What is Cyber-Crime? And Why Is It a Threat to The Manufacturing Industry?
Nearly half of manufacturing businesses have been the victims of cyber-crime at some point. Since the pandemic, more and more companies have embraced the benefits of using the internet. There are clear advantages when using digital technology to manage your business and conduct e-commerce, but unfortunately, they now come with certain risks, namely the threat of cyber-attacks.
This article will explain cyber-crime, why it’s a threat to your business, and how to protect yourself best.
The Invisible Thief: Cyber-Crime
Cyber-crime has become an umbrella term for any crime committed that was either ‘Cyber-dependant’ or ‘Cyber-enabled.’
Cyber-dependant. Hacking to steal or damage a system or spreading malware for financial gain, for example.
Cyber-enabled. Committing fraud or data theft through computer networks, for example.
With the development of the first computer viruses in the early 1980s, the door was opened to attack other people’s computers. While these initially started as harmless pranks or experiments, they quickly led to harmful criminal activity as the internet grew more popular.
Types of Cyber-Crime
Cybercriminals are vicious and ruthless. Invading systems to take control or exploit private data are the two main goals of these criminals. Additionally, once they have what they want, they will attempt to extort money from you to fix everything. As a result, most businesses never truly recover as the attack causes permanent damage to your company’s reputation.
All of this is money leaving your pocket for no good reason; a sound cyber security system will help you keep that money where it belongs.
What To Watch Out For
With businesses conducting confidential business online and storing valuable information, the temptation has never been higher for cybercriminals. Given a chance, they will not hesitate to damage your system permanently.
Is a type of virus that will prevent your workers from accessing your IT systems. As more businesses incorporate hybrid working with remote systems, this type of attack has increased. Their goal is to hold the system captive until they are paid a substantial sum.
Any business holding customer information is a potential target for ransomware. For example, our customer database and custom spring designs are confidential. Without our cybersecurity in place, they would be a vulnerable and tempting target.
Then a successful attack would require you to hire outside experts to verify the data is still confidential or notify the people whose information was leaked.
Data Erasure Malware
Some Cyber-criminals are not in it for the money; some are known as ‘Hacktivists.’ A Hacktivist would want to get a virus into your system to cause chaos. They could erase valuable data like order histories, customer contact details or specifications. They could erase your website without your knowledge, so that it would require reconstruction.
There are many ways to achieve this once they are in, so it’s vital to maintain a sound cyber security plan to keep them out.
How To Protect Yourself
No business is immune to online threats, but protecting yourself from online threats may feel necessary until your luck runs out, that is. The financial cost of the disruption to your business alone is the best-case scenario, and the worst case would be far more expensive. And suddenly, you’ll wish you had taken the time to defend yourself adequately.
Fortunately, in our 70 years of experience as leading bespoke spring manufacturers, we have learnt some good business practices for protecting ourselves online, which we’ve shared below:
Updating your Antivirus Regularly
Taking the time regularly to make sure your software is up to date will ensure you have the most robust defence against any intrusions. Unfortunately, new viruses and hacks are being developed by criminals all the time. The best antivirus software companies will constantly update their software databases to defend against these newly created viruses, but it’s up to you to make sure your update your software.
Additionally, it’s your responsibility to make sure the antivirus software you choose to begin with is the best on the market. You need to imagine this software like hiring a new staff member, one whose sole job is to protect you from online threats and updating your software is training your employee.
We at European Springs and Pressings wholeheartedly recommend investing in your online protection. Investing in your software as much as your staff is securing your long term future, and we believe in developing people for the future.
Passwords and Two-Factor Authentications
Your passwords are like the lock to your home, and you want them both to be as hard to break as possible. Using encrypted passwords will have a significant positive effect on your cyber security. Try using combinations of capital letters, numbers and symbols when possible to make it too complex to guess.
Having a solid password works for a while, but you should change your passwords often. Try doing it the same time you update your antivirus software to create a helpful routine.
Two-factor authentication is a fantastic addition to anyone’s online security and is essential for online businesses. Otherwise known as 2FA, two-factor authentication is the process of alerting a second source that someone is attempting a login. It’s a proven security measure amongst the banking industry and most online eCommerce sites. Most people will have encountered these at some point, such as inputting a code delivered directly to your phone or email.
Investing pays off
Being prepared for cyber threats does mean investing in cyber security, which means increased outlays. Still, as a prominent member of the Institute of Spring Technology and the leading spring manufacturers nationwide, we can attest that investing in your security and keeping it up to date will relieve you of these troubles so you can focus on your business.
We hope that this blog has been helpful and you now have a better understanding of cyber-crime and its threat to the manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our products and services, please get in touch – we’re always more than happy to help.