How to Avoid Cyberattacks Taking Down Your Manufacturing Organization

Thanks to the new wave of hackers looking to pillage companies’ private information, manufacturers need to make sure there are no cracks in their supply chain’s armor. In 2023 alone, according to Statista, cyberattacks cost manufacturers $4.73 million per data breach.

In the time-sensitive manufacturing industry, you can’t afford to have any weaknesses in your cybersecurity. Just one malfunction can derail the entire supply chain at a significant cost to your business, let alone the time-consuming process of recovering from a cyberattack.

To protect your organization from becoming the next victim of a costly cyberattack, here are essential moves to protect your manufacturing business.

Assess Who Can Reach Your Valuable Information

Before concerning yourself with outside threats, you must assess your internal operations’ current security protocols.

A productive first step is to review your supply chain and identify sensitive information. (If you’re on the fence about any information important enough to be labeled sensitive, just remember always to play it on the safe side.)

You should also evaluate who has access to this sensitive information and how much overall access they possess. By keeping meticulous track of accessibility, you limit the number of accounts hackers will use as potential entry points, and it’s easier to discover the root of any possible data leak.

Evaluate Your Outside Vendor’s Cybersecurity

Many third-party suppliers need access to your sensitive information to partner with your supply chain properly. If those vendors fall victim to a cyberattack, the hackers can access your systems, rendering your cybersecurity measures useless. The more vendors can access your private info, the higher your cybersecurity risk.

To curb the risks of working with outside suppliers, you should be incredibly selective of what sensitive information you decide to share. Limit the number of people with access to your systems to the bare minimum so there are fewer continuities for accounts to be compromised.

In any partnership, sending your vendors a third-party risk assessment is entirely fair. These assessments help you evaluate the strength of these vendors’ cybersecurity and establish a precedent of high security between you and your partner.

Educate Your Staff on Phishing Tactics

The greatest weakness in any cybersecurity system is not the software itself but the people who use it.

Hackers are continually improving their abilities to phish companies out of sensitive information using fake emails and even AI-generated voices. If any employee falls for just one of these attempts, hackers can quickly take the account information and wreak havoc on your organization.

To avoid giving these hackers easy access, educating your employees to be wary of potential phishing strategies and notify IT immediately if anything appears suspicious is vital. Even essential awareness of phishing attempts can make a massive difference in the risk of cyberattacks.

Make Sure Your IT Software is Up to Date

It is typical in Just in Time manufacturing not to want to upgrade your software due to its compatibility with your supply chain. However, old IT can put your entire supply chain at a much higher risk. Older software is often unprepared to take on the latest ransomware programming, which leaves a vulnerable area in your organization to target.

Instead, upgrade your software consistently so it is standard with current cybersecurity measures and keeps you one step ahead of hacker’s strategies. Doing so not only makes you much safer but also enables a greater likelihood of being able to repair any mistakes made by the new software.

Hire a Cybersecurity Company to Discover Any Weaknesses

While all the tactics above are excellent first steps toward securing the safety of your organization, the most significant move you can make is to hire a cybersecurity company.

Cybersecurity companies can spot all the security risks in your supply chain. They will use their expertise to watch over your organization, to solve problems before they happen and guide you in making your systems as safe as possible.

Having a cybersecurity company on your side is also a massive benefit if a cyberattack does occur, as they can swiftly fix any problems you may face and minimize potential damage that could be catastrophic to your manufacturing process.

About the Author

NAMEJason Slagle is President of CNWR and a 25+ year veteran of Systems and Network administration. He may be reached at

MMA LogoCNWR is an MMA Associate Member and has been an MMA member company since January 2024.