Cyber attacks can cause manufacturing companies to incur enormous losses in operations and revenue by forcing the closure of one or more plants while addressing the damage done. In addition, manufacturers may face exposure to sensitive data, which can result in failing to fulfill customer orders. Commonly, attackers steal intellectual property in the manufacturing sector. If a competitor uses that data to launch a competing product, it could lead to a loss of market share or even the eventual demise of the manufacturer targeted in the attack. In extreme circumstances, the most severe attacks can cause permanent damage to a manufacturer's plant and equipment.
Verizon's 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report highlights that the manufacturing industry faces significant industrial security risks, with breaches primarily involving social engineering attacks, system intrusion, and web application attacks, accounting for 88% of all incidents. Financial gain is the primary motivation behind 88% of the attacks targeting the manufacturing sector, and external forces are responsible for the same percentage of attacks.
Manufacturers must understand that the risk of getting attacked is high as the industry becomes increasingly digitized. The growing sophistication of various threat actors at large is a significant concern. As such, manufacturers must be aware of the cyber risks involved in digital transformation to harness their business benefits and opportunities. The blast radius of a cyber attack can increase due to hyperconnectivity, making it more challenging for manufacturers to contain such an incident.
Cyber attacks can have a cascading effect on an organization and its business partners, potentially impacting the entire operation rather than being confined to one area. Other organizations in the supply chain can also be affected by such incidents, leading to severe consequences. This can be especially damaging for manufacturers with stringent quality assurance standards, as their products could become unsellable if compromised.
In 2022, the average cost of a data breach was $4.47M, a 5.4% increase from the previous year. The manufacturing industry is now the most attacked, overtaking financial services. As manufacturers continue to embrace digitization, cybercriminals will consider the sector a high-value target. To mitigate these risks, manufacturers must strengthen their industrial security defenses with customized solutions from experts, such as Blastwave's BlastShield industrial security platform.
In supply chain attacks, threat actors access an organization's network through a third-party vendor or supplier, potentially compromising sensitive information. The Colonial Pipeline attack was a significant supply chain attack caused by a compromised VPN account, and the attackers stole data and demanded ransom.
A ransomware attack disabled Baltimore City computers in May 2019, causing millions of dollars in damages and disrupting daily life for weeks. The attackers targeted not just IT networks but also critical infrastructure. These incidents demonstrate that cybercriminals are willing to target any vulnerable system, regardless of its impact on daily life or critical infrastructure.
The manufacturing industry has been a frequent target of cyberattacks in recent years, with several high-profile incidents causing significant damage. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the biggest cyberattacks that have hit the industry in the US and what steps you can take to bolster your industrial security defenses.
In 2018, New York-based manufacturer OXO International discovered that its website had been compromised by a MageCart attack, which had enabled hackers to steal customer information, including payment card data and addresses. OXO responded by remediating the vulnerabilities, reissuing customer login credentials, and providing identity monitoring services to affected customers. They reported the breach to the California Attorney General's Office but did not disclose the number of people affected or the cost of the incident.
In 2015, clothing manufacturer Hanesbrands suffered a cyberattack that compromised nearly a million customer records. A hacker accessed a database through the company's website, viewed order statuses, and retrieved customer information, including addresses, phone numbers, and the last four digits of payment cards. The attack did not expose usernames or passwords. Hanesbrands sent notifications to affected customers via email or postal mail but did not disclose the cost of the attack.
In 2007, research chemist Gary Min pleaded guilty to misappropriating DuPont's intellectual property. DuPont discovered that Min had downloaded around 22,000 abstracts and accessed over 16,000 documents, many of which contained information on the company's primary technologies and products. The FBI found DuPont documents stored on several computers in Min's home, including shredded documents in garbage bags and a storage unit. Min was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a $30,000 fine, and a restitution order for $14,500. The cyberattack was an insider job, which cost DuPont over $400 million in the fair market value of technology accessed.
In 2019, DoppelPaymer ransomware attackers targeted Visser Precision, a space and defense manufacturer, and encrypted and exfiltrated data. The attackers published the stolen data, which included non-disclosure agreements with Tesla, SpaceX, and General Dynamics and a Lockheed Martin schematic for a missile antenna. The company did not disclose the cost of the attack.
As the industrial IoT expands, the manufacturing industry encounters a growing threat landscape in terms of cybersecurity, with operational and information technology environments becoming more interconnected. This integration poses a big challenge since legacy solutions with significant security weaknesses are frequently involved. Therefore, it's crucial to safeguard your business, such as collaborating with experts who can assist you in navigating the changing threat landscape and bolstering your industrial cybersecurity defenses. BlastShield is a comprehensive protection against cyberattacks for industrial networks.
By investing in BlastShield, manufacturing companies can take a proactive approach toward building a cyber-resilient organization. BlastShield provides a straightforward software-defined perimeter (SDP) solution simplifying industrial security. Unlike other approaches to OT cybersecurity, BlastShield avoids the complexity of layered network technologies and provides simple and intuitive security orchestration.
The manufacturing industry is a vital contributor to the global economy and is rapidly adopting Industry 4.0 technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. However, these technologies also introduce new cybersecurity risks to manufacturing operations, particularly in the area of operational technology (OT) systems. A cyber attack on these systems can cause severe production disruptions and equipment damage and pose safety risks to workers, resulting in significant costs and potential legal liability.
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