In the world of making things, from little widgets to big machines, staying safe online is a bigger deal than you might think. That’s because the folks who build things—manufacturers like you—are now big targets for internet bad guys, cybercriminals. Why? Well, many factories haven’t caught up with the latest computer safety measures, and that makes them easy pickings.

Cyber Threats: A Real Problem for Factories

A lot of factories are behind the times, with more than half not up to date on keeping their computer stuff safe. That’s like leaving your car unlocked with the keys in it! And with cybercrime damages predicted to hit a whopping $1.8 billion soon, it’s time to sit up and take notice.

Why Hackers Love Targeting Manufacturers

It’s simple. Many factories aren’t tech-savvy and can’t afford to stop production. That makes them perfect targets for hackers who use tricks like phishing, ransomware, and even taking advantage of unhappy workers to break into systems.

Phishing: The Bait and Switch

Phishing is like getting a fake call from your bank asking for your account details. Hackers pretend to be someone you trust to trick you into giving away information. They’re really good at it, too—sometimes, they sound just like your boss or a coworker.

Ransomware: Pay Up or Else

Ransomware is another nasty trick. It’s like someone locking up your factory and demanding money to open it up again. Since time is money, and factories can’t afford to stop, paying the ransom can seem like the only way out.

Inside Jobs: The Threat from Within

The scariest threat? Your own workers. If they’re not happy or careful, they can accidentally or purposely let hackers in. That’s why keeping an eye on who has access to what is super important.

How to Shield Your Factory

To keep safe, you need a full-on security plan that covers everything from your workers to your machines to your suppliers.



Things You Can Control:

Keep it tight: Only let workers access the computer stuff they need for their job.
Share the load: Split up important tasks so no one person has too much power.
Train your team: Make sure everyone knows how to stay safe online.
Backup, backup, backup: Always have copies of your important data, so if something goes wrong, you’re ready.
Have a plan: If the worst happens, know what to do to get back on your feet.

Things You Can Work On With Others:

Start strong: Make sure any deal with suppliers includes talking about keeping things secure.
Pick the right partners: Work with suppliers who take security as seriously as you do.
Keep talking: Always be on the lookout for weak spots and fix them together.



The Big Picture: Smart Factories Are Safe Factories

Becoming a smart factory—a place that uses technology to make things better and faster—isn’t just cool; it’s essential. But as you step into the future, you’ve got to make sure you’re not leaving the door open for cybercriminals. Even if it’s tempting to move fast, especially when everything’s a bit chaotic, like during a pandemic, taking the time to be safe is worth it.

Don’t let cyber threats sneak up on you. Keeping your manufacturing business secure might seem like a lot to handle, but you don’t have to do it alone. Get smart about your IT, and don’t become just another number in the stats of cybercrime victims.