Manufacturers that work with the Department of Defense (DoD) are immune to attacks of any kind, right? Wrong. Like any industry, the companies that produce equipment and military systems are just as vulnerable to malware.

Malware is a blanket term used for any kind of software that is designed to cause harm to a digital environment like your office or factory spaces. It can damage devices, computer systems, and networks while bad actors ensure all business functions come to a screeching halt—frozen in place while your files are accessed, stolen, and possibly even sold. With such valuable, and often proprietary, information, defense manufacturers may be an even bigger target than others and can lead to a national security incident. What are some ways that malware can cause serious issues for defense manufacturers?

Malware can cause serious issues for defense manufacturers (1)
Disrupted Operations and Processes

The first issue is the most obvious—by using malware, hackers can access your network and put a halt to your internal processes.

Shutting down operations is a big deal for anyone, but when you work with the DoD, the delays and backups during equipment production and delivery of goods can lead to significant delays that impact military readiness.

Theft of Intellectual Property

In addition to being used to disrupt operations, malware can also be used to steal and encrypt or sell sensitive information connected to the development and production of equipment made for the DoD.

Bad actors can disrupt or shut down vital systems, encrypt your data, and openly steal your proprietary information in hopes you will pay them to restore it. It is exceptionally rare that a company receives all its data back after a ransomware attack and there is no way to guarantee the data wasn’t copied before being returned. Additionally, once you’ve paid the first ransom, it has become increasingly common for bad actors to charge additional ransoms before returning your data.

Due to the sensitive nature of the information, it can be used to sell competing products, sell counterfeits, and more, potentially giving an unfair advantage.

Compromised Security

You may have seen this coming. Theft of intellectual property often leads to every DoD manufacturer’s nightmare—especially where drones or other vital systems concerned—compromised security.

Since malware can be used to attack and enter the compromised security of a manufacturing company, including its networks, it allows attackers direct access to sensitive, and sometimes dangerous, equipment. You don’t want to give away your company’s ‘nuclear football’.

What now?

Thankfully you can make this an ‘if’ not a ‘when’ situation—there are ways that such attacks can be avoided and guarded against. In addition to the advanced security measures that are recommended, employee cybersecurity training must be implemented. It’s not enough to have good security—everyone with access to your company’s data must be able to recognize a bad actor when they see one.

Partnering with a Managed IT Services company that specializes in protecting against cybersecurity threats means you can focus on what you do best—helping the DoD protect our country.  As one of the only FedRAMP certified companies in the Midwest, you can depend on Aunalytics to keep your sensitive data safe. Don’t settle for an out-of-the-box antivirus and nothing else. Ensure that your location and data are not only secure, but that they will remain that way—no matter what the threat landscape looks like.