Unique Threats to Cyber Security for Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies are high profit targets for cyber criminals, just look at the FACC AG attack and the Renault-Nissan attack! As the pay-outs can be so high, it’s hardly unsurprising that cyber criminals are targeting this industry.

In 2021, manufacturing moved to the top of the cyber victims’s leader board, becoming the Most Attacked Industry, suffering 23.2% of all cyber attacks. The main threat was ransomware, with 71% of these attacks proving successful. These are worrying statistics which can’t be ignored.

According to the Morphisec Manufacturing Threat Index, the 567 manufacturing employees across the U.S. and U.K surveyed in their report showed that that one-in-five manufacturing companies had been a victim of a cyberattack in the previous 12 months.

Furthermore, the cadence of these attacks is increasing. Of these, 25% explained that cyberattacks against them occur weekly and 35% confirmed that they’re targeted monthly. So, it’s not just one-time attacks that manufacturing business need to prepare for, it’s multiple, systematic, relentless attacks.


Some of the unique cyber security threats to the manufacturing industry making it so vulnerable include:


A lack of preparation and dedication to implementing effective cyber security systems and solutions

With the minimum or basic cyber protection, no cyber security user training, no disaster recovery solutions or incremental backup in place, the proverbial ‘back door’ is left wide open to cyber criminals.


Convoluted supply chains with many potentially unprotected end points

These can be leveraged by cyber criminals to deliver Malware, or phishing emails and infiltrate the entire chain of businesses and systems.


Outdated and legacy systems and solutions 

Many manufacturing businesses are still reliant on older systems that were not created for Cloud services or to be connected to other solutions. The workarounds implemented to integrate these systems into the technology of today deliver numerous and varied vulnerabilities that can easily be leveraged by a savvy cyber-criminal. 




Working hours

Many attacks on manufacturing business will be scheduled to take place at the weekend as this is their downtime. By Monday morning the damage has been done, the cyber criminals have utilised their 48 hours to wreak havoc in the systems, and complete their ransomware attack.


They pay up

If a ransom is required to be able to gain access back to systems, many manufacturing business will have no choice but to pay the ransom, rather than suffer the huge knock-on consequence of downtime.


The move to remote working with the use of personal, unprotected devices has created additional vulnerabilities, and the Operational Technology (OT) employed by manufacturers is posing additional cyber security risks as many of these OT solutions haven’t been updated to ensure they can’t be hacked, and reprogrammed, or sabotaged.

If you’re aware that your manufacturing business could be vulnerable to a cyber attack, do get in touch; we can help. At Onyx IT, our cyber security experts have been working with our manufacturing clients for many years. We can help you understand the risks your business faces, and the most effective processes and solutions that will strengthen your cyber defences.

Ensure your manufacturing business is better protected from sabotage by ruthless cyber criminals.