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Cybersecurity compliance is a concept that has been talked about abundantly in recent years. Whether it is in reference to the alleged interference in an election process or the latest retail breach of customer’s credit card information, it is hard to deny that the risk is real.

But, what does this risk really look like for manufacturers? Research from IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence indicates that the manufacturing sector is the third most vulnerable industry to cyberattacks. Research also shows that 60 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses that have been hacked have been forced to shut down within six months of the attack.

If those statistics don’t make you want to take steps to understand your company’s vulnerabilities and become cyber secure, here are two perspectives on cybersecurity compliance that might convince you otherwise.

 

How Network Vulnerabilities Can Impact the Longevity of Your Company

 

Many manufacturers are small businesses. Per the National Association of Manufacturers, 98 percent of manufacturers have less than 500 employees, which qualifies them as “small” in the eyes of the NAM.

According to the Verizon 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 58 percent of cyberattacks were directed at small businesses. Each attack, per statistics from UPS Capital, cost small businesses between $84,000 and $148,000. For many small manufacturers, these consequences are potentially devastating.

In addition to the monetary impact, falling victum to a cyberattack also leads to other unquantifiable, crippling business consequences, including:

  • Direct financial impact on clients –g., through false invoicing
  • Diminished trust from customers – due to direct impact, inconveniences
  • Lost sales – thanks to damaged reputation
  • Downtime – as systems shut down and/or need to be evaluated
  • Defective products – if specifications or settings are somehow changed
  • Compromised intellectual property – via lost files, customer information
  • Identity theft – when customer or employee files are taken
  • Employee layoffs – due to loss of revenue

In addition, many manufacturers — particularly those involved in automotive and defense supply chains — have pressing cybersecrurity compliance requirements that they have to abide by if they are going to continue to do business.

In April of 2018, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) published its Cyber Security 3rd Party Information Security requirements for automotive suppliers.

And as of December 31, 2017, all defense contractors must have a plan in place to be compliant with the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) standard if they are going to retain their government contracts.

 

The Benefits of Proactive Cybersecurity Compliance: Midwest Precision

 

In 2017, Midwest Precision LLC, a manufacturer specializing in CNC machining, learned that they were obligated to meet DFARS cybersecurity requirements to protect Covered Defense Information (CDI) from compromise. If they didn’t, they would run the risk of losing current and future opportunities tied to the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain.

At the same time, the company received a request from a primary contractor to achieve an acceptable Exostar Capability Score of 3.00. With their current Capability Score at 0.061, Midwest decided it was time to get their cybersecurity affairs in order.

TechSolve collaborated with Midwest’s networking team on an initial cybersecurity assessment. Through this assessment, they developed a customized Plan of Action & Milestones (POAM) and created an Incident Response Plan (IRP) and System Security Plan (SSP) specific to Midwest’s needs, all prior to the December 31, 2017 deadline for DFARS cybersecurity compliance.

Additionally, over the next four months, TechSolve assisted Midwest with the execution and fine-tuning of the plan, as well as researched additional tailored solutions to fit their unique needs and culture.

As a result, TechSolve helped Midwest Precision increase their Exostar Capability Score from a Level 0 at 0.61 to a Level 3 score of 3.8, indicating a solid performing cyber risk management program.

Because Midwest Precision achieved DFARS compliance and a Level 3 Exostar Capability Score, the company was able to retain $12M in DoD contracts. It also earned the opportunity to bid on new contracts projected to be worth up to $1.5M per year.

 

Take Action to Reduce Your Cyber Risk

 

TechSolve was able to assist Midwest Precision with cybersecurity compliance, minimizing its risk and setting it up for future success by exceeding industry standards.

Manufacturers that don’t take similar action run the risk of being vulnerable to cyberattack from cybercriminals, as well as foregoing tomorrow’s opportunities. When it comes to cybersecurity compliance, the risk is real — and multifaceted.

Don’t become victim to a cybersecurity attack. To assess your risk and ensure your company’s ongoing prosperity, talk to a proven industry expert. Request a consultation with a TechSolve cybersecurity professional today.