Manufacturing Remains The Number One Target
Randy Wolken, President & CEO


For the third year in a row, the IBM  X-Force Threat Intelligence Report ranked manufacturing as the most-attacked industry by cybercriminals. The very low tolerance for downtime makes them so attractive to cyber attacks. This allows cybercriminals the ability to seek maximum financial gains.


Last year, manufacturers comprised more than 25% of security incidents. Malware attacks focused on ransomware made up the majority of incidents. Security fundamentals remain the essential component of any manufacturer’s strategy.


The X-Force report indicates attacks on critical infrastructure within organizations where a full 85% of incidents could have been mitigated with patching, multi-factor authentication, or privilege principles.


Cyber attackers seek the most straightforward path as they carry out their attacks. In the U.S., 42% of cyberattacks were caused by cybercriminals simply logging into enterprise environments through valid accounts. Organizations must secure users who access more and more data across distributed environments. This is also a global trend, with a 71% increase in attacks caused by using valid accounts.


Attacks on the manufacturing sector included significant credential harvesting, where confirmed threat actors collect credentials that can provide them access to high-value data. X-Force saw a 266% rise in info-stealing malware. This malware is designed to obtain email credentials, social media and messaging app credentials, and banking details. These activities will only accelerate as cyber attackers use AI identity-based acts more creatively.


MACNY is committed to helping members prepare and respond to this increasing threat. Our team assists members so they can find solutions to augment and supplement their efforts. We provide members access to cybersecurity events where experts and members come together to address ongoing threats and actions needed now; for more information on how MACNY can help you, don’t hesitate to contact [email protected].


The manufacturing industry will remain a key target for cyber threats, which will only grow over the coming years. The key to all cybersecurity is a committed company effort to be secure, vigilant, and resilient. Companies must take a measured, risk-based approach to what is secured and how to secure it. Vigilance involves monitoring systems, applications, people, and the outside environment to detect incidents more effectively. Finally, companies must be resilient by preparing for incidents and decreasing their business impact. It is becoming clear that it is likely a matter of when, not if, most manufacturers will suffer a cyber attack and need to respond to reduce the cost and impact. Preparing for prevention – and recovery – is vital!