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Protect Your Business From Cyber Threats With These Tips

Business managers have been thrown a lot of curveballs as they handle the changes that COVID-19 has brought to the economy, while, at the same time, managing and supporting their employees.

Industrial Cybersecurity, Industrial IT, IIoT
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

-Article co-created with Gloria Martinez from WomenLed.Org

The question of what the future will bring is still up in the air for many businesses, but you can be proactive in protecting both your company and your customers when it comes to sensitive data. Cyber Security is a concern for businesses of all sizes. Fortunately, today exist several tools, resources and methodologies available to help you stay on top of things, even if you have remote employees.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your information safe and secure.

Find a data management solution

When it comes to making sure your most sensitive data is safe, you’ll likely need help from an outside source. Many companies don't pay attention to cyber threats until they face one. Ransomware and other malware can not only seriously harm your files; it can also lead to a significant financial loss on your end, as well as a break in trust with your customers.

Disasters that bring disruptions to your business data can be devastating, so it’s important to have a disaster recovery plan in place. If you don’t know where to start, work with cyber security professionals to strategise and implement appropriate prevention and recovery protocols and tools that help you stay protected, and that can get your data back up and running in no time in case of an attack.

Make Cyber Security an ongoing task

With increasing connections of machinery and OT to the internet, or converging with IT, another common mistake many Operation Managers or OT Managers make is narrowing down cyber security tasks to once a year, at its best. Again, your business should have a detailed plan for protection that occurs on your end, including the implementation of cyber-secure industrial networks, training for your employees on the importance of secure passwords, using only specific devices for work-related tasks, security updates for your assets and databases, and keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest scams and threats. This plan should be updated and reinforced several times per year. When you make Cyber Security an ongoing narrative, your employees will understand how important it is and can adjust their actions accordingly.

Create a plan for devices

Your employees should be well-versed on how to protect company information in the office, but it’s essential that they also understand how to keep data safe when working from home or using mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets can be extremely beneficial today to access ICS, providing a way for performing remote commissioning and monitoring of your industrial processes. But they can also represent security threats. Talk to your employees about the rules regarding mobile devices, including which ones they are authorised to use and how to install secure remote access tools and security apps. Create a plan on how to recover or secure data if a device is lost or stolen, as well.

Don’t underestimate scammers

You may think you have a good understanding of what an email scam looks like, but these days, cyber thieves are much more sophisticated when it comes to fooling their targets. Intrusions may look legitimate at first glance, but ask yourself — and train your employees to ask themselves — whether or not the user requesting access, or the content of the communication seems right. Go over safety measures with your employees, and deploy a Zero Trust plan to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to industrial cyber security.

It’s not easy to protect your business from cyber threats, especially as thieves become more and more attuned to what works, but there are plenty of resources available that can help you stay on top of your security needs. Lastly, don’t allow your digital real estate to be a gateway where hackers can simply waltz in.

Polestar IIoT can help in protecting your industrial assets and data through Secure Industrial IT and Cyber security technologies and services. Contact us to learn more!

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