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ResourceMFG | Manufacturing Workforce Specialists
6 tips for improving your factory's cybersecurity

Cybersecurity isn't just for personal accounts and private data like Social Security numbers and credit card information; factory managers need to be aware of the variety of threats their companies face. After all, your business may safeguard not only intellectual property that can be highly valuable, but also sensitive data on employees, customers, clients and the company's financials.

As such, you have to be far more vigilant about data security on an ongoing basis, and the following tips will help you do just that:

1) Set up antivirus and a firewall

First and foremost, you should make the right software investments to protect your system from being hacked via viruses and direct intrusion, so antivirus and firewall programs are vital, according to Precision Marketing Group. A little research will help you determine which offerings are right for you, but you can't assume that your systems will be safe, so the sooner you do this, the better.

2) Set a standard

In addition to putting new protective software in place, you also need to make sure your employees know what you expect from them when it comes to data security on an ongoing basis, Precision said. That could be as simple as making sure they change their passwords regularly, or as intensive as keeping their personal devices from connecting to your WiFi. But you have to make it clear exactly what you require of all involved.

3) Put together a compliance team

Of course, you can't always count on every employee to follow all the rules 100% of the time, and it's important that you install a team of people who monitor compliance with both internal rules and government regulations, according to IndustryWeek. That way, when things start to slip, there's likely to be someone who will catch the issue and move quickly to address it.

4) Keep track of all devices connecting to your network

There should also be someone continually monitoring which devices are being connected to your network, IndustryWeek advised. Often, this will just be employees' smartphones, or laptops owned by visiting business partners, but once you spot an unrecognized device, that could be a sign you need to tighten things up.

5) Train and re-train your employees

It's often not enough to just tell employees what you expect from them when it comes to cybersecurity, you also need to show them, according to Modern Machine Shop. A little bit of training — on a regular basis — goes a long way toward helping people understand threats they may face, and how best to avoid them.

6) Consistently learn about new threats

There's nothing about cybersecurity that stays the same forever; you will have to consistently reassess your vulnerabilities as time goes on, Modern Machine Shop added. If you've been vigilant about it in the past, there shouldn't be too much to worry about, but you must stay aware of evolving threats and move quickly to react to them.

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