Key Takeaways from SOCMA’s Executive Roundtable, “Cybersecurity’s Role in Manufacturing”

By: Alyse Keller, Senior Manager, Industry Relations

October 13, 2021

To kick off Cybersecurity Awareness Month, SOCMA hosted an executive roundtable focused on Cybersecurity’s Role in Manufacturing. Featuring subject matter experts from SOCMA member companies FitNetworks and McGriff, speakers discussed the importance of developing a holistic cybersecurity approach with strategies for the short, medium and long-term. Practical steps companies can take are included in this Cybersecurity in Manufacturing Good Practices handout.

A challenge companies face in enhancing cybersecurity measures is to adopt new thinking and overcome legacy paradigms.” – Brian Sullivan, President/CEO, FitNetworks.

Partners like FitNetworks and McGriff are here to help specialty chemical companies do just that!

Brian Sullivan, President/CEO, and Matthew Fleming, Client Success/Relationship Development, FitNetworks, focused on technological advancements with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or “Industry 4.0”. Technology can be one of your most valuable assets, but it’s essential to understand associated risks and how to best help protect your company and employees. FitNetworks took a deeper dive into utilizing the NIST Risk Based Approach to cybersecurity in their 2019 SOCMA webinar.  

Aarti Soni, SVP and Cyber Director​, and Michael Belling​​, Assistant Vice President​, from McGriff highlighted how the increase of companies utilizing technology and automation brings amplified potential exposure. Breaches and threats are growing, and it’s important for companies to understand and mitigate these and other potential risks, not only for the company itself, but those they do business with and across their supply chain (as highlighted by the Solar Winds event).

Cyber insurance is a key element of a holistic cybersecurity program. McGriff and Thompson Hine LLP discussed this in detail during the 2020 SOCMA webinar – focusing on data privacy, cybersecurity laws, and a review of cyber liability coverage. Information on the McGriff cyber liability program can be found here.

“If you employ technology in any part of your business, [cybersecurity protections] are essential.” – Aarti Soni, SVP and Cyber Director, McGriff

Key takeaways from SOCMA’s October 6 Executive Roundtable discussion:

  1. Do not rely on the compromised system itself when a cybersecurity breach happens. You need to be able to contact your key group of individuals or vendors without further exposing data. Consider using personal emails or phone numbers.
  2. Do not overlook the physical aspects of cybersecurity. Where is your equipment (routers, switches, etc.) located and who has access to that room?
  3. Cybersecurity assessments and insurance are not an extra – they are essential component to be integrated throughout the organization, especially for the small and medium companies.
  4. Conduct tabletop or practice exercises for responding to events.

SOCMA looks forward to continuing the cybersecurity conversation in 2022 and beyond! Please let Alyse Keller know if you would like to be included in future events, event communications or with any questions.

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