Preparing for cyber attacks in the food and drink industry: exclusive podcast

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Don't get caught out by phishing schemes and ransomware
Don't get caught out by phishing schemes and ransomware

Related tags cybersecurity

In this exclusive podcast interview, 1898 & Co. global director for utilities (power & water) and manufacturing Eric Ervin discussed cybersecurity in manufacturing and how to prepare the sector for potential cyber-attacks.

Ervin highlighted that as capital expenditure into automating manufacturing spaces increased, more and more projects have been started simultaneously. This rush to automate and evolve systems with new Internet of Things (IoT) tech has created what he described as a fractured approach to cyber security.  

With so many devices and systems going into the factory, it’s crucial that considerations into cyber security need to be part of the planning phase. 

Plan for cyber-security  

“It’s critically important to make sure that from a planning standpoint, the security teams are working with the engineering an operations teams as these new projects and initiatives are spun up,”​ said Ervin. 

“Design can be baked into the project as it evolves, rather than trying to ‘wrap’ security at the eleventh hour when resources are tight, when you’re more apt to accept a risk on the cyber front in order to meet schedule.” 

Ervin also talked about the biggest threats facing connected systems, specifically phishing and ransomware. Manufacturers can be susceptible to such attacks, since their networks are somewhat ‘flat’ in nature – everything from emails to controllers on the shop floor all run on the same network to create efficiencies. Should such a cyber-attack go through, it could immediately threaten food production. 

Company culture  

While making sure that the company culture is one that is aware of the threat of these scams, robust controls also need to be in place to help prevent any potential attacks from damaging the system. 

“Training is absolutely important, whether that’s your annual cyber training that most organisations have at this point backed up with some hands-on training, but you’ve also got to have technical controls in place as well,”​ Ervin added. 

“There’s traditional security like with Microsoft’s licenses, tools that come with those types of licenses that organisation should think about turning on.” 

Listen to this podcast to learn more about the potential cyber-security threats to the food and drink industry and how to deal with and prevent them. 

Menawhile, tomorrow (21 June)is our free webinar digital technology webinar,​ sponsored by siemens.  

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