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Gosiger Blog

5 Ways to Protect Your CNC Shop from Cybercrime.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) provides incredible opportunities to improve productivity and increase profit margins for CNC shops. However, just as in our homes, the more machines interconnect, the greater the opportunity for hackers to steal critical information. 

In the home our security systems, appliances, televisions, voice-activated assistants and more are increasingly intertwined via the Internet. In the factory, CAD/CAM files are sent directly to CNC machines, while machine tools and peripheral equipment share data with one another, with host computers and with mobile devices. All of which makes us more vulnerable to the cyber bad guys. 

Fortunately, there are ways to protect your shop from these criminals. Here are 5 recommendations: 

  1. Establish security standards. Perhaps the most important way to safeguard your shop’s data is to create written security policies, train your employees to use them and enforce the rules. These policies typically include specific password practices, guidelines for using the Internet, banning the use of personal devices for company data, and other practices. 
  1. Protect mobile devices. Company provided laptops, mobile phones or tablets should have the latest encryption and security features to prevent hackers from grabbing important data. Never use mobile devices with public Wi-Fi to share important information as this opens the door for hackers. 
  1. Continuously backup. Have a plan to manually or automatically backup files on a regular basis and, better yet, use a reputable and secure offsite or cloud-based system to store your files in real time. This way, if your data is breached you still have all of the business and production information you need to keep operating. 
  1. Keep computers & network up to date. Too often we put off upgrading software or installing the latest security updates. Make it a practice to keep all devices current. It’s equally important to run anti-virus software on a regular basis to make sure no part of your system has been compromised, have a robust firewall, and a secure, encrypted Wi-Fi system. 
  1. Approve any modifications to CNC controls. Open source machine controls enable programmers to install macros, apps and other time-savers. However if someone loads a program obtained from another machine or elsewhere, it could be embedded with malware. Checking it out first could prevent infecting a machine or entire network. 

As manufacturing technology continues to evolve at a rapid rate, depend on trusted partners like Gosiger when upgrading equipment or expanding capabilities. For more than 95 years Gosiger has served the manufacturing industries with advanced production machines, applications assistance, engineering services, training and technical support. Contact your local Gosiger facility to learn more.