Building a Resilient World:

Welcome to the official blog of the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance (ISAGCA).

This blog covers topics on automation cybersecurity such as risk assessment, compliance, educational resources, and how to leverage the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. ISAGCA blog posts may be authored by ISA staff and guest authors from the cybersecurity community. Views and opinions expressed by a guest author are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent those of ISA. Posts made by guest authors have been subject to peer review.

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Top 3 Security Factors that Put Businesses at the Greatest Risk

The security and safety of your business should always be a top priority. With the evolving threats that businesses face today, it's more important than ever to know what puts you at the greatest risk. Once you know the risks, you can easily mitigate some of the biggest threats by taking the right steps.

There are three main security factors that you need to keep in mind: unsecured physical facilities, mobile device risks (BYOD), and cybersecurity threats. In this blog, we’ll detail the nature of these threats and discuss how to prepare for them.

Unsecured Physical Facilities

Whether you own a manufacturing facility or a commercial building, physical security is just as important as cybersecurity. In addition to protecting your data from theft, physical safeguards on the facility also help protect employees. For instance, access control systems can be used for restricted areas with time-of-day restrictions, while card readers restrict entry based on a valid credential or proximity badge.

How well you secure your business premises can make a big difference. For instance, you can also install professional security camera systems to monitor your premises. If you're in the retail business and have an open-to-the-public store, be sure to implement measures such as restricted access points with gates or bollards that are locked at night. Another important measure is using alarm systems for notifying authorities about any intruders on your property.

If you’re a manufacturer, you need an even more integrated security strategy to protect your industrial assets. On-site physical security measures can help prevent theft of equipment and infrastructure, such as computers or servers. You could use locks on doors where sensitive information is stored and install intrusion detection systems to detect any breaches in the system. Secure your parking lot with locked gates at night to prevent unauthorized entry.

Mobile Devices (BYOD)

Mobile devices have become a necessary business tool. With recent statistics showing that 36% of companies have half or more of their employees using their own devices for work, the risk is only getting bigger. The security risk to businesses increases when they allow employees to use their personal devices for business-related tasks. Employees must know how to secure their personal devices and understand the security policies when using business devices to avoid putting any sensitive information at risk.

Companies should create policies that dictate what apps are and aren't allowed on employee devices and how employees can store and transmit data to avoid a security breach of company-managed files. In fact, most of the data breaches that happen today are from employees being too lax with their personal device security. Businesses must develop and implement strict BYOD policies that dictate how and when employees can use their personal devices for work purposes.

Follow these steps for your BYOD policy:

  • Set up a clear device policy that explains to employees what they can and can't do with their personal devices in the workplace
  • Educate new hires, provide training on company policies, and establish best practices for work-related tasks such as sending documents via email or downloading files from an external site
  • Establish guidelines about how data should be stored
  • Develop security standards as new automation technologies are implemented

Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity breaches are becoming more and more frequent, as hackers have become more sophisticated in their methods. With the average cost of a data breach at $3.9 million, it’s more important than ever for businesses to protect their data. Growing threats like phishing, ransomware, and denial-of-service attacks make it vital to invest in the latest cybersecurity protection in the form of software or hardware solutions.

The recent Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Cyberattack is a clear example of the risks that businesses face, no matter the size. To protect your business, consider investing in the latest cybersecurity solutions such as:

  • Anti-virus software
  • Firewall solutions
  • Web filter solutions
  • Anti-malware solutions
  • Sophisticated threat intelligence and multi-layer detection engines

By having a multi-layer approach to cybersecurity, organizations can better protect themselves from these threats and cut the cost of potential data breaches. With the right cybersecurity solutions, you can neutralize threats before they reach your critical business systems. That also means investing in the best payment gateway security systems, supply chain security systems, and point-of-sale (POS) security systems.

The consequences of a data breach can be devastating for any business. You may lose customers, money, and resources that have been invested in the business. By investing in cybersecurity solutions now, you could help protect your company from these risks and ensure your customer’s data is safe.

Review Your Security

Businesses continue to face new and evolving security risks. As a business owner, you must be vigilant to protect your business. Consider conducting a security risk assessment across your entire business, including your premises, your company-wide devices, and cybersecurity threats to understand the risks you face and how you can mitigate them.

Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.

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