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Organizations that work in the manufacturing sector have for a while now, not considered themselves to be a viable target for cybercriminals as they are not lucrative enough—not handling large volumes of online transactions and not having a large database of customers. As a result, the manufacturing sector has not taken strong measures to secure their systems. It is also true that nation-state hackers do not often target these companies, because halting production in a factory will hardly have an effect on a nation’s diplomatic conflict.
However, that does not seem to be the case anymore, according to a Kaspersky study, over one-third of all cyber attacks were on manufacturing companies in 2017. Manufacturing companies must now understand that they cannot ignore this threat any longer. The life-blood of these companies is continuous operation, and the shutting down of a production line will only have detrimental effects on the longevity of the organization.
As this sector is not known for having substantial IT resources, they should begin investing in modern technologies that incorporate Artificial Intelligence and automation, enabling them to tackle the complexity of the now advanced threats better. As the security solutions should not obstruct day-to-day business operations, companies should ideally rely on data processing instead of physical security appliances in the production environment. Manufacturers must also invest in Supervisory control, and data acquisition (SCADA) and IT security and failure to invest in SCADA could even result in production disruption. With the given risks, it is important that manufacturers allocate sufficient portions of their budgets in order to protect themselves in the future better.