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Avoiding the ‘News Helicopter Moment’ of Cyber Crisis


Having the right safety net, in the right place at the right time is what cybersecurity is all about.

Threat-detection software can provide an early warning when someone mistakenly clicks a malicious email link or plugs in a compromised USB flash drive.

But it can’t work if it’s not installed. Even then, it requires time and resources to train the software to tell the difference between normal operations and an attack in progress.

A Fortune 500 manufacturing company teamed with GrayMatter to invest early in a powerful, scalable cybersecurity solution. It paid off.



Proven early-warning system to detect cyber threats

Solution scales to manufacturing facilities across the globe

Potential threat alerts shared in real-time with operators

Mitigated potential sales loss of $1 million+


“The Problem”

The company thwarted a ransomware attack isolated to a single facility thanks to an early-warning cyber solution.

“Without GrayMatter we wouldn’t have been in this position to begin with because we knew we had to do something,” said one executive who oversees cybersecurity implementation.

The initial cyber strategy started with one facility. It evolved into an effective, multi-facility cyber safety net.


“It worked. It detected the incursion within six seconds,” the executive said, referring to the ransomware attack.

Preventing such an attack from spreading to sensitive systems represents a substantial return on investment.

For example, if malware disabled a single processing unit, the impact on sales revenue could easily eclipse $1 million.


The Solution

The manufacturing company is now expanding its cybersecurity strategy to additional facilities around the world.

“It’s a great example of how GrayMatter collaborated to curate the best cyber solution technology possible,” said GrayMatter co-founder and Vice President Carson Drake.

Technology is only 20 percent of the solution. The rest of the strategy is “people-centric,” with clear procedures for personnel.


For example, rules prohibit employees and contractors from plugging a laptop directly into its systems, using a USB flash drive and charging an iPhone from a process control computer.

Each is a potential threat vector that requires people to follow procedure.

“Everyone who is running a plant understands what a news helicopter moment is and how important it is to avoid them,” the company executive said. “This didn’t turn into a helicopter moment.”


Download the Cyber eBook

OT cybersecurity is a whole other level. You are securing the critical systems that clean water, make food & produce energy.

Download the updated eBook to get a comprehensive understanding of security in the OT world including top vulnerabilities, best practices and what’s in a cybersecurity plan.