Manufacturers Are Today’s Top Cybersecurity Target
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

On March 31st, MACNY held its second annual Cybersecurity Conference. Members and experts discussed the current threats, evolving attacks, and successful strategies needed to keep members safe and operating. Cybersecurity breaches are incredibly costly. According to IBM, the average data breach cost in 2022 was $4.35M. But things were even more expensive for manufacturing companies, who saw their average data breach cost in 2022 climb to $4.47M.

Manufacturing is the most targeted sector for ransomware cyber-attacks and was the most extorted industry in 2022, according to IBM Security’s 2023 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index.

It was the second consecutive year the manufacturing sector held the top spot in the index. IBM says manufacturing organizations are an attractive target for ransomware and extortion because of the extremely low tolerance for downtime.

Manufacturers often face more significant losses in operations and revenue due to cyber attacks that force the closure of one or more plants while the damage is undone. In addition to these closures, a cyberattack on manufacturers can also expose sensitive data and result in a failure to meet customer orders.

Additionally, many attacks in the manufacturing sector include theft of intellectual property. Should a competitor use that data to launch a competing product, it could lead to a loss of market share, or the eventual demise of the manufacturer victimized in the attack. In extreme circumstances, the most severe attacks can permanently damage a manufacturer’s plant and equipment.

In its 2022 edition of the Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon noted that the manufacturing industry is beset by social engineering attacks, system intrusion, and web application attacks, representing over 85% of breaches. Additionally, 88% of attacks launched against the manufacturing sector were motivated by financial reasons.

Manufacturing members realize how extensive the risk of getting attacked is – and it’s growing. As manufacturers continue to embrace digitization, cybercriminals will certainly continue to consider our sector a high-value target.

MACNY is interested in helping. For ongoing assistance, you can join our Cyber Cohort of companies who work together to prepare for and improve their cybersecurity efforts. To learn more, contact Cindy Oehmigen at [email protected]. Also, don’t miss our upcoming cyber event on May 17th from 9 – 10 AM.  We will be hosting a ‘Cybersecurity: Defending Against Malware Attacks’ training presented by Stephany VanDyke, Product Line Manager at Northland Communications. Click here to register or learn more.