a basic cybersecurity training. The training should include all the employees irrespective of their job title. Any employee using a PC or laptop could be the gateway to the cyber attack.
1. Employee Training
– Educating the Employees
The employees need to be educated about the advanced malicious emails that apparently look genuine. Moreover, they should also know how to identify if they’ve received a phishing email and the steps ahead.
– Passwords Protection
Employees shouldn’t share or use their passwords on any other system. Use strategies that include protecting the passwords. This way, the cybercriminals won’t be able to steal your password from an entry point and gain access into the system.
– Use only approved devices and locations to log into the network
The chances of attack are multiplied when the employees use other network connections or their personal devices. It makes it difficult for the organisation to protect the networks and devices other than the company’s approved network and devices.
2. Upgrade your security system
The company needs to use an advanced security system for the remote access of the network by the employees. A system called RBA or Risk-based authentication is designed to implement the security system on different levels such as per-application or per-user basis. This authentication method is efficient and helpful for employees’ use and without being a barrier in their work.
3. Keep the applications up-to-date
The company needs to ensure that the applications in use by the employees are kept updated, especially the IT applications that create more entry chances for the hackers. Manufacturers should set a process and time for updating applications. It will help to spot any factor that might provide entry to the attacker.
4. Employ a Jump Host
It will prevent the access of hackers if manufacturers use security points in their system. An example is the PLC (programmable logic controllers), that control manufacturing hardware, are an easy target of the hackers when unprotected. It could be secured by Jump Box from any threat. It provides access to the PLC to the authorised persons only.
5. Use Single-Sign on
Manufacturers want their system to operate smoothly without the security being compromised. The infrastructure where hardware such as PCLs are separate from external networks prevents access to others. However, there are separate log-ins required with such systems, complicating the work.
If single sign-on (SSO) is used for greater work efficiency, the risk-based authentication is important to utilise for complete security.
6. Apply multi-factor authentication
You might find that a password for SSO isn’t fully providing the protection. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) would be helpful to secure all your network’s components. However, one thing you should know is MFA could also be a victim of theft. The applications where the password is updated after 40 seconds could allow the hacker to steal the code and gain access to the network. Therefore, choose MFA applications that are updated more frequently and allow efficient and flexible working.
7. Ensure smooth security process
Given the tips above, it is important to make sure they’re being followed by the employees. The security process should be easier to understand and follow – it maximizes the adoption of complete security. Providing awareness to the employees on the importance of cybersecurity and what consequences a single neglect could bring would be beneficial.