18 Dec

Five Steps Towards Secure Manufacturing

Security is critical to any companies’ daily workflow. In today’s digital world, wireless technology and networks have become more susceptible to security issues, which presents unique challenges to various industries, including the manufacturing industry. The systems used in manufacturing, specifically the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) that manage and monitor different aspects of production—have unique vulnerabilities and lack security features, such as authentication or encryption — making them highly susceptible to a cyberattack.

Additionally, many manufacturing systems also suffer from low visibility. When systems are slowly upgraded, facility managers can’t see how changes might impact the many different systems connected throughout a factory or a plant. Visibility is important because it makes production or operation more efficient. Applying these best security practices to connected devices will help your company work smarter while staying secure.

  1. Start Early – Plan for incoming technology and how you’ll protect it. Conduct an annual IT risk assessment to understand where threats are originating from properly.
  2. Protect Data – Use encrypted and authenticated connections where possible. Also, perform annual penetration tests to simulate the threat of someone trying to break into your organization’s network.
  3. Control Services – Consider turning off the technology services that you don’t plan to use and conduct ongoing vulnerability scanning throughout the year to help your organization stay up to date with new threats.
  4. Change Passwords – Using default passwords makes it easy for hackers to access devices. Change passwords at least every 90 days.
  5. Remote Management – Leverage a secure remote management system to allow your company to update settings quickly. The longer devices, solutions and systems use out of date settings, the easier targets they become.
  6. Device Retirement – Plan for device retirement by removing enterprise system settings, deleting device user accounts and credentials, and checking that existing systems aren’t hardcoded to look for retired units.

Let Us Help

As the technology matures and becomes more widespread, so do hackers who aim to gain private information, entrance to secure areas, or take a system down for personal gain. The SMS Group can help you find the perfect mobile technology strategy for your organization and can guide you through the process of purchase and installation. Our team even develops custom applications. Contact us to learn more about successes we’ve seen and how to take steps toward greater operating efficiencies in your environment while staying secure.

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