Why Manufacturers Must Protect Themselves Now

Posted September 20th, 2021 in Manufacturers

The manufacturing business is rarely associated with the latest and greatest technology. When thinking about them, people usually imagine a couple of machines putting a product together, some employees helping with the fine details or maybe packaging, and off it goes to the customer.

Apart from the high cost of entry because of the industrial equipment needed, it’s considered a simple and safe investment. Who would want to mess with a small or medium-sized company that produces plastic cups?

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In 2021, the answer is a lot of criminals.

As technology rapidly advances, it becomes cheaper and more accessible. In the last decade, manufacturers have been able to innovate, interconnect, and automate more than ever. This has enabled them to have higher outputs, streamline processes, collect more data, create automatic reports, and significantly minimize errors.

All of that is great. For them, it means higher profits and for their customers, it means better prices. But at what cost?

There is a popular saying in the technology world: “If one person can access your system, anyone can”. Once your business is online, no matter how or where, it becomes exposed. And as with anything vulnerable, you need to protect it as best as you can.

We have extensively covered the alarming rate at which cyber-attacks are rising. Most companies are implementing the necessary security and recovery methods that will allow them to get back to business in case of an attack. They should have a backup ready to avoid paying any ransom, restore it, test everything, and get back to it.

Easy enough.

But not so much for manufacturers. 

If the production line is compromised, every minute is a huge loss. And unfortunately, industrial machines are not something we can backup and restore. Attackers know manufacturers will be desperate to get back to work, they have no other option, and they make sure to take advantage of that.

To give you an example, the Mondelez attack (food and beverage manufacturing multinational) is estimated to have cost the company upwards of $100 million. The worst part? Since it was considered an “act of war” the insurance company didn’t reimburse them a single penny.

In other words, the manufacturer’s best strategy is to have the greatest defence (security) possible.

First, check with your insurance company that cyber-attacks are covered. And more importantly, make sure you are ready to withstand one. 

While 87% of manufacturing companies claim to have a disaster recovery plan in place, only 37% of them have it documented and tested. Clearly, the industry still thinks it is safer than others regarding malicious attacks. 

They’re not.

According to the latest Manufacturers Alliance (MAPI) survey, 40% of firms had experienced a cyber-attack in the past 12 months. This number is sure to have increased by now. Even worse, 38% of them claimed to have suffered over $1 million in damages.

To look at it another way, according to IBM, manufacturing was the second most attacked industry in the world in 2020. Up from eighth place just the year prior. Because of their usually low-security levels, their low tolerance for downtime, and their need to get back to business as quickly as possible (a.k.a paying the ransom) they are on route to becoming the #1 target for cybercriminals.

So, we’ve established the need for manufacturing businesses to up their security game big time. 

But how?

The good news is that just as technology has become cheaper and more accessible, so has security. There is a plethora of options your business can choose from in order to be protected at all times. No answer is wrong as long as you take action. 

You can connect to a SOC service and let others take care of identifying wrongdoings. 

You can make your in-house infrastructure robust and protected at all times. 

Or you can let your MSP take care of finding out the best solution for your specific situation.

The one thing you can’t do is nothing. 

That would be too expensive.

Learn More About How to Protect Your Business

    
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