Cybersecurity: Understanding the Risks


Cybersecurity:  A Growing Threat to U.S. Manufacturing.

Most manufacturers rely heavily on information technology to conduct business.  Business operations like banking, payroll and purchasing are often conducted over the internet, machines on the shop floor are connected to networks and employees sometimes use mobile devices to access company information.  It’s simple, anything connected to the internet is potentially vulnerable to hackers and cyber criminals, and the costs of an attack can be devastating to your business.

Think A Cyberattack on Your Business Wouldn’t Matter Much?  Think Again!

If you think your company isn’t vulnerable to cyberattacks, you need to think again.  The notion that information contained on your computers isn’t of any value to anyone or that you wouldn’t be damaged if a hacker penetrated your networks is shortsighted and ill-informed.  Imagine if a disgruntled worker erased your payroll records, or a hacker got a hold of all your employees’ social security numbers and direct deposit bank account information, or if a natural disaster destroyed all your business records.  The results would be devastating, and you could be exposed to legal liabilities if you don’t have cybersecurity systems in place to protect your networks and computers. 


Devastating Impacts from Cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity incidents can have devastating impacts on manufacturing, including:

  • Damage to information or information systems.
  • Regulatory fines and penalties.
  • Legal fees.
  • Down-time or production stoppages.
  • Loss of information critical to running your business.
  • Loss of customers.
  • Damage to your credit and inability to get bank loans.
  • Loss of income.
  • The list of cybersecurity risks goes on!


Small to Medium Sized Manufacturers Have More to Lose from Cyberattacks.

Larger manufacturing operations have a depth of resources to implement effective cybersecurity measures.  With their complex operational and IT systems, bigger shops tend to be better prepared to defend against, detect and recover from a cybersecurity incident quickly.  Hackers know this, and they know that small to medium sized manufacturers are usually less well protected, making them soft targets.  In fact, over 60% of small businesses have experienced a cyberattack in the last 12 months, and with odds like that, your business could be next.  Whatever the size of your manufacturing business, you need to protect against cyberthreats, and Missouri Enterprise has valuable resources to help you with cybersecurity at your facility.

Missouri Enterprise is the NIST MEP National Network partner for the state of Missouri, and if you manufacture here, we’re your connection to the National Institute of Technology’s world-class cybersecurity program designed to help small to medium sized manufacturers.  Reach out to your local Missouri Enterprise Area Business Manager to learn more about protecting your business against cyberattacks.