Manufacturers operate using a network of systems including equipment, machines, and processes that are run in a centralized manner and are often backed up on a company owned server. The increased level of cyber attacks occurring within the industry are forcing manufacturers to strengthen security for company data and systems through security software, firewalls, and other security devices.
Manufacturers are well aware of the cyber risk of data loss and systems control. The threat of these cyber attacks comes from individual hackers or groups, organized crime rings, or under the auspices of foreign governments, with the purpose to steal trade secrets and intellectual property.
Despite all the security efforts to protect your company network and its proprietary information, manufacturers often overlook a critical security loophole — your company website.
The Cons of a Company Server
Having a company server doesn’t automatically qualify you to host your own website. Whereas the confidential company data on your server is password protected and encryption-enabled, and you continually update internal software vulnerabilities, the challenge is maintaining the same level of security with your website.
Hosting your own website leaves you open to hackers who are looking to get into your server for blueprints, your banking system, and your customer’s bank accounts. Manufacturers make attractive victims for cyber criminals due to your unique assets and the fact that you are often easy targets. In fact, believing you aren’t a target is one of the most common contributing factors to a manufacturer’s vulnerability.
A client-server model of networks has its own set of computer security vulnerabilities. Remember, your network is only as secure as your administrators and designers make it. There are many ways your server is vulnerable to cyber attacks, including the choice of server and how it’s configured and encrypted.
Here are three possible threats to a client owned server:
- Data theft due to improper configuration of servers.
- Misuse of user rights.
- Denial of Service (DoS) attacks on a server causing it to crash and lose data.
There is no way to prevent cyber attacks, just as there’s no way you can prevent someone from attempting to rob you. However, although no one is immune, you can reduce the risks by choosing strong cyber security programs and a website hosting service who’s dedicated to maintaining a secure server and continually managing it for optimum performance.
Your web hosting company will help you keep your site up and running, giving you reliable and advanced security, uptime, and disaster recovery. The greater the cyber defense of your website, the less likely you are to attract the interest of cybercriminals, and the safer your business will be.
If you do choose to host your own website with your confidential information, there are two important elements to be aware of to maintain website security:
- Keep an eye on your website analytics. If there’s something amiss, keen attention to your site’s analytics can reveal unusual activity. For example, if you see a sharp increase in unexplained visits from a foreign country, it could be a sign that you’re being targeted.
- Update everything. This means your antivirus software, operating systems, and all your website software, including WordPress software, its plugins and themes. The majority of these updates are security based. Hackers will take advantage of any security hole you’ve left wide open by not updating.
Manufacturers should always plan for the worst outcome. By assuming cyber criminals will target you, you will be prepared by giving yourself the best protection to your data and systems. The best safeguard for your manufacturing company isn’t a one-time effort or expense. It’s an ongoing process that involves utilizing security at all ports of entry, including your company website.