Since its inception in October of 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month serves as a reminder of the importance of cybersecurity, providing individuals and organizations with the information and tools they need to be safer and more secure online. However, even as the cybersecurity industry continues to grow at a rapid rate each year, many organizations – especially small and medium-sized manufacturers – remain vulnerable and should start implementing processes now to protect themselves from the risk of cyberattacks.
According to Cybint, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. If a cybercriminal or hacker infiltrates your company, it’s generally through your weakest link and rarely in the IT department. This staggering statistic could be reduced if employee training at all levels was a critical component of every organization’s cybersecurity plan. With adequate training, employees can better understand what kind of vulnerabilities and threats their business operations are more likely to fall victim to.
Unfortunately, implementing a robust cybersecurity plan can sometimes prove to be intimidating and many organizations may not know where to start or how to engage their employees in the process. To keep things simple in the beginning, encourage your employees to abandon their practice of bad cyber hygiene habits. Not sure what some of these habits may look like? Read below for a list of the top 10 scariest cybersecurity mistakes our team has come across in the field:
1. Office staff with several computers all sharing the same login information on a post-it note in clear view.
2. Opening attachments on emails from unknown senders.
3. Allowing staff to transfer secure files to a USB stick to allow them to work on a home computer and then retransfer the file back to the office network computer the next day.
4. Not backing up critical manufacturing data and files to password-protected cloud storage or a secured server.
5. Failing to realize that the third-party service provider responsible for backing up critical manufacturing data did not complete the backup, or was not completing the backup daily as agreed upon.
6. Having your data unavailable due to a cyberattack and having to pay ransomware because you cannot resurrect your system data.
7. Not running recommended Windows or Mac system updates for known security issues regularly.
8. Assuming that cybersecurity is your MSP’s (managed service provider) problem since you pay them to keep your network safe.
9. Failing to keep your staff educated on and aware of phishing scams – which account for more than 80% of reported security incidents (CSO Online).
10. Believing that your organization is too small to be affected by a cyberattack because you only have a few computers connected to the internet.
Help reduce your organization’s vulnerability and cybersecurity risks by not committing any of these cyber-cardinal sins. For more information on how you can combat cyber threats and implement an effective cybersecurity plan, check out the following resources:
View our flyer on GaMEP’s General Cybersecurity Assistance Service
Visit the GaMEP Technology Services webpage
By: Megan Johnson, Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership