FIVE MAJOR CYBER-ATTACKS IN OPERATION TECHNOLOGY WITHIN MANUFACTURING
The manufacturing industry thought they are far from worrying about cyber-attacks. Little did they know that they would rely on technology to ease their services and increase production. There was no connection between the manufacturing industry and the internet and the industry itself thought they have nothing to offer to a hacker that they can be hacked. This has changed in recent years as more and more manufacturing machines have started relying on the internet to do their work.
Here are the top five major cyber-attacks that the manufacturing industry is exposed to in their operation:-
The manufacturing industry has been the biggest benefit of IoT. It has revolutionized the way the manufacturing industry works. It has increased efficiency in the production of commodities by ensuring high-quality standards are kept and it has decreased supply chain risks. With IoT doing all these, it opens up many loopholes. Hackers are all over the internet. IoT majorly relies on internet connectivity to function and executes its services. Because of this, the manufacturing industry is at constant risk of cyber-attacks from IoT. Many of these IoT products and services rendered to the manufacturing industry have no security; therefore, they are under constant attack by hackers.
There is a need to find a solution to how to deal with IoT attacks. Putting up strong firewalls and antivirus can be helpful. There is also a need to have a dedicated team that deals with the protection of IoT devices.
Intellectual Property Theft
Hackers have become smarter. They use different ways like phishing, social engineering, and malware to steal data from a company. This can be a company’s trade secrets. They can sneak into the organization and get away with top secrets that they can use to their advantage. They can go ahead and patent the secrets as their idea. This is intellectual property theft. It can be a blow to a company when such a thing happens. Intellectual property makes a company’s products or services unique and safeguards innovation from competitors. It makes sure no one can use their innovation.
When IP is stolen, it means that a competitor can produce a similar product. When this is done, it would be hard to prove it as a crime. The manufacturing industry relies on innovation and creativity to stay ahead of its competitors. Therefore, when such trade secrets are stolen, it causes great disturbance to the company’s growth. Therefore, all manufacturers need to be aware of this theft and protect themselves from it.
Supply Chain Attacks
The manufacturing industry is facing a new challenge in the supply chain. This is a cyber-attack on its supply chain. Due to the sensitivity of the information they receive to supply, hackers have started trying their luck. There is supply chain software that has crucial information that can be hacked. It is an attack that has caused data breaches such as the Target breach. It is done by hackers gaining unauthorized access to a provider/supplier, who has access to a larger supply chain system and data. By gaining access to one, it means the hacker can now access the whole supply chain, thereby stealing information and data. It can cause quite significant harm to all companies involved in the supply chain.
It can be difficult to trace a supply chain attack especially when the supply chain is large. Many manufacturing industries have so many suppliers. For them to stay secure there is a need to make sure all companies in the supply chain are equally protected and secure.
Ransomware has been terrorizing the manufacturing industry for quite some time now. It is an attack that uses malware to encrypt files on a network and makes it unable to be used until demands are met. Some threats come with this if the ransom is not paid. Reports show manufacturing industry is the most targeted by ransomware attacks. This is because cyber attackers rely on so much of the ripple effect that happens when there is a disruption in the production flow. Hackers know the manufacturing industry is not keen on providing security on ransomware. Therefore, they are easy targets for hackers to exploit their weaknesses.
Most cybersecurity attacks start from inside the organization. An employee usually does it. The employee is always in collaboration with hackers to give access to them to attack. This kind of attack is usually financially motivated. Some employees may want to do such attacks due to frustrations and dissatisfaction. An internal breach is easy to execute because actors have access to the organization’s system. All they need to do is to do it.
Work from home has introduced new ways for employees or ex-staffs to do internal breaches. The lack of security measures for personal computers to be able to access every organization’s services remotely, opens loopholes that employees can exploit.
Internal breaches can be controlled by putting controls and measures on how employees use the organization’s system. There should be restrictions on how to access and where to access. There is also a need to put strong firewalls and antiviruses.