The manufacturing industry is undergoing massive and rapid changes as society enters the fourth industrial revolution. These shifts are characterized by innovation, productivity, efficiency gains, and new, unanticipated threats. Understanding the cybersecurity risks that this industry confronts can assist firms in identifying important vulnerabilities and implementing cybersecurity strategies to better safeguard their vital systems.
What are the cybersecurity risks facing the manufacturing industry?
Many companies are not aware of the benefits of cybersecurity for manufacturers, but every manufacturer should know their firm’s five key cybersecurity dangers. Familiarizing yourself and your personnel with them reduces risks.
Identity theft occurs when hackers exploit victims’ SSNs to apply for loans or credit lines. When it comes to the manufacturing industry, problems arise when hackers employ malware to enter a customer database and access client data, which can be used to commit identity theft.
Phishing happens when attackers construct convincing emails and use them to deceive recipients into disclosing sensitive information like passwords. These letters frequently include branded letterheads or other comparable components to help persuade recipients of their credibility. Phishing emails target a broad audience and easily identify with generic welcomes like “Dear valued customer.”
Spear phishing is a sort of phishing that targets one person or a department. Unlike the previously mentioned phishing efforts, these tailored messages are more customized and relevant to the recipient. A person in the accounting department, for example, may get a spear phishing email about a certain invoice or tax form.
Some spear phishing efforts pretend to be from a corporate leader and may ask for information about logging into a company’s industrial control systems (ICS). If a company invests in identity and access management (IAM) solutions that may provide them manufacturing technology insights, it may be able to reduce the success rate of spear phishing emails.
Suppose a spear phishing email receiver receives a request from someone posing as the CEO of a company that uses IAM, for example. In that case, that person will likely suspect something is wrong because the genuine CEO should be aware of the access limitations that the phishing email would break.
Spam communications are bothersome to the average person, but they can significantly impact efficiency in manufacturing operations. Members of the IT staff at one Dunlop Industrial factory in South Africa had to manually go through around 12,000 spam mails per day, a procedure that took up to 90 minutes and kept them from more productive uses of their time.
In that scenario, the company implemented a mail service solution that screened messages for spam and malware before they were seen by users, eliminating the messages before they reached employee inboxes. However, there will always be an element of human judgment because it is not always possible to distinguish a spam message from one originating from a genuine customer or provider, making spam a continuously difficult issue that is why a lean manufacturing workshop is recommended for employees.
Website hacks occur when hackers control a website and either render it unworkable or fill it with fraudulent content to deceive customers. Hackers may embed programs that install hazardous files on site users’ systems without their knowledge. These events can significantly harm the reputations of the industrial companies involved.
Manufacturing has grown dramatically as a result of technological breakthroughs. Organizations are no longer limited to traditional, offline patterns but are shifting significantly to robust online activity. As a result, it is easier for their security to be hacked. As a result, manufacturers must understand the types of cybersecurity dangers they face. They must also understand how to deal with dangers and mitigate unanticipated risks.