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Manufacturing companies are opting for digital processes, improved supply chain and customer experience. This is changing in a big way, and cybercriminals are not behind to leverage this change.

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Today's manufacturers leveraging the technological advancements are spread across globally, with multiple business applications and networks, converging IT and OT (Operational Technology) controlling high risk processes. Use of Industrial Control Systems (ICS), controlling manufacturing processes has gained the attention of threat actors, given the connected devices, and internet exposure.

Manufacturing sector shall continue to see the advancements due to emerging trends such as:

  • Research, intellectual property and technologies
  • Digital transformation as a compelling business reason
  • Adoption of OT, IoT (Internet of Things) products

One of the unexpected reasons capable of causing disruption to manufacturing operations is cyber risks. This could also be theft of Intellectual Property, other high-risk proprietary technologies or products information.

Challenges - Manufacturing

With the rise of Industry 4.0 enabling improved processes, supply chain and customer experience, don't let cyber threats be a barrier to your growth.

The manufacturing sector is a prime target for cybercrime. This is the conclusion of a survey carried out by The Manufacturers Organisation (EEF). Around 48% have been subject to cyber-attacks, and half of these have either suffered financial loss or disruption to business as a result. This is a big concern obvious to the challenges seen by this sector.

The following challenges are key for cyber security to be seen as business growth enabler in a manufacturing environment. 

  • Does the Board and Senior Management get involved in creating a business-driven cyber strategy?
  • How often are cyber risk assessment results presented to the board and senior management?
  • Are manufacturers relying on managed IT service providers to offer specialist security services as an add-on to IT contract?
  • How are cyber risks assessed and mitigated in a supply chain? 
  • Are shop-floors, corporate and factory environments following a consistent security by design approach?

Without deep-dive (technical) risk assessments, there is no visibility of affected assets, and the exposed attack surface inside and outside your environment. 

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Are you prepared?

How are you managing the risk of unsupported systems?

It's understandable that due to processes and procedures, and sometimes procurement challenges could delay the anticipated timelines for upgrades. In this scenario, is your organisation doing enough to make the target visibility smaller, restricting access to target on need only basis therefore, decreasing the attack surface?

It's more important to test these plans to ensure they are effectively shielding your unsupported systems from cyber attacks.

Is your business resilient to ransomware attacks?

Ransomware has quickly become one of the most dangerous cybercrime threats organisations are facing . Over the past two years, the number of organizations being hit with targeted ransomware attacks has multiplied as the number of gangs carrying out these attacks has proliferated. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will get access to your data and threat actors may assume that you would be open to paying ransoms in the future

What controls are in place to avoid abuse of the mobile workforce equipment?

This could be outfields teams, remote workers or manufacturing plants abroad utilising the central assets for authentication, storing and processing of corporate data. Main areas of consideration from risk perspective include restrictive controls (mobile devices, tablets, laptops, operational technology products) and their validation by a third-party assessor, such as Defendza. 

What systems and controls are in place to decrease insider threats?

Insider threats are counted amongst the most significant cyber-risks in the financial services sector. Businesses tackling this issue regularly validate their controls around logical access controls, spear-phishing, threat intelligence and regular penetration testing. In addition to technical controls, staff awareness and understanding through training helps build security-conscious culture.

How do you process and store personal data of your clients?

The loss of client information can have a devastating impact on a sector that has confidentiality at the heart of its business. Firms storing sensitive information, third party data, transactional records are likely to be at a higher risk of data breach than a local high street firm. Therefore, it goes without doubt that secure information storage and processing practices would help minimise the attack surface.

Sector Experience

This section refers to specific project-based experience in manufacturing sector.

Key benefits

✔ Yearly BAU security programme for a multinational manufacturer of agricultural, construction equipment

✔ Internal Infrastructure involving password reviews, patching, and active directory security policy reviews

✔ Estate wide SAP Security Assessment

✔ Email Phishing Campaign and Analysis - Global Campaign

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UK manufacturers highly vulnerable to cyber-threats


More than 80 UK manufacturing plants have faced cyber-incidents, yet many use old systems and lack the visibility, tools or manpower to carry out cyber-risk assessments. Firms face a growing threat from ransomware, data breaches and weaknesses in the supply chain, according to the report, published on Tuesday. Emerging threats include theft from cloud storage, which the NCSC argues too many businesses put their faith in.

Manufacturing Companies Face Cybersecurity Threats


Manufacturers face a barrage of cybersecurity threats today, and half of companies have fallen victim to at least one data breach during the past 12 months, according to the 2019 Manufacturing and Distribution Report. Digital technologies continue to receive significant attention. These technologies are rewriting the rules of competition for industrial companies, while also increasing their vulnerability to the growing threat of cyber attacks and data breaches.