Security Awareness Training ― Cybersecurity for Your Manufacturing Organization

CPAs & Advisors

Jeff McCulloch
Jeff McCulloch President Technology

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Take a moment and think about all of the security features that are used to keep your organization’s network safe. Passwords and firewalls help keep the bad guys away from your vital information. But all of these security measures don’t mean a thing if someone clicks on a malware link inside an email.

As phishing attacks have grown, so too has the emphasis on Cybersecurity. In fact, according to the recent IBM X-Force Research’s 2016 cybersecurity Intelligence Index, the manufacturing sector is now one of the most frequently hacked industries, second only to healthcare. A tool that many are using to help prevent cyberattacks within their organization is security awareness training as a way to educate employees. Having knowledge of malware and phishing is as important as having proper antivirus and firewall protection.

How does security awareness training work?

A security awareness training provider will begin the training process with an email exposure check that shows which email addresses within an organization’s domain are being exposed to spear-phishing attacks on the Internet. This service looks deep into websites, Word, Excel and PDF files that are on the Internet. By performing these tests, business owners and managers can see which employees are the most susceptible to phishing emails. Training modules soon follow to teach employees what to look for.

Statistics show that it works

Security awareness training helps turn your employees into your organization’s first firewall. Through training, employees become the best defense you can have. We aggregated the numbers and the overall Phish-prone percentage dropped from an average of 15.9 percent to an amazing 1.2 percent in just 12 months. The combination of web-based training and frequently simulated phishing attacks really works.

Manufacturing is a target too

Cybersecurity continues to be a concern in the manufacturing industry. In the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, the manufacturing industry is listed as a top target of cyber-espionage. Cyber-espionage features external hacking threats that infiltrate victim networks seeking sensitive internal data and trade secrets. The tactics used by hackers to gain information through cyber-espionage begins with phishing and malware. For hackers, phishing is the most efficient way to get the information they want to hold for ransom.

Manufacturing companies are urged to do their research and perform the following to help mitigate cyber-attacks:

  • Perform an annual IT risk assessment to see where threats are coming from.
  • Use penetration testing to simulate threats.
  • Conduct vulnerability scans throughout the year and stay updated on new threats.

It’s important to remember that everyone is a target of phishing attacks. These attacks happen every day, but the good news is they can be prevented. Proper training is great a great way to prevent attacks, but equally important is having a proper backup and disaster recovery plan in place. Nothing is bullet-proof in IT, but being prepared for any circumstance can help save money and downtime in the event of a disaster.

For more information about security awareness training, contact your Yeo & Yeo advisor or Jeff McCulloch, President of Yeo & Yeo Technology, or 800.607.1446.

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