According to the State of Ransomware in Manufacturing and Production 2022 report, 55% of manufacturing companies were hit with ransomware in 2021. This dramatically increased from 2020, as only 36% of manufacturing companies were hit with ransomware. It was also reported that the average cost of ransomware for the manufacturing industry was $2,036,189. Therefore, the manufacturing industry is at an increased risk for cybercrime, but why and how can they prevent it?
Why are they more Susceptible to Cybercrime?
- Some Manufacturers Believe that they have Nothing to Offer Hackers
In the past, cybercrime wasn’t on most manufacturers’ radars because they didn’t think they had much to offer hackers. However, that’s no longer the case, as manufacturers today have access to far more data and sensitive information. And manufacturers are becoming more technologically advanced by building smart factories, moving to cloud-based solutions, and integrating big data into decision-making, which all require more security and 24/7 surveillance. With these advancements and access to more data, manufacturers have become one of the most targeted industries for cybercrime.
- Hackers know how Expensive Downtime is for Manufacturers.
Hackers know manufacturers can’t afford much downtime, especially since many companies are still trying to catch up on orders from covid. Therefore, they think they have a higher chance of getting paid for their ransomware, making manufacturers easy targets.
- Increased Dependency on Technology
Manufacturers have increased their dependency on technology while not increasing their IT budget, which leaves them vulnerable to hackers.
- The Use of Legacy Equipment
Legacy equipment refers to equipment or devices that is no longer supported by the manufacturer, which leads to a lack of support regarding updates and maintenance. This leads to security breaches because the equipment can’t be updated or patched, making them easy targets for hackers.
What can Manufactures do to Prevent Cybercrime?
- Educate staff
If your staff isn’t aware of what cybercrime looks like or how to avoid it, then your organization is at an increased risk of being hacked. Therefore, it’s essential to educate your staff on the different types of cybercrime and how to avoid them. Feel free to use these articles to train your employees: What is Social Engineering? and How to Spot the Red Flags in your Email Inbox.
- Add Preventive Steps to Improve your Cybersecurity
There are a few measures you can take as a manager to improve your company’s cybersecurity right now. Firstly, you should make all employees use multi-factor authentication, otherwise known as two-factor authentication, when available. In addition to multi-factor authentication, you should require employees to create strong passwords that include a variety of numbers, symbols, and letters. And lastly, make sure you apply all updates and patches when they become available, as it is a way to improve security.
3. Outsource your IT
There are many benefits to outsourcing your IT to managed service providers. For one, IT-managed service providers can provide 24/7 threat protection against cybercrime. Additionally, IT-managed service providers have larger teams with diverse specialties that will provide you with the expertise and knowledge that a small, one-to-two-person internal IT staff can’t offer. And lastly, IT-managed service providers are more cost-effective than internal IT.