For a lot of companies, there is just as much of a risk from virtual data theft as there is from real-world crimes. However, for many more, the risk associated with the former significantly outweighs the latter. The question is what your manufacturing business can do to reduce the risk of being hit by a data security breach of any kind, but the problem is that many threats are difficult to identify.
With that in mind, the best thing you can do is create the strongest possible security posture to insulate your company from risk going forward. Recognizing the following issues should help:
1) Physical loss of devices
One of the most common ways data is exposed comes when someone steals (or just misplaces) a device containing sensitive files, according to Business.com. That could be as seemingly minor as an employee losing a thumb drive, or as significant as someone breaking into your offices and stealing a computer. As such, physical security is something you need to do more to address these risks in your company policy.
2) Network intrusion
All too often, companies do not do enough to protect their WiFi networks from potential risk, Business.com added. For instance, if your in-house network is not properly protected with not only a strong password, but also firewall and anti-malware programs, you may be leaving yourself more open to risk than you realize. These are important strategic tech investments for any company to make.
3) A data breach
Data breaches grab headlines all the time for their size and scope, as well as the damage they can do to a business or its customers and clients, according to Customer 1st Communications. Sometimes, they are the result of a targeted attack by hackers, and in others they stem from an employee mistake. Look into the unique risks your business may have that might result in such incidents, and craft policies to reduce those threats.
4) Improper disposal of old tech
Another common cause of data breaches? Upgrading in-house devices and throwing out the old ones, Customer 1st Communications noted. Whether you know it or not, even the most seemingly innocuous connected devices (such as IoT monitors installed around your facility) could contain information that puts your data at risk. Consequently, it's vital to follow industry-recommended best practices to effectively dispose of any device you need to upgrade so nothing can be culled from your trash.
5) An 'inside job'
Finally, sad though it may be, you do have to be vigilant about who has access to what information, and what they might do with it, according to the Forbes Technology Council. All it takes is a single bad apple, including a disgruntled former employee whose access to your systems was never revoked, to cause a data breach that could cost your company tens of thousands of dollars or more and a significant number of worker hours to remediate.