The Importance of Cybersecurity in Manufacturing Industries
Published on : Tuesday 15-03-2022
It is high time to cover cybersecurity as a curriculum starting from school and at the college level, says Darshana Thakkar.
In recent years digitalisation has accelerated very fast across the world. The pandemic restrictions have played an essential role in faster digitalisation across diverse sectors, including education, healthcare, and small business. With the quantum increase in online work, the security threat increased drastically.
All the data and work we are doing online are a kind of asset for both personal and professional areas. As we always try to safeguard and secure our physical assets, we need to ensure all our devices and data connected to the internet are safe.
Cybersecurity is the security system offered to protect our online information and the devices connected to the internet. Cybersecurity covers all aspects of security, viz., Physical, Technical, Environmental, Regulations, and Compliance.
Importance of cybersecurity
Nowadays, the whole world is powered by technology, and we can't imagine life without it. However, the same technology can be vulnerable and lead to the loss of essential data or expose important information to the enemy. That may be a disaster for the failure of the business.
Cybersecurity, alongside physical commercial security, has thus, slowly and steadily, become one of the most critical factors in the business today. Cybersecurity is necessary since it helps secure data from threats such as data theft or misuse and safeguards your system from viruses.
Most businesses nowadays are connected to networks and more networks. Cybersecurity plays an essential role for this reason also. Computer networks have always been on the crosshairs of criminals. As networks expand, there are high chances of increasing cyber-attacks and methods of security breaches.
Goals of Cybersecurity
It is the property of protecting information from being accessed by unauthorised individuals, entities, or processes parties to sensitive data. Tools for confidentiality include:
c. Access control, and
It is the property of safeguarding the accuracy and completeness of assets. Integrity means to ensure the authenticity of information—that information is unaltered and that the source of information is genuine. For example, you are selling your products on your website. The attacker maliciously alters your products' prices so that they can buy anything for whatever price they choose. It is an example of the failure of integrity, the price of a product altered without authorisation. Tools for integrity are as follow:
b. Checkups, and
c. Error-correcting codes.
Availability means that information is accessible by authorised users only. Information and other critical assets are accessible to customers and the business when needed. The crucial point is that the data is unavailable when lost or destroyed, and access to the information is denied or delayed. Tools for Availability are:
a. Physical protection, and
b. Computational redundancy.
A cyber-attack is a malicious attempt on digital technologies to cause personal or property loss or damage and steal or alter confidential personal or organisational data.
Major security problems with the system
1. The virus is malware attached to a carrier, such as an email message or a word document. Security suites to protect the computer against viruses and worms are helpful.
2. A hacker is a person who breaks into computers, usually by gaining access to administrative controls. There are following types of hackers:
White Hat Hacker: These are the ethical computer hackers, or computer security experts, who specialise in penetration testing and in other testing methodologies to ensure the security of an organisation's information systems.
Grey Hat Hacker: Grey Hat are computer hackers or computer security experts who may sometimes violate laws or specific ethical standards but do not have the malicious intent typical of a black hat hacker.
Black Hat Hacker: A black hat hacker (or black-hat hacker) is a hacker who "violates computer security for little reason beyond maliciousness or personal gain."
Adequate security controls, including strong passwords and the use of firewalls, can help to prevent hacking.
3. Malware or warn can autonomously spread itself without a carrier, using information about connected computers. Malware word is a short form of malicious software. The software has malicious intent installed on a user's computer without consent. Key loggers are the software installed on a computer that captures keystrokes and sends these to a remote system. They are used to trying and getting personal information to access sites such as banks.
Ransomware runs on a user's computer and demands that the user pay some other organisation. If they don't, then destroy the information on the computer. Malware can usually spread itself from one computer to another, either as a virus or a worm. Antivirus software helps to prevent these infections in the computer. However, it is vital to ensure anti-virus software from reliable sources only and activate Network Threat Protection, Firewall and Antivirus.
4. Trojan horses are email viruses that can duplicate themselves, steal information, or harm the computer system. These are the most severe threats to computers. Suitable internet security suites help prevent Trojans even though they avoid clicking on unknown links.
5. Password attacks are attacks by hackers that can crack different protected electronic areas and social network sites. The best solution is to use a strong password and never use the same password for two separate sites.
Need of cybersecurity in manufacturing company
Manufacturing companies should have a robust cybersecurity infrastructure. Poor cybersecurity may risk the product's design or the company's intellectual property. May lead to substantial financial losses. So appropriate cyber strategy is required. The primary reason listed out here:
1. The rising instances of cyber-crimes are the main reason for all to become alert. According to an article published by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will inflict $10.5 trillion in damages by 2025. According to the report, cybercrime will become the third-largest economy after the US and China. It is an alarming situation for organisations to up their cybersecurity strategy.
2. Manufacturing industry has a lot to offer, and poor infrastructure in manufacturing firms can be a very lucrative target for cybercriminals as they can exploit the organisation's intellectual property or block their production. The confidential information of suppliers and customers can also be a catchy target for cybercriminals.
3. Manufacturing companies are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Cyber attackers can exploit manufacturing companies' vendor databases by phishing emails that include fake invoices and fake bank account details.
4. Manufacturing companies have adopted digital technologies but are still in the learning stage regarding cybersecurity.
5. In this time of increasing business competition, manufacturing companies need to secure their organisation against malicious campaigns targeted at them with the intent of causing damage to reputation and overall reach.
Cybersecurity Guide for Small Manufacturing Organisation
1. Establish appropriate antivirus software and firewall protection for all the systems in the business network, including a computer system, laptop, ICS, and mobile phone connected to the system.
2. In our country, unawareness about cybercrime to employees is a significant threat to the business. They can easily allow malicious actors to enter the organisation via phishing, vishing, smishing, or other attack vectors. We should ensure that all the organisation members have proper knowledge about the risk. A periodic suitable training program helps to reduce the risk.
3. Nowadays, the email domain plays an important role in building reputation with customers and potential leads for any organisation. Lack of email domain security may lead to severe damage to an organisation's reputation and business performance. It can be through email spoofing, VEC attacks, BEC attacks, or spear-phishing attacks.
4. Unauthorised access to sensitive machine operation and information in an organisation is harmful to the company in many ways. It may lead to product or process from manipulation, alteration, or malfunctioning. Identity Access Management (IAM) is beneficial to protect the industrial control system (ICS) of the manufacturing company.
5. In the case of cyber-attacks, incident response tools are beneficial for the early detection of cyber-attacks. That helps save the system from severe damage. For example, a phishing incident response tool helps report suspicious emails and eliminate malicious emails from the employees' inboxes.
6. One of the best practices for cybersecurity is regularly creating data back up in offline locations. It helps secure the organisation against emergencies arising from ransomware and DDOS attacks. Automatic data back is also a good idea to establish a quick operation resume after a cyber-attack. Online backups should be encrypted and on automatic schedules to ensure they aren't missed and the recent files. Multiple backup methods offer an additional layer of protection, such as an onsite server and cloud backup.
7. Several devices are connected to the organisational network, especially in the post pandemic era where work from home or hybrid work is the most common practice. Employees have access to corporate networks from personal computer systems and mobile phones. The employee leaving the organisation may harm the organisation. Preparing and maintaining an updated inventory list of all the system-connected devices and periodic review is necessary to protect the internal system and information from going in the wrong hands.
8. Malicious websites and social media present a significant risk of providing malware access to professional networks. Web traffic restrictions allow employees only to visit trusted sites on an approved list.
In India, there is an increase in the number of threats against our nation's critical infrastructures each day. These threats come from computer intrusion (hacking), denial of service attacks, and virus deployment. In India, DEITY-Dept., of Electronics & Information Technology operating under MCIT-Ministry of Communication & Information Technology is responsible for Cyberspace security other than delivering government services online and promoting the IT Sector. The National Information Board (NIB), a policy-making body for cybersecurity, operates independently and is chaired by the National Security Advisor (NSA). Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) performs emergency cybersecurity functions and releases annual reports on security incidents in India.
In the year 2020, CERT-In handled 1158208 incidents. Types of incidents dealt with were website intrusion and malware propagation, malicious code, phishing, DDOS attack, website defacement, unauthorised network scanning/probing activities, ransomware attack, data breaches, etc.
With the above facts, it is the need of the hour to focus on cybersecurity. Awareness about risk factors and knowledge to prevent such incidents are minimal for both the cases' personal and professional requirements.
It is high time to cover cybersecurity as a curriculum starting from school and at the college level. Everyone doesn't need to know about the resolution to cybercrime. But awareness about the cyber threat and basic security measures are to be included in the syllabus. This will at least help increase awareness about cybercrime that helps reduce cybercrime incidents.
Darshana Thakkar is MSME Transformation Specialist and Founder, Transformation – The Strategy Hub. An Electrical Engineer followed by MBA – Operations with rich industry experience, Darshana is an expert in transformation, cost reduction, and utilisation of resources. She has invested 25 years in transforming Micro and Small Enterprises. Her rich experience in resolving pain areas and real-life problems of SMEs helps organisations achieve quick results. Her expertise in managing business operations with limited resources helps clients transform their business practices from person driven to system driven with existing resources.
Darshana has helped many organisations to increase profitability and achieve sustainable growth. She is passionate to support the start-up ecosystem of our country. She is associated with CED, Government of Gujarat as a Business Function Expert in the Entrepreneurship Development program, as faculty for industrial subjects in the Second Generation Program (SGP), and as a start-up mentor and member of the start-up selection committee in the CED incubation centre. She is a certified corporate director registered with IICA and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. Apart from this, she is an author and publishing her blog, article, and case study related to the MSME industry. Email: email@example.com