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Why Manufacturers Need to Invest in IT Security

July 20, 2018

Our 2018 Manufacturing Industry Outlook Report cites cyberattacks as one of the leading threats to manufacturers in 2018. Read on for tips on how you can ramp up your security efforts in 2018 and beyond.

The results of our 2018 Manufacturing Industry Outlook Report are in, and one underlying theme was the growing importance of technology to manufacturers. Unfortunately, as companies invest in technological advancements, they may become increasingly at risk for cyberattacks.

On the upside, many of the respondents to our survey recognize this risk and are taking measures to prevent cyberattacks: 37% of respondents plan to invest in data security this year, up from 31% in 2017 and 25% in 2016. When it comes to IT security, is your company a leader or a follower?

Bull’s-eye on Manufacturing

Cybercriminal activity is mounting around the globe, and the methods of attack have become increasingly sophisticated. Security measures that were effective 10 years ago are often insufficient against today’s cybercriminals.

The manufacturing industry is one of the top targets for cyberattacks. Why? Manufacturers rely heavily on equipment to make products for customers, and they increasingly invest in automation, sensors and collaborative robots to become more innovative and efficient.

Many devices are wirelessly connected to the company’s systems, and valuable data may be stored on the cloud and shared with supply chain partners, making the entire industry vulnerable to hackers. Legacy systems and patches designed to converge incapable systems can create additional risks. Manufacturers also possess significant intellectual property and data belonging to customers and employees that hackers may try to exploit.

Need for Security

Consider the following statistics published by Cisco (an IT and networking firm) in its 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report:

  • 21% of manufacturers have suffered a loss of intellectual property from cyberattacks.
  • 28% of manufacturers have reported a loss of revenue due to cyberattacks — the average loss was 14% of revenue.
  • Four of the top 10 cyberthreats facing manufacturers are directly attributable to internal employees.

In addition to causing financial losses, cyberattacks can also harm your company’s reputation with customers, employees and suppliers.

An Ounce of Prevention

It’s easier to fortify your company against a cyberattack than it is to react to a breach. But surprisingly few companies have formal programs in place to prevent an attack. What’s your company’s cybersecurity posture? We can assess your overall cybersecurity strength and train employees on the latest means of attack and methods of prevention. Contact us for more information on IT security or for a copy of our 2018 Manufacturing Industry Outlook Report.

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