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Every year is a new record year for cybercrime. This nefarious industry has been growing non-stop for over a decade and now is among the most profitable activities globally. What’s the picture if we’re discussing specifically cybercrime against manufacturing companies? It doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and understanding why this is happening is vital in reversing this scenario.
Companies today rely on technology more than ever. We use it for our daily activities, communications, payments, and our most complex projects and operations. If you think about it, even tasks such as procuring, taking orders and communicating with suppliers, partners, and vendors rely on technology and connectivity. Still, most companies in the manufacturing industry act as if tech is just an extra cost to their business and tend to be hesitant when investing in their own security.
This article will explain why criminals are targeting this industry and how cybercrime against manufacturing occurs, so we can act and stop hackers in their tracks. Read on and get in touch if you need specialised assistance.
Criminals have their own reasons for targeting particular industries, but analysing the patterns of attacks and the victims’ behaviours shows a clear picture of why this happens. The main targets usually are businesses in the financial services and healthcare spaces, which we have already discussed in other articles, which you can find below:
So, how frequent is cybercrime against manufacturing companies? Several large companies in this industry have already become targets. The pace at which crime advances shows that it’s only a matter of time for every manufacturing business with at least one device connected to the internet to become a target. It’s no longer a matter of “if” you become a target but “when”.
We’ll go by the main reasons why manufacturing is a common target for cybercriminals and explain the most typical threats associated with each of them.
The first reason why cybercrime against manufacturing companies is increasingly common is the low cybersecurity maturity of most companies in this industry. As mentioned before, there’s a belief from some businesses in this space that cybercrime can’t hurt them. They think that because most of their staff is not sitting directly in front of a computer, they are less susceptible to a cyberattack.
Unfortunately, that is not true, and because of that belief, business owners decide not to invest enough in cybersecurity and leave several vulnerabilities exposed. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of that since they can quickly get in and take whatever they want with little effort.
Lower defences and lack of awareness about cyber threats mean that an attack of any kind is much more likely to succeed, and the damage potential is much higher. For that same reason, small and medium companies in several verticals are being targeted.
Manufacturing businesses must be efficient, and the production flow can’t stop. We know this, and criminals do too. The cost of a delay in production could be catastrophic and spiral into lost deals, customers and business relationships.
Cybercriminals take advantage of this by locking businesses out of their machines, using a malicious software known as Ransomware. Once they breach into your network, they begin encrypting your files and spreading through devices, even infecting backups that are connected to the network. Then everybody is locked out, and the only way to access your files and equipment is to pay a ransom.
Imagine being locked out of your machines during a busy time of the year! Most manufacturing businesses can’t afford to be halted for long, so they tend to pay up the ransom. This nefarious cybercrime against manufacturing can be easily avoidable with a solid business continuity and disaster recovery plan, which should include Cloud or offsite backups. However, depending on your recovery strategy, you might still lose some time and data trying to recover your latest files.
Another aspect that criminals often try to explore when targeting businesses in this space is the relationship with suppliers. You’re probably constantly dealing with external suppliers, which makes the entire network of relationships a potential target. A criminal might be able to infiltrate your business through a breach in your suppliers’ defence, or they could use your vulnerabilities to go after your suppliers.
There are several threats associated with supply chain management, and we’ve discussed the topic in other articles, such as How to Effectively Manage Supply Chain Risks. We advise you to get informed on the subject and share these recommendations with partners and suppliers, as your security is just as strong as the weakest link.
The volume of transactions in this industry is yet another reason why cybercrime against manufacturing companies is viable. This enables criminals to come up with multiple ways of committing fraud, such as invoice fraud and the CEO and CFO Fraud, which could potentially steal a substantial sum of money from yourself and your stakeholders.
You are already using technology to conduct all sorts of activities in your business. Now that you know of potential risks, you have the choice to act upon them or to allow your vulnerabilities to come bite you later.
By investing in your technology, you can avoid the cyber threats mentioned above and make sure that your business is supported by tech and not hindered by it. Whether your tools and machines are responsive, connected and updated or not will significantly impact your daily experience and efficiency.
Book a free discovery call to talk to us and learn how we can best assist your business. A specialist provider can leverage technology to improve your performance, reduce downtime and protect you from cyber threats. Cybercrime against manufacturing companies is a serious issue, and it shouldn’t be ignored. If the worse does come to happen, we can help you get back up and running in no time, avoiding reputational and financial losses.
We have happy manufacturing customers in both Ireland and the UK, and we’re familiar with the challenges faced by this industry and the business outcomes you may be looking for. Wait no longer; get in touch today!
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