One of the biggest facets of warehouse management that has changed in the last 10-20 years is that takeover that digital technology has had. All of the important processes, notes, inventory, and communication takes place over a digital network, which has greatly improved many aspects of the modern day warehouse, including marked improvements in efficiency and work capacity.
With anything that brings positive change to an industry or aspect of your business, there are also certain costs and consequences that are incurred with them. For instance, since many warehouses are running off of digital technology and open wireless networks, that makes them even more vulnerable to cyber attacks, hacking, and manipulation.
Cyber Security and Cyber Terror
The unfortunate reality is that terror doesn’t just occur in one form that is purely physical in nature. Cyber terror has become a serious threat for individuals, companies, and governments all around the globe. Cyber security has been one of the top priorities for many businesses, since the Wanna Decryptor ransomware attack that just happened in May of 2017. In this series of cyber attacks, WannaCry oversaw 45,000 different cyber attacks that occurred in nearly 100 countries.
With the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things, more and more businesses are running their companies on digital networks and making themselves more susceptible to acts of cyber terror. Now more than ever, we need to be taking every precaution possible to protect our businesses, warehouses, and networks to keep our information safe and to prevent from getting manipulated by cyber terrorism.
So as a warehouse, what are some precautions that you can start taking to protect your wireless network and your information?
Where Are the Openings?
As strange as this may sound, as many warehouses have been victims of cyber terror in the past, very few of them seek to add additional security layers, after the attack is resolved. If you and your warehouse is just getting started with taking some added cyber security precautions, the first objective that you should have is to identify all of the weak points in your network.
Depending on how large your facility is, you may want to either hire or appoint a person or team of people to manage and oversee your cyber security.
The first thing that you and your cyber team will need to do is identify all of the weak points in your network. That includes any devices, hardware, and software that are the most critical to your operation and/or are going to be the most susceptible to an attack.
Sometimes, this starts as simply as creating a hard-crack-passcode for your wireless network. The next step that you may want to take is to give limited access of the most important files, computers, and devices to a select few people that need to access them. The more unnecessary access you allow, the easier your network is going to be to crack.
The next thing that you can do is to make sure that you put into place a clear device policy for your warehouse. There are many benefits for companies now when it comes to letting their team bring their own devices to work, especially when it comes to saving on costs for IT and computer equipment.
Unfortunately, allowing that kind of autonomy amongst your team also makes you more vulnerable and exposed to cyber attacks. As an added precaution, you may want to make sure that everyone in your warehouse is only working on company owned and company approved devices. This uniformity can help prevent cyber security breaches in the future.
Breaching the Firewall
It is often that your first and most reliable defense against network and cyber breaches lie in your firewall. In order to make sure that your firewall is working at optimum capacity, you need to make sure that your team is regularly updating their software to prevent cyber attacks. Many software updates will include patches and updates to the security software on your devices, which will better protect them from breaches in security.
Setting a Standard
At the end of the day, there is no single rule or standard that will protect your entire warehouse and operation. Some warehouses will have different needs and systems than others, and therefore will need different policies and standards to make sure that optimal security is upheld.
You and your cybersecurity or information technologies team have the power to set standards to protect yourselves. Network security, security software, antivirus software, and other agreed upon company policies are going to be your best for protecting your warehouse and your information.
The best way that you can do this is to have agreed upon standards and practices that have to be met across the board. The more you leave cybersecurity up to the individuals in your warehouse, the more open your network and your facilities are going to be to hackers and cyber terrorism.