Managed IT Services for Your Manufacturing Facility

Managed IT Services for Your Manufacturing Facility
By Tim Pruitt / on 10 May, 2021

Would your company survive if your production floor were down for 2 weeks?

An email attachment, a malicious web link, or unscanned downloads can easily make this situation a nightmare for your IT staff and facility managers. Cyberattacks against manufacturing facilities are on the rise, one of the most prominent attacks being ransomware.

Ransomware is a particularly nasty attack which works by encrypting files and essentially making the files unrecoverable and unusable unless you have a decryption key to unlock the files… which only the attacker has. The attacker will include a document with instructions on each infected machine directing the victim to pay a ransom to obtain the key. Ransomware is commonly introduced from email, downloaded programs, or visiting certain websites. It has the potential to spread quickly with almost instantaneous and disastrous results.

The ransom can be a nominal or large sum often depending on the financial success of the business. It is common that once a ransom has been paid, the attacker never delivers on the promise of providing the key. When that ransom is in the millions of dollars, it can be catastrophic to the health of the victim company. Not only will your ability to produce grind to a halt but the damage can set a company into financial ruin.

How you can protect your assets from a cyberattack.

Define and implement a security architecture.

GPIT can help you design and improve your security posture by hardening your active directory and network environments. We will help design and deploy group policies and access control. Working from industry best practices and years of expertise, GPIT can help prevent or at the very least reduce exposure to the remaining assets if a system is compromised.

Monitor, update, and backup.

GPIT provides full managed endpoint protection, your first line of defense against attacks. Ensuring your antivirus is up to date and systems are monitored help provide a proactive approach to securing IT assets. It is not enough to simply install endpoint protection. These services must be monitored and managed to achieve full effectiveness.

Backing up data is one of the most critical protective measures to implement to ensure operations can be restored. GPIT has managed backup services to offsite cloud storage. It is going to take more than backing up files to your local SAN or file server to protect your data. We have seen attacks quickly compromise local backup repositories making that data completely worthless. Backup to the cloud is extremely important. GPIT provides a very cost-effective cloud backup solution to Amazon S3 making our backup offering a step above standard cloud backups. What would happen if you lost your production databases?

Network segmentation.

You may remember a few years back when Target was in the news due to their network and payment card systems being compromised. The lack of network segmentation contributed to the unauthorized access to private data. It is important to reduce the attack surface in the event your network is compromised. If an attacker gains access to the HVAC network, proper network segmentation may prevent the attacker from accessing financial data in a more protected area of the network.

Documentation, logging, and insurance.

Documentation is one of the most overlooked functions of an IT team. It is often just a result of moving to complete projects quickly. When a team gets behind on documentation or has a poor process to document assets and architecture it can become a monumental task to get caught up. In our discovery phase, GPIT catalogs and fully inventories all assets and application workflows. In the event of a disaster, this will be crucial to restoring the state of each system.

System logs are vital in IT. They provide immense value in troubleshooting, reacting to events, and forensic analysis in the event of an attack. In the event of an attack or incident your legal team or insurance company may want to view system and access logs.

We will not try to sell you insurance, that is definitely out of our wheelhouse. But we absolutely recommend you are covered by a cyber policy. This can mean the difference in offsetting losses by millions of dollars. We would be glad to review your policy from a technical standpoint to ensure your critical assets are covered as expected.

Call an expert.

We all have projects, day to day tasks, and life events that often make a security hardening project difficult to execute. Not to mention the costs associated with IT security. A security engineer alone can demand a high salary and benefits creating a 6-figure expense. By letting GPIT manage your assets we will improve your security posture freeing you to maintain your day to day and project initiatives. We also have a cost-effective model made possible through our custom support platform that can fully automate management of assets. Our goal is to save you money through our services on top of the protection we provide. You will get a team of expert engineers working to maintain your network for a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house engineers.

Our process involves providing a detailed discovery of existing assets, discussing security requirements with leadership, designing a usable architecture, and executing. We have recovered facilities from ransomware and other cyberattacks and we know how to limit exposure and recover from disasters. This is much more difficult to do if proper backups and limiting exposure have not been implemented.

Do not be another facility that loses its business to a cyberattack. The time to act is sooner rather than later. Contact GPIT for a free initial consultation.