• NIST (National Institute of Standards and

How Secure is Your Factory Floor?

As the manufacturing industry becomes more digitized, it is an increasingly popular target for cybercriminals. View each section below to get a virtual tour of potential cyber vulnerabilities on your shop floor.


Computers should have an automatic session lock after a period of inactivity. Employees should be required to enter a password to regain entry into the system.


Thumb drives are popular, portable devices for storing and transferring files from one computer to another. They can also easily be lost or stolen. Sensitive company information should not be put on removable media unless it is protected.

  • Use passwords and encryption on your thumb drive to protect data

  • Keep personal and business thumb drives separate

  • Use and maintain security software on computers, and keep all software up to date

  • Do not plug an unknown USB drive into a computer

HARDCOPIES Printed drawings may contain sensitive company information. Make sure drawings are properly protected and stored.


Employees should be able to identify phishing attacks. Phishing is a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive emails and websites that look like trusted sources. They often include an embedded link to lead you somewhere to update your information or input a password. Once hackers have the access they need, they may steal information or money or infect your system with malware like ransomware, spyware or a virus.


Employees are your first line of defense. They should know what to do if there is a cyber incident. Create an Incident Response Plan and train your employees on how to respond. Your ability to respond quickly and appropriately can help mitigate damage.


Your mobile devices can be extremely vulnerable because they are easily exploited and can be quickly compromised. Every employer needs to have a security policy in place for allowing employees to use cell phones and other mobile devices for company business.

Employees should:

  • Regularly update software

  • Use a secure PIN

  • Avoid connecting to public wi-fi

  • Report loss or theft of device immediately


Control physical access to the factory floor. Only authorized employees should be permitted on the factory floor. Contractors and visitors should be escorted.

NETWORK IP Address on the shop floor needs to be protected. Every connection to the internet is a potential entry point for hackers and malicious code.


This information was produced by NIST. Visit their Cybersecurity Resources for Manufacturers to learn more about managing your risk.