Local manufacturers learned about the steps that need to be taken in order to protect their business in the digital space.

The New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership network held a Cybersecurity Workshop to help Southern Tier businesses understand the threats they face.

One of the speakers was Paul LaPorte the Cybersecurity Coordinator for the Advanced Institute of Manufacturing.

LaPorte says small businesses that are victims of cyber attacks on average have to pay 30 to 40 thousand dollars to get back on their feet.

He says it’s not matter of if your company will be a target, but when.  “The Thing that you’re dealing with in terms of cyber security is your reputation. If your reputation is damaged because you’re a victim of a cyber security attack then your customers may not want to do business with you anymore. They may not be interested in making sure you get back on your feet. As a result that can be something that can bring down the company for someone that is really dealing with small margins like most small businesses are.”

LaPorte says 60% of small to mid-sized businesses that are victims of cyber attacks go out of business within 6 months. 

Companies can prepare themselves by having proper IT security such as firewalls along with having policies in place for how how employees handle information.

LaPorte says its always important to backup your data so you don’t lose everything in the event a breach should occur.