Updated: Sep 18
Bluestreak Consulting™ Reading Time: 3 minutes Cybercrime is hands-down one of the quickest-growing crimes around the globe and it continues to impact organizations from all industries. Being protected from cyber-attacks is becoming more and more challenging. While cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to take advantage of your security vulnerabilities, it’s very difficult for organizations to keep up with them.
What Are the Risks of Having Poor Cybersecurity? The risks involved in having poor cybersecurity practices may include; malware that can delete your entire system, an attacker hacking your system and altering files, an attacker using your computer to attack others, or an attacker stealing your credit card information and making unauthorized purchases. It’s difficult to remain 100% protected 100% of the time.
12 Best Practices Will Help Reduce the Chance of Cyberattacks
In order to minimize the risks of cyberattacks and improve your cybersecurity, you should follow these cybersecurity best practices:
1. Use complex passwords: Use at least 12 to 16 characters including letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and special characters. Change your passwords frequently.
2. Always keep software up to date, including antivirus and antimalware: Install software patches as soon as they become available. Also, be sure to enable automatic virus definition updates to ensure maximum protection against the latest threats.
3. Utilize a firewall: Firewalls may be able to prevent some types of attacks by blocking malicious code before it can infect your computer. Enable and properly configure the firewall as specified.
4. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or 2-Factor Authentication (2FA): This gives you an additional layer of protection that helps to verify that you are an authorized user and not someone who is unauthorized.
5. Be suspicious of unexpected emails: Phishing emails are currently one of the biggest risks to a user. The goal of a phishing email is to gain information about you, steal money from you, or install malware on your device (if you click on something in the email).
6. Use VPNs to ensure connections are private: To have a more secure and private network connection, use a VPN (a virtual private network). Your connection will be encrypted and your private information protected.
7. Look for HTTPS on websites: On websites that do not use HTTPS, there's no guarantee that the information between you and the site's servers is secure.
8. Scan external storage devices: External storage devices have the same risk as internal storage devices. Always scan external storage devices for malware before accessing them.
9. Train your employees: If your cybersecurity has a chance of working, make sure your employees are well-trained and always using security practices. It only takes one mistake. Educate your staff to be aware and on the lookout for different types of malicious social engineering (including a simple phone call asking for a username and/or password).
10. Back up your important data: Critical data can be lost with security attacks. Make sure you back up your important data frequently to the cloud or local storage device.
11. Don’t use public networks: Avoid private networks or use a VPN to connect. All of your information is vulnerable on private networks.
12. Use secure file-sharing to encrypt data: When sharing sensitive or confidential information, always use a secure file-sharing solution. If emails are intercepted, unauthorized users will have access to your data.
Improve Your Cybersecurity Weaknesses
NIST SP 800-171 is an excellent best practice to ensure your data and your customer's data are always secure even if you are not in the DoD supply chain.
Can you Afford Compliance? Funding & Cost Sharing May Be Available For Heat Treaters
With the huge push for stricter cybersecurity practices by the government and many businesses, cost-sharing and funding sources have been identified that may cover a substantial percentage of the costs associated with these critical cybersecurity projects.
About the Author:
Joe Coleman is the cybersecurity officer at Bluestreak Consulting™, a division of Bluestreak | Bright AM™, and a regular editorial contributor of Heat Treat Today, a trade publication media brand providing technology, tips, and news for manufacturers with in-house heat treatment departments. The publication targets aerospace, automotive, medical, energy, and general manufacturing.
Joe has over 35 years of diverse manufacturing and engineering experience. His background includes extensive training in cybersecurity, a career as a machinist, a machining manager, and an early additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer. Contact Joe directly at email@example.com.
Bluestreak™ is a powerful Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and a fully integrated Quality Management System (QMS), designed for the manufacturing environment and service-based manufacturing companies ( metal-treating/powder-coating, plating, heat-treating, forging, and metal-finishing), businesses that receive customers’ parts, perform a process (service) on them, and send those parts back to the customer). Companies need MES software tailored to specific functionality and workflow needs such as industry-specific specifications management, intuitive scheduling control for both staff and machinery maintenance, and the ability to manage work orders and track real-time data. If different work centers on the production floor aren’t “speaking” to each other via the MES, the data loses value and becomes disjointed or lost in disparate silos.
Bluestreak | Bright AM™ is an MES + QMS software solution specifically designed to manage and optimize the unique requirements of Additive Manufacturing’s production of parts and powder inventory usage.