Manufacturers are Targets for Cybercriminals - How to Thwart an Attack

Manufacturers are targets for cyber-attacks. How to thwart an attack.

As a manufacturer, the common goal is to boost efficiency and control costs, while driving growth. When it comes time for devising a plan to achieve this common goal, often, technology will arrive front and center.

Technology can be a great tool when it comes to implementing automation into operations. In the current tight labor market, automation can aid in reducing expenses by limiting the number of employees required. It can also lead to improved quality through a reduction in human error. Additionally, technology can play an important role in the prevention of cyber-related crimes.

50% of U.S. manufacturers experienced data breaches over the past 12 months.

As cyber-related crime rates continue to rise, cybersecurity has become less about defending against hypothetical attacks and more about defending against attacks that are sure to come. According to a survey conducted by the Alert Logic cybersecurity firm, approximately half of all manufacturers say that they have suffered some type of cyber incident. However, only 24 percent of the respondents noted that their existing cybersecurity process prevented any time of appreciable impact.

Aside from money, hackers target intellectual property, as well as attacks focused on physical disruption to a company’s operations. These attacks on intellectual property and disruptions of operations can result in material damages with high repair costs and significant downtime.

Hackers look for manufacturers with weak IT defenses.

Additionally, cybercriminals have shifted their focus from organizations rich in sensitive personal data, to organizations with identified IT weaknesses. As such, it is crucial that manufacturing executives make an effort to push cybersecurity up the corporate priority ladder.

Per Accenture’s global survey, over the past five years, security breaches have increased by 67%. However, per Juniper Research’s Cybercrime & the Internet of Threats 2018 report, cyber security spending will only increase by 9% on average per company, per annum. According to those metrics, it’s no wonder that 50% of respondents to Alert Logic’s survey reported having experienced data breaches in the past year.

How do manufacturers protect themselves from cyber-related crimes?

The easy answer is to encourage the adoption of new technology. Often, human error or negligence can be the root cause of majority security breaches. Encouraging the use of intelligent technology can help to prevent an entryway for cyber attackers. However, organizational cybersecurity requires more than just the latest technology.

Even the most technological advanced security cannot prevent a cyber-breach if the people in the organization are not protective. Therefore, organizations must invest in influencing their employees’ attitudes and beliefs around cybersecurity. In order to become resilient to cybercrimes, you must combine technology with organization investment. After all, it only takes one mistake or poor decision by an employee of an organization to open up the system to cyber threats.

The most important takeaway for the manufacturing industry is to realize that the industry has experienced an increased likelihood of becoming the target of a cyber-attack. In the past, the industry was able to operate without much investment in their cybersecurity practices. However, this is no longer the case. It is crucial that the industry as a whole become proactive in protecting against the attacks that are sure to come.

How can Schneider Downs help?

Schneider Downs has helped manufacturers become more secure by identifying issues in their technology environments before the hackers do, through services like our Penetration Testing. We’ve also helped manufacturers recover from and investigate minor to significant breach issues. If you would like Schneider Dows to help you identify your cyber risks, please reach out to our cybersecurity practice leader Dan Desko

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The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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