Watch Your Tech Weak Spots

Cybercrime is serious business for manufacturers. In fact, BedTimes published a lengthy article on cyberattacks in the January 2018 issue.

According to a March 19 online Industry Week article, modern day hackers can find a way in through outdated technology often used in the office.

Here are a few weak spots manufacturers may want to phase out or patch:

1. Fax machines: Even with the internet, fax machines still were being used by 62% of businesses in 2017, according to a Spiceworks poll. And if you haven’t changed the password from the default, watch out. Hackers can access sensitive information or send out sensitive documents. “In addition to changing passwords provided by the fax machine manufacturer, another recommended security precaution is to disable the fax machine’s remote access or management options,” wrote Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer of Seattle-based WatchGuard Technologies.

2. Printers: “From stealing hidden documents to hacking the entire IT infrastructure, hackers can create a plethora of problems through a single unsecured printer,” he said. As with fax machines, change the password and make sure devices are securely connected to the internet. Update printer software regularly. If printers are replaced every few years, have a plan in place to destroy the hard drive.

3. Video conference systems: Hackers look for systems connected to public Wi-Fi so they can spy on private conversations or company meetings, Nachreiner wrote. Manufacturers should create private networks for conference rooms or consider adding a virtual private network or other authentication system.

4. Security cameras and door access systems: “While we know deficiencies in physical security can affect cybersecurity, we recommend penetration tests and network controls for detecting and eliminating the weaknesses in surveillance cameras and door access systems,” he said.

5. Ventilation, heating and cooling systems: Often installed by people with limited IT experience, these systems provide a way for hackers to infiltrate a company’s network. Test IT devices before installation, create unique passwords and install software updates to help prevent an attack, Nachreiner said.