As technology is used to an ever greater extent by businesses in the world of manufacturing, it becomes more and more important to pay attention to issues surrounding cybersecurity. If it’s an issue that your business hasn’t been dedicating enough time and attention to recently, now is the time to change that.

Cyber threats are growing at a rapid rate, and there are particular threats that businesses operating in manufacturing should be aware of. If they’re not, they could be the victim of a costly data breach. Find out more about why cybersecurity needs to be at the heart of manufacturing culture below.

manufacturing security

The Rise of Cyber Threats

Cyber attacks are on the rise, and this is underlined by the fact that they’ve increased by 11% since 2018 and by 67% since 2014. This rate of growth doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either. For manufacturers, it’s critical to understand how common it is for data to be stolen and systems compromised.

The manufacturing industry is particularly at risk for these threats. In fact, Varonis found that the two industries impacted most by hacks that exposed sensitive files were financial services and manufacturing. Therefore, if you run a manufacturing business, you really are at the front line of the battle against cyber threats and need to take cybersecurity seriously.

Additionally, a Deloitte and MAPI study showed that 40% of manufacturing businesses experienced a cyber attack within a 12-month span between 2016 and 2017, and 38% of those were impacted with damages of over $1 million.

It’s no coincidence that manufacturing companies around the world are now talking about cyber attacks as the single biggest threat facing their companies and their industry as a whole. Yet there are still manufacturing businesses who are unprepared for what a cyber attack might really mean for their business.

manufacturing technology

Why Are Manufacturing Businesses Targets for Cyber Attacks?

The more connected and linked up your business is, the greater level of threat it faces in today’s world. And businesses working in manufacturing are often at the forefront of that. They do work with cutting edge technology and they have digitized supply chains that they use and rely on every day of the week. Smart Manufacturing initiatives are causing plants to rely more and more on technology to store, send, and share data.

All of this means that manufacturing businesses are perfect targets for cyber criminals. They handle valuable data that, if stolen by threat actors, would come at a pricey cost to restore. Ransomware and other malicious acts that seek compensation for the return of stolen data has therefore become even more popular in the industry. As manufacturing becomes more technologically advanced, the importance of good cybersecurity measures will only increase.

manufacturing tech

The Financial Impact of Cyber Attacks

As mentioned earlier, there’s a huge financial impact that comes with cyber attacks—one that some businesses find they can’t recover from.

IBM says the average cost of a full data breach is $3.9 million, while the average cost of a malware attack on a company is $2.6 million. These kinds of financial damages aren’t easily recovered, and smaller manufacturing firms may even find themselves folding within just months of a cyber attack.

Finding Solutions to the Cybersecurity Threats You Face

While the threat of cyber attacks certainly is daunting, finding solutions to the cybersecurity threats you face isn’t as difficult as you may think. Right now, manufacturers are taking a range of steps to better prepare for the impact of cyber attacks and hacks.

Solutions such as training staff to understand technology best practices can make a huge difference in successful social engineering attempts, while moving to the cloud can also offer an extra layer of protection for storing data safely.

Working with a reliable Managed Service Provider who offers industry-specific expertise and cybersecurity for manufacturing companies is one of the greatest resources for the industry. Advanced cybersecurity protection through total management services—including 24/7 support and system monitoring to detect and patch threats round-the-clock—can ensure hackers can’t take advantage of weaknesses in your systems.

There’s nothing more important than protecting your business and keeping it safe from the threats it faces. That’s why now is the time to make use of important resources such as managed cybersecurity services and pay attention to the threats your business faces. While neglecting cybersecurity can be a costly mistake, devoting time and resources to it can be a great investment for your business to continue moving toward Smart Manufacturing initiatives without facing added risk.