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Cybersecurity Framework Steps for Manufacturers

March 9, 2017

Article from MANTEC Spring 2017 Newsletter

Why Cybersecurity Matters
Small manufacturers are a vital part of our nation's economic and cyber infrastructure. There are over 289,000* small manufacturers in the U.S. In 2015, the average cost of a data breach for small companies was $38,000**. It has been estimated that more than half of the companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack***.

For more small manufacturers, the security of your information, systems, and networks is not the highest priority given everything else you're faced with. But an information security or cybersecurity incident can be detrimental to the business, your customers, partners, or suppliers. It's important that manufacturers understand and manage the risk and establish a cybersecurity protocol to protect your most critical assets.

Five Steps to Reduce Cyber Risks
This resource is for small manufacturers to quickly and cost effectively address cybersecurity threats. These simple, low cost steps are based on the official NIST guidance from the Cybersecurity Framework and have been tailored to meet the needs of small companies so they can identify, assess and manage cybersecurity risks.

    Identify and control who has access to your business information
    Conduct background checks
    Require individual user accounts for each employee
    Create policies and procedures for cybersecurity
    Limit employee access to data and information
    Install Surge Protectors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)
    Patch your operating systems and applications routinely
    Install and activate software and hardware firewalls on all your business networks
    Secure your wireless access point and networks
    Set up web and email filters
    Use encryption for sensitive business information
    Dispose of old computers and media safely
    Train your employees
    Install and update anti-virus, anti-spyware, and other anti-malware programs
    Maintain and monitor logs
    Develop a plan for disasters and information security incidents
    Make full backups of important business data and information
    Continue to schedule incremental backups
    Consider cyber insurance
    Make improvements to processes/ procedures/ technologies

*2014 County Business Patterns, United States Census Bureau
**2015 Global IT Security Risks Survey, Kaspersky Lab
***Small Business, Big Threat: Protecting Small Businesses from Cyber Attacks, United States House of Representatives Committee on Small Business Cong. (April 22, 2015) (testimony of Dr. Jane LeClair)

About Catalyst Connection

Based in Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers to improve their competitive performance. Catalyst advisors, consultants, and instructors offer training, consulting and administer financial programs that can provide funding for equipment, machinery, or capital improvements. As a nonprofit 501 (c)3 firm, the organization has been supporting Southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers for more than 25 years. For more information call 1-888-887-7472 or go to www.catalystconnection.org.

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