Increasing Cyber Threats To Manufacturing: Don’t Panic, Get The Facts

Since the beginning of 2019 and well into 2020, cybersecurity incidents for the manufacturing industry have been on the rise. Ransomware attacks alone have increased by 156%, and no doubt phishing scams have increased with them.

Both of these social engineering tactics can cause issues, particularly to a manufacturer’s clientele. A data breach or network attack can compromise credit card data, phone numbers, email addresses, personal information and other sensitive info. Furthermore, this information can be sold by hackers to competing groups or large organizations whose goal is to disrupt the manufacturing process and day-to-day business operations.

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Phishing attacks cause issues when an employee or organization member clicks on a link or file within a phishing email. The source of these messages is generally a hacker or some other malicious entity masquerading as a CEO or well-known company (like Apple or Google). By using authority against you, bad actors can trick you into divulging sensitive information that puts your company at risk of a security incident.

Security awareness training and other forms of policies and procedures can help mitigate risk to suffering a cyber incident, however it’s the nature of the beast when you’re working with the internet infrastructure of today.

In recent past, industrial organizations never had the need to connect their systems to the internet. However, times are changing. With companies utilizing real-time data and a mix of operational technology (OT) and IT, there’s now a need for increased cybersecurity protection. Older systems aren’t equipped to handle the ever growing threats of today’s cyber world, and certain measures should be taken to combat these security risks.

A good place to start would be fostering communication between IT and OT teams, as well as taking inventory of your devices and segmenting your network. You can also patch holes in your security without moving industrial assets offline, which would help protect your infrastructure. This would also ensure business operations can continue running smoothly.

Overall, it’s imperative that manufacturing companies take note of the increased risks to their businesses and act accordingly. Your IT should be fortified to the best of its capabilities, and you should make sure all staff are trained in cybersecurity protocol. It only takes one small mistake for a company to crumble under the weight of a data breach. Don’t let it be you.

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