How to Respond to A Cyber Attack

Along with the rapid growth of technology, comes the growth of cyber attacks. This is an issue that the manufacturing industry, along with many others, have been facing. Manufacturing is becoming more technology based by the day. Keeping up with the knowledge of cyber security and attacks is crucial.

It is important for companies to acknowledge the possibility of a cyber attack, have strategies of prevention, and have a plan in case they are affected by an attack. Taking the proper steps in a timely manner can save a manufacturing company from finding themselves in a devastating situation.

Prevention

Companies should start by taking preventative measures. The best way to deal with a cyber attack is to not have to deal with it at all. The education and training of employees can help to prevent attacks. Making employees aware of potential risks can prevent slip ups that lead to breaches. Email filters can also be put in place to weed out suspicious or harmful spam emails.

Regularly updating software is an easy precaution to take. Security updates are commonly found within software updates. There is no reason to hold off on an update if it helps to protect against hackers.

Firewalls, security software’s, and encryption tools can also help to protect a company’s information. Having monitoring systems to help discover attacks is also a beneficial tool to utilize. These, along with the many other levels of prevention should drastically decrease the odds of a cyber attack.

There is even a national standard that can help guide a company of any size to take all preventative measures. When a company aligns themselves with this standard, they can receive a certification that ensures that they are up keeping with the best cyber protection. (link: why quality manufacturing certifications matter)

Responding to An Attack

Unfortunately, taking precautions can only go so far. Cyber attacks and security breaches can still occur even if a company has taken many preventative measures. In this case, companies should already have well thought out plans and procedures, so they are able to act fast to minimize damage.

Having a response team ready to take initiative over damage mitigation is a crucial part of dealing with an attack. These employees should be trained and ready to take action. They should all know the plan following a cyber attack and be able to move quickly through the processes.

The immediate plan should include alerting IT and management, disconnecting computers from the network, and checking backup information. Following that, law enforcement should be called, and the incident should be reported.

Following an attack, its important to find out where the breach in the company’s security was. How did the hacker get in? Once this is figured out, the gap should be patched to reduce the chances of another attack in the future.

Once the network is secured, the goal should be to check what information was breached and evaluate the damage. In addition, critical areas of the business should get back up and running. Downtime, especially in the manufacturing industry, is never good for a company. Investigations can be done while others resume their work if the network is deemed to be a secure again.

In addition to these steps, there are third parties that can assist companies in navigating through a complicated cyber attack. If the response group is not fully equipped to manage a serious cyber attack, there is nothing wrong with calling in additional assistance.

After An Attack

With the increased number of cyber attacks, lawmakers have been creating regulations and laws that hold companies accountable for preparation against attacks. Following an attack, it is important to follow every step, in accordance to the laws in your area to avoid any other issues.

For example, in most areas there a laws that will require companies to notify customers of potential security breaches. Again, this statement and a plan as to how the incident is going to be communicated to customers should already be planned out beforehand. In addition, the response team and management should already be aware of the laws in their area in order to handle the situation with as little conflict as possible.

Every company is at risk of an attack no matter how many precautions are taken. It is important for manufacturing companies to prepare themselves for the worst. Having a response plan and protocols in order to protect their information and networks will make the process following a cyber attack as easy as possible. The response following a cyber attack is key to damage minimization.

Originally published at https://blog.radwell.com.

Radwell International is an award-winning global supplier of industrial automation and electronic control equipment parts and repair services