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Tag: Advanced Persistent Threat

Manufacturing Business Security: How To Protect Your Manufacturing Business From Cybersecurity Threats?

Manufacturing businesses across the world were able to operate without strengthening their cyber security posture as that sector initially did not face critical cyber threats. However, the advent of PLC-SCADA (Programmable Logic Controller – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), IoT (Internet of Things), Robotic Automation, M2M (Machine-to-Machine) Communication, and State-of-the-Art Technological innovations have attracted the heat from APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups. Disrupting production and assembly lines, intellectual property theft, economic and employment failures, and hacktivism are some of the causes and motives that drive attackers apart from just the financial gains.

5 Best practices businesses can follow to protect manufacturing, production and assembly lines from hackers:

  1. Educate and train the employees, partners, and customers: Humans are the weakest link in the entire IT infrastructure that is evident when attackers phish employees for credentials. Security awareness training must be conducted periodically and the company can release advisories and suggest best practices as well. People must be trained to identify, block and report phishing and malicious emails which often is the simplest yet effective way to ward off the biggest cyber threats. Employees must be able to differentiate between genuine and spoofed email senders and user profiles on social media based on a list of red flags provided to them. Everyone in the organizational ecosystem must take ownership of cybersecurity from the entry-level work roles to the C-Suite.
  2. Deploy 2FA / MFA with Biometrics: Implementing 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) along with biometric locks will keep unauthorized users or hackers at bay. It is advised to periodically change the credentials used to access the various digital resources across your organization. Modify and update the vendor-supplied default security configuration to customize as per the business requirements. Deploying an appropriate IAM (Identity and Access Management) plan not only prevents an accidental information modification from employees unauthorized to do so but also limits the scope of access for hackers having stolen the employees’ credentials.
  3. Update and upgrade the software and hardware: Always update the hardware and software components used in your equipment and technologies periodically as per the vendor’s suggestions. Your lethargy or temptation to ignore the security updates might attract the attention of attackers to hack into your production systems and cause damage. Customers, partners, and end-users must be notified every time a new hardware or software update or upgrade is available for roll-out with the company. Patch the software for existing vulnerabilities and also design plans for setting up network communication architecture implementing defense-in-depth and depth-in-defense approaches.
  4. Data Privacy & Security with Disaster Resiliency: Companies must be aware of all the T&Cs (Terms and Conditions) about data storage and usage policies of its partners and customers. It is advised to conduct KYC (Know Your Client) background checks before storing any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) or confidential data of your customers and partners. You must encrypt the trade secrets, blueprints, business strategy related files in online and/or offline storage. Utilize encrypted and secure channels to share or transfer data with authorized users and groups. Businesses must aim to procure and deploy a robust and reliable technology tech-stack. The SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) applications must be used along with leveraging Military-grade encryption, Fail-safe Data Backups, Anti-Ransomware Solutions and Disaster Recovery mechanisms to protect your data from loss or corruption in case of any human or natural disaster.
  5. Holistic IT Strategies: Maintaining your organization’s credibility in the market among customers via complying to the various regulatory compliances is very important to protect highly sensitive business information. In-house SOC (Security Operations Center) team can monitor the real-time activities of Users, Services, and Applications in your productions and assembly environment. Alternatively, to facilitate inadequate budgets and lack of resources, you can hire an MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider) to outsource your security logging & monitoring requirements. They help in preventing, detecting, analyzing, & mitigating security risks, threats, vulnerabilities, and incidents. Protect the industrial automation machinery & M2M communication equipments with various security solutions such as NGAVs (Next-Gen Anti-Virus), DLP (Data Loss Prevention), XDR (Extended Detection and Response), Honeypot and likewise. Securing the productions and assembly lines would give Hackers a hard time targeting your manufacturing business.

Centex Technologies provide IT and Cybersecurity solutions to businesses including manufacturing units. For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740



Identifying An Advanced Persistent Threat

27 December, 2016

Advanced persistent threats (APTs) pose a big network security challenge for the business firms. These forms of attacks are very well-organized and involve the use of phishing techniques to trick users into downloading a malware on to their computer systems. However, the ultimate objective of an advanced persistent threat attack is far more than compromising the network security. It aims at stealing valuable intellectual data of the company, such as project details, business contracts, patent information, sales data etc.

Advanced persistent threats generally work stealthily and can go undetected for long periods of time, which makes it even more important to employ the necessary security procedures. Though these attacks are difficult to detect, there are certain signs that indicate that your network has been compromised:

Presence of widespread backdoor Trojans

In an advanced persistent threat, the hackers install various backdoor Trojans to gain access to the target computer system, even if the log in credentials are changed. These Trojans are commonly deployed through social engineering techniques, mainly through a phishing email or drive-by download.

Unexpected information flows

If you suspect unexpected and enormous flow of information from your corporate network to other internal or external computer systems, this may indicate an advanced persistent threat. As these attacks are targeted at stealing confidential information about the company, even a limited amount of unauthorized data transfer should not be overlooked.

Increase in log-in attempts during late night

If you notice a sudden and extensive number of log-in attempts on your official email accounts, it may indicate an advanced persistent threat. This may be done to compromise the security of your entire corporate network. The hackers mainly breach accounts outside the normal working hours of your employees or late at night.

Use of pass-the-hash hacking technique

Pass-the-hash is a common hacking technique in which the cybercriminals aim to remotely connect to your company’s internal network by capturing the password hash of the admin account. With this, they can gain an easy access to the entire network, without having to breach the original password.

Unexpected data bundles

Advanced persistent threats often accumulate the confidential data inside the network before transmitting them to the hacker. The data may be found in an unidentified file or folder where it should not be ideally stored. The files are most often saved in a compressed or archived format.

We, at Centex Technologies, are a leading IT security consulting firm in Central Texas. For more information and prevention tips for advanced persistent threats, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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