Manufacturing

The biggest targets for today’s bandits, with cyber espionage being one of the principal cyber security threats. Only the U.S. Government is less secure.

 

If banks were the main targets for the bandits in the Wild-Wild West, on the Wild-Wild Web, it is the Manufacturing Industries that are the biggest targets for today’s bandits, with cyber espionage being one of the principal cyber security threats. Of all the critical industries, Manufacturing spends the least on Information Security and has conceivably experienced the worst cyber intrusions in its lifetime; now considered to be one of the most regularly hacked industries. This disconnect between the high presence of threats and limited spending on cyber security, is only now starting to be seriously addressed, with Manufacturing Security Budgets estimated to grow by 77.3% according to Cyber Edge Group’s 2016 Cyber Threat Defence Report. This comes in light of findings that Europe spends the most on cyber security and consequently has the best cyber security globally. North America is now expected to significantly increase it’s IT budget and overtake Europe on their cyber security spending.

  • In 2015 Cyber Security infiltrations increased by 66%, with automotive manufactures being targeted the most, making up almost ‘30% of the total attacks against manufacturers’ (Dash Insights). If the same percentage of hacks is to increase again, we can look forward to a Manufacturing economic collapse.
  • The 2016 Manufacturing Report by Sikich finds that there has been a progressive growth in cyber-attacks in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing companies often don’t believe that they are targets because they do not hold vast amounts of consumer data. According to the Sikich report, the risks to the manufacturing sector include operational downtime, physical damage, product manipulation, and theft of intellectual property and sensitive data.

As technology progresses and systems become smarter, learning to advance without human interaction, the threat of cyber crime will undeniably evolve itself. It is essential that as systems are developed, cyber security follows in pursuit. 91% of the largest 100 publicly traded U.S. manufacturers, stated that the ‘implementation of new systems’, in addition to ‘operational infrastructure risk and maintenance’, are amongst their principal concerns.

``2016 Manufacturing Risk Factor Report`` -BDO

As the industry races toward the next frontier, manufacturers must strike a balance between progress and security. Data analytics and the Internet of Things may spur the next industrial revolution, but with that comes increased exposure to cyber risk. Manufacturers still have some catching up to do to adequately protect their data, customers, products and factory floors.

Rick Schreiber, Partner & National Leader, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Board Member

Manufacturers wondering how to handle cyber security in their own facilities can rip a page from the Shell Global Solutions security playbook. The oil and gas company views cyber security as a business case designed to resonate with company executives, partners, technology providers and customers. They’ve moved away from the message ‘the hackers are coming,’ and instead have positioned cyber security as a business opportunity in the company’s digital journey.

Stephanie Neil, Senior Editor - Automation World