The PCB Manufacturing industry is becoming increasingly digitalized, which in turn comes with many advantages. Primary among them include:
- Improved transparency in operations
- Greater collaboration
- Improved control of the supply chain
- Cost benefits
- Improved innovation and more
However, the advantages of digitalization also come with the inherent fears of cyber attacks. In fact, the need for increased cyber security has never been so critical as now. From risk to sensitive data, to disrupting operating systems, impacting the supply chain, unplanned production downtime and more, cyber threats can impact a host of areas causing tremendous harm to the business and its reputation, both in terms of existing clients and prospective consumers.
Below is an indicative list of malware and the threats that they pose:
Worms – These are standalone malware computer programs that can replicate themselves and spread to other computers.
Virus – It is a piece of code that can copy itself and corrupt a computer system as well as destroy data
Spyware – A software that is installed covertly and sensitive information procured.
Trojan Horses – While it looks like a legitimate software, it spreads widely and causes damage.
The issue with malware also is the fact that some of them may lie dormant for a while before being activated. This gives the virus time to spread, before it is detected. Besides, as viruses become more and more competent at bypassing security systems, the efforts required to control them significantly go up.
Strategies for Cyber security
Given that the threats are potent, what then are some of the strategies that the Electronics Manufacturing Industry can adopt to ensure safety?
First up, the easiest way for a cyber attacker to gain access is through hacking of the company’s passwords. What then are some of the ways for the PCB Manufacturing Industry to brace itself against it? Here is an overview:
- Employees need to be advised to keep their passwords strong. Weak passwords that typically include simple numbers, names of relatives, birthdates and more, can be cracked easily. Often times, information gained from social media accounts is enough to make a good guess about the passwords.
- It is advisable to have a long password that is a random combination of numbers and symbols. 12 characters is ideal. That way the probability of the password being strong, increases manifold.
- There needs to be clear directive to employees on the passwords not being shared or written down somewhere for easy reference.
- Employees need to also be encouraged to change their passwords regularly. In the event that they feel that the password has been compromised, besides changing the password, the IT department should immediately be informed.
Other than the above, important precautions include:
Back up critical data
Secure your networks
- Antivirus software – Investing in a reliable antivirus software is of course your first line of defense. Having installed the software once, do also remember to update it with regular patches that may be provided by the vendor.
- Back up critical data – Every PCB Manufacturer, USA should ensure that there is regular data back up. Consider both onsite and offsite backups to keep yourself covered.
- Secure your networks – It is also important to secure your networks through necessary firewalls. It may also be a good idea to encrypt data to add a layer of security.
- Employee access – It is also important to review employee roles so that they have access to data that is necessary for their role. Doing this ensures that if there is an attack on an employee’s system, the spread can be restricted.
From the overall PCB Manufacturing industry standpoint, it is also crucial to invest in cyber security measures. These could include:
- Company wide cyber security training
- Employing cyber security consultants who can study the entire system and advice on the preventive measures to be taken.
- Investing in cyber insurance as that will cover risks in the event that despite the precautions you face a cyber attack.
Above everything else there needs to be a wide spread sensitization program for all employees, whereby they understand the criticality of operations. They can then be apprised of the critical role they can play to ensure to ensure that there is no data breach.
At Mermar, we are a one-stop shop for a range of PCB solutions. Whether you are looking for PCB prototyping, assembly or fabrication, you can be sure of getting the highest quality standards that are RoHS compliant. Consistent product quality, quick turnaround times and excellent customer service are some of our hallmarks. The ability to understand the bespoke needs of our customers is what ensures that whether you need a simple board or a complex multilayer board, you will not be let down.
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