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Protect Against Cyber Attacks: Tips for Companies of All Sizes

Tue April 24, 2018 - National Edition
CEG


Cyber attacks are affecting companies of all sizes. Smaller companies may actually be at higher risk if they don't think it can happen to them and don't take precautions.
Cyber attacks are affecting companies of all sizes. Smaller companies may actually be at higher risk if they don't think it can happen to them and don't take precautions.

As companies introduce connected technologies into the workplace and on the job site, they increase the risk of cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks are affecting companies of all sizes. Smaller companies may actually be at higher risk if they don't think it can happen to them and don't take precautions.

Don't be complacent, says the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Cybersecurity has become more complex, as malware attacks have continued to skyrocket, with ransomware leading the charge.

AEM has relayed cybersecurity tips through its ConExpo-Con/AGG 365 initiative, including the information below. Learn more at http://www.conexpoconagg.com/subscribe/.

Commit to a Cybersecurity Strategy

Routine data backup is the most effective counter to any ransomware demand, said Scott Schober, president and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems. “User behavior has not changed fast enough to keep pace with the onslaught of attacks.”

Effective cybersecurity also requires everyone to participate.

Key steps include:

  • implementing cyber awareness training for all employees;
  • teaching good cyber-hygiene throughout all levels and departments, in the office and at the job site; and
  • enlisting a qualified third party to help train and test staff.
Don't Forget the Basics

Be proactive and diligent, putting basic controls and protocols in place:

  • Create a regular backup plan for all data stored off site;
  • Use only name brand security software that automatically updates on every computer, tablet and laptop to combat the latest threats;
  • Update all operating systems regularly and never use unsupported, outdated software;
  • Verify all firewalls have the latest security patches installed;
  • Ensure all network mobile devices have both hardware and software encryption with a long and strong password or PIN required for access;
  • Verify the Wi-Fi network within the company and at the job site is secure, encrypted and has a long and strong password. Set up MAC filtering to accept only pre-approved employee devices; and
  • Reinforce these controls and protocols through regular training sessions to help all employees so that "thinking cyber" becomes part of everyone's daily job requirements.

“By raising awareness, employees will realize the importance of slowing down to question anything that seems a bit off,” Schober said.

Looking Ahead

While cybersecurity concerns are complex today, they will continue to grow as technology continues to evolve and impact organizations at every level.

Every company that is connected to the Internet is a potential target for hackers.

Taking the time now to invest in cybersecurity training and prevention methods can help ensure your company and job sites remain safe and secure in the future.

Learn more about cybersecurity and other industry trending topics through AEM's ConExpo-Con/AGG 365 initiative.

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 950 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related sectors worldwide. AEM has an ownership stake in and manages several world-class exhibitions, including ConExpo-Con/AGG.