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    Hacked: Saving Your Manufacturing Plant's Revenue from Cyber Thieves

    Posted by Brad Hancock on Nov 9, 2023 5:40:40 PM

    Imagine you're Jerry, a Texas manufacturing business owner who's just encountered a nightmare: that his last invoice to his biggest customer was manipulated so that the funds were diverted to criminals bank account. This isn't merely a financial loss; it's a breach of trust and a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities in our hyper connected world. Jerry's story isn't all that unique, but a scenario that is becoming more common for Texas manufacturing businesses in today's cyber-threat landscape. It brings to light a critical issue: the dire need for comprehensive protection against cyber events no matter the size or industry of our business. But what does that protection look like beyond some form of network security?

    Hacked: Saving Your Manufacturing Plant's Revenue from Cyber Thieves

    What Is A Cyber Attack?

    When we think of cyber-related events that we would deem attacks, Texas manufacturing businesses might not consider themselves prime targets. However, the reality is starkly different. If your business is connected to the world via email, payment processing, or simply has a website, you're exposed to the potential of a cyber crime. Cyber attacks are not just about data breach or phishing; they can be as complex as spoofing, ransomware, and malware attacks, or as cunning as social engineering attacks. Such attacks don't just cause temporary setbacks; they can potentially shut down your entire operation, costing not just money but your hard-earned reputation.

    Why Do Texas Manufacturing Plants Need Cyber Insurance?

    Texas manufacturing plants are increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. The new technology that is making your business more efficient and profitable has also brought new challenges. With cybercriminals finding innovative ways to breach systems, your cyber security from even two years ago is now likely outdated. Businesses like Jerry's are facing risks that extend far beyond traditional security concerns. Cyber security threats can lead to business interruptions, missed contract deadlines, and reputational damage when your customers begin to understand if you didn't take adequate cybersecurity measures. The significance of cyber insurance becomes evident when you consider the diverse nature of these risks, especially in scenarios like email security breaches and the manipulation of invoices, leading to the redirection of those accounts receivable that become the revenue fuel of your growth.

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    Types of Cyber Risks For Your Business

    The spectrum of cyber risks is vast and constantly evolving. For manufacturing plants, these risks aren't just confined to the more apparent threats like data breaches. They also encompass less noticeable yet equally damaging risks, such as trojan horses lying in wait within your systems. Operating without adequate cyber protection means exposing your business to unprecedented risks and vulnerabilities. It simply takes one security failure to begin a cataclysmic chain of events.

    Types Of Cyber Risks For Manufacturers

    For manufacturers, understanding the various cyber risks that your business is prone to is the first step in protecting your business. These risks vary in nature and impact, from ransomware attacks that can cripple your entire operation to malware that can covertly infiltrate and compromise your systems. Each type of risk comes with its own set of implications and potential damages, requiring a tailored approach to cybersecurity. Here's a quick list of potential threats to give you an idea of your risk profile.

    Let's focus in on two very specific problems that Jerry had to deal with head on recently. He had not considered what his imminent level of risk was with his systems and found himself dead center in a cyber event with little to no protection.

    Email Security Breaches

    We all use email everyday. We may hate it, but we use it. And as a result, it is an easy target for cyber criminals. An email security breach can have far-reaching consequences for Texas manufacturing plants. You have likely seen the emails come to your inbox and look like they are from Amazon or PayPal, but they are not. It takes one person clicking on a link to allow for the  infestation to occur on your email server.

    These breaches are not just about unauthorized access; they can also involve sophisticated malware, which can reside undetected on an email server, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Which leads us to Jerry's bigger problem. The malware that landed on his Outlook server was watching and waiting for a moment to strike when least expected. 

    What Exactly Is Invoice Manipulation?

    Invoice manipulation is a form of cyber attack that is particularly insidious. It involves hackers using that malware that was on Jerry's email server to alter invoice details. For Jerry, that meant that they requested an update to payment details to divert payments into a new account. The client did so effectively rerouting Jerry's accounts receivable funds into the criminal's account. For manufacturing plants like Jerry, where invoices can be several hundred thousands of dollars, understanding the risks associated with invoice manipulation is critical. Not only does this lead to financial losses, but can also compromise client trust. The potential impact of such breaches is significant, making it imperative to have robust cyber coverages as part of your risk mitigation strategy.

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    What Do You Have At Risk?

    Understanding the risks is just the beginning. When a cyber attack occurs, the immediate concern is the infected system. However, the impact goes beyond this, affecting various aspects of your business, including hidden costs and the potential loss of revenue. It's essential to consider whether you have an IT team capable of diagnosing and resolving such issues and to recognize that the problem often extends further and costs more than anticipated. Consider these portions of your business that can be affected by an attack and what it will cost your business if you do not have a Cyber Policy to help protect you.

    Costs of IT Clean Up or Replacement

    The aftermath of a cyber attack often involves significant costs associated with the cleanup or replacement of IT systems. For Texas manufacturing plants, these costs can include not just the immediate expenses of restoring compromised IT infrastructure but also long-term investments in hardware, software, and data recovery services. If your business is heavy on automation for the processing of your product, the costs mount quickly. The financial burden of these processes underscores the importance of having a comprehensive cyber liability insurance policy in place.

    Accounts Receivable Due Being Rerouted

    One of the more understated risks for Texas manufacturers is the potential rerouting of accounts receivable just like Jerry so rudely encountered. Cybercriminals employ various methods to manipulate or redirect payments, causing significant financial losses to the company. Understanding and guarding against this risk is essential for maintaining financial stability and protecting your revenue streams.

    Business Interruption Losses

    Cyber attacks can lead to substantial business interruptions due to the need to quarantine the problem, diagnose its scope, and then remediate the issues. This process can cost you days to even weeks of not being operational which will severely impact a manufacturing plant's financial health and operational capacity. These losses encompass more than just immediate financial setbacks; they also include the longer-term effects on business continuity and the ability to meet contractual obligations.

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    Understanding How Cyber Insurance Policies Respond

    Recognizing the magnitude of these risks brings us to the most vital question: how can we protect your business? Cyber liability insurance policies are designed to assist in various aspects, from diagnosing and cleaning up after an attack to restoring systems and aiding in recovery. These policies provided by cyber insurance companies can give a robust response for your manufacturing business, addressing the multifaceted nature of cyber risks faced by Texas manufacturers. Here is a quick list of the types of cyber insurance protection that can be put in place for your plant.

    Quarantine & Investigation

    In the event of a cyber attack, the first steps are quarantine and investigation. This process involves isolating affected systems and thoroughly analyzing them to determine the extent of the breach and the potential damage caused. These steps are essential in formulating an effective response and recovery strategy. A solid cyber insurance provider will help you with this process while also covering the costs.

    System Restoration

    System restoration is a critical component of recovering from a cyber attack that includes getting your systems restored to a last good backup while also accounting for your proprietary systems that keep your business humming. Cyber policies can significantly alleviate the financial burden associated with restoring compromised systems, ensuring that Texas manufacturing plants can quickly resume normal operations with minimal disruption.

    Recovering Monies Diverted

    While some commercial liability policies will include theft, there are often limitations on how much you can recover via claim along with what sort of theft you can claim it upon. Recovering those diverted funds is a complex but critical process and your cyber liability policy can kick in to make your business whole. Not all cyber insurance coverage facilitates this recovery, but working with a trusted independent insurance agent can help guide Texas manufacturers through the nuances obtaining the correct coverage, filing a claim, and providing the necessary documentation to support the recovery process.

    Business Interruption Losses

    When your plant is shut down, it's easy to see the bills pile up as no revenue comes in due to the shutdown. These business interruption losses can have a profound financial impact on your manufacturing plant. A robust cyber insurance policy not only helps mitigate these losses but also plays a vital role in maintaining the overall financial health and operational stability of the business in the aftermath of a cyber attack by covering these costs for you.

    Benefits of Having Cyber Insurance for Texas Manufacturing Plants

    Bad actors are everywhere. The number of cyber attacks continues to explode. Having cyber insurance offers a myriad of benefits for Texas manufacturing plants. It provides financial protection and support in the wake of cyber attacks or data breaches, helping to mitigate the financial impact of these events. Cyber insurance can cover a range of expenses, from legal fees to customer notifications, credit monitoring, and public relations efforts, ensuring that the business remains stable and secure in the face of digital threats.

    To make sure that your plant can take whatever the criminals throw at you, it is imperative to work with a seasoned commercial insurance broker who has your best interests at the front of their process. Insurance For Texans can help you get a complimentary cyber liability report so that you can truly understand what your risk exposure is today. And we can use that report to help you make sound decisions about how much cyber security insurance that you need.


    Click the button below to discover how to recover from cyber financial fraud! Protect your business, secure your future.


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    Topics: business coverage, business income coverage, General Liability, Business Owner, cyber insurance, commercial texas insurance, manufacturer, cyber crime, basics of business insurance