4 Ways to Prevent Cyber Vulnerabilities in Industries

Technological advancements have become a distinguishing feature of the 21st generation. In the past ten years, various technologies have been embraced by various industries. The technologies include artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and machine learning.

4 Ways to Prevent Cyber Vulnerabilities in Industries

The adoption of these technologies in industries has offered the industries many advantages. However, one problem that still haunts the adoption of technologies in industries is cyber-attacks. A cyber-attack entails using computing devices to gain unauthorized access to a computer system.

Cyber terrorists gain unauthorized access to systems for various reasons. Their intention can be:

  • Data theft
  • Data alteration
  • Data deletion

Cyber-attacks have prevented industries from reaping all benefits of technology.

Industries need to implement measures that prevent or reduce the possibility of cyber-attacks. In this article, we discuss some preventive measures that prevent cyber vulnerabilities in companies.

  1. OT Asset Management

    When protecting your industry from cyber vulnerabilities, the first step to take is the identification of your assets. In industries, your assets include the devices or machines in use, systems installed on the computing devices, and data.

    Identification of assets helps an industry know where they should implement cyber vulnerability prevention methods. After identifying your assets, you should put in place protective measures for each of them.

    For devices or machines, you can put in place several cyber vulnerability prevention methods. The most important prevention method is installing secure operating systems. After installing a secure operating system, you should ensure that the operating system stays up to date. This entails installing the necessary patches or system updates.

    Another prevention method for devices is the recording of device logs. Device logs detail every action or process that the device has done. Device logs assist system administrators in tracking and evaluating each function performed by the device.

    System log files can help identify any cyber-attack attempts. After that, the cybersecurity expert can put in place the essential vulnerability prevention measures.

    Protecting the systems installed on computing devices entails the implementation of administrator passwords. The passwords prevent any alterations. This ensures that the system cannot be tampered with by just anyone.

    Data protection is the most vital for most industries. This can be done using 2-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized data access and authorization. Implementing data access privileges for employees can also help to increase data security.

    For large-scale industries, identifying assets and managing them can be a difficult task due to their size. The best way to protect your physical assets in a large-scale setting is to get services from trusted OT security vendors. They manage the security of various assets for industries and make sure they are secured.

  2. Staff Training

    A recent study stated that 90% of all cyber-attacks embraced the use of social engineering tactics. Social engineering entails using psychological knowledge of the human thinking process to manipulate people into giving out confidential data through deception or willingly.

    This discovery shows that industry employees are the best defense against cyber-attacks. It is therefore vital to train your staff on how to ensure they do not fall prey to social engineering.

    The training should include how they should identify fraudulent emails and links. Fraudulent links use phishing to fool someone into thinking that they are logging in to an official site. The fake website then sends the login information to the creator of the phishing link.

    Another thing that should be included in staff training is the creation of passwords. Most people reuse passwords. Reusing passwords creates a cyber security vulnerability. When one of their passwords is acquired, and they have reused the password, this means that all sites or systems protected by the passwords can now be accessed easily.

    The final aspect to train your employees on is the security protocols for the industry. Security protocols detail how data and systems should be used and handled to ensure that their security is not compromised.

    For staff training, it is vital to remember that cyber terrorists often change their attack methods. Staff training should therefore not be a one-off thing but rather a continuous process that updates them on the attack methods in use and how to avoid falling prey to them.

  3. Multi-factor Authentication

    man in suit

    Authentication is the confirmation of an identity claim when logging into or using a system. As stated above, most people reuse passwords. Multi-factor authentication should be enabled for all computing devices and systems in the industry to mitigate the vulnerability created.

    Multi-factor authentication entails the use of two of the three identity authentication data. Authentication is done by providing data such as:

    1. A phrase or keyword that one knows, for example, passwords and pins.
    2. Who one is, i.e. their biological data for example retina scans, fingerprint scans, etc.
    3. Something one has, for example, an access card.

    In multi-factor authentication, one can be prompted to input their password. If the password is correct, the system prompts one for a fingerprint scan to validate the identity claim. The use of multifactor authentication has greatly prevented cyber vulnerabilities for industries that have adopted it.

  4. Defensive Computing

    In every computing system, how the system is used can either pose a security vulnerability or help secure the system. Defensive computing improves computer security by using the system in a manner that prevents creating security vulnerabilities by using unsafe computing practices.

    Defensive computing is a security practice that entails numerous categories such as email security, network security, passwords, etc. To ensure optimum prevention against vulnerabilities, your employees should be made aware of the categories that they should focus on.

    In the data and system security protocols for the industry, the vital defensive computing categories should be highlighted. This gives the industry’s employees an area to focus on and improve their computing security practices. For the learning of every industry employee, it is advisable to give every employee access to a defensive computing checklist that they should refer to.


Due to the rapid changing of methods used by cyber terrorists, the cyber security methods you have implemented must evolve to adapt to the new attack methods. This is a task that can be done by analyzing the industry’s cyber security documentation by comparing it to the new attack methods.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

4 Ways to Prevent Cyber Vulnerabilities in Industries