The manufacturing sector is witnessing the “Industry 4.0” era: smart factories equipped with industrial IoT devices, robotics, and advanced analytics to revolutionize manufacturing operations.
But rapid digitalization, lack of cybersecurity standards to match the growth, IT/OT convergence, and the sector’s low tolerance for operational downtime are increasing its attack surface. Manufacturers are looking to find solutions to risks such as vulnerability exploitation, data spillage, and production sabotage that plague the industry today.
It’s not surprising that cybersecurity challenges for manufacturers are growing in volume and complexity: 55% of manufacturing organizations were hit by ransomware in 2021 – a 52% increase from 2020. 61% of manufacturers reported an increase in attack volume, 66% reported an increase in attack complexity, and 51% reported an increase in the impact of attacks.
Manufacturing’s evolving threat landscape
In addition to the growing professionalism and evolving tactics, techniques, and procedures employed by criminal groups, there are a few other factors that are pushing forward the cybersecurity challenge in this sector:
- Manufacturers need to secure access to their critical industrial control systems and data
- Phishing scams – more specifically spear-phishing attacks – are easy ways for attackers to gain access to manufacturing systems and valuable data
- Theft of intellectual property like product designs, formulas, process patents, and other unique know-how of a manufacturing organization by cybercriminals, competitors, and ex-employees
- Risk of insiders who have authorized access to proprietary data or controls to critical manufacturing operations, misusing their privileges to steal trade secrets, sabotage manufacturing processes, or damaging equipment via remote access
- Manufacturers rely on a vast and complex supply chain network that is vulnerable to cyber attacks
- Manufacturers need to protect their legacy or unpatched manufacturing control systems and processes
- Cybercriminals are targeting the cloud to exploit less established cybersecurity practices than in traditional on-premises environments
Sophos can help
Sophos MDR is our fully-managed, 24/7 service delivered by experts who specialize in detecting and responding to sophisticated cyberattacks that technology solutions alone cannot prevent. As the world’s most trusted MDR provider and with many hundreds of manufacturing sector customers, we have unparalleled depth and breadth of expertise when it comes to threats facing the manufacturing sector. Sophos MDR applies learnings from defending one manufacturing organization to all others in the sector, generating “community immunity” and elevating everyone’s defenses.
“With Sophos MDR we have reduced our threat response time dramatically.”
Tata BlueScope Steel
“Sophos MDR’s ability to remediate or remove threats in a swift manner and bring them to our attention frees us up to focus on high-value tasks.”
“Sophos releases the IT teams to undertake more proactive tasks instead of being drawn into managing security challenges.”
Sophos ZTNA eliminates vulnerable VPN clients, enabling you to offer secure and seamless access to resources for your remote users defined by policies. It removes implicit trust in your environment’s applications, users, and devices, allowing segmented access to your systems and resources to just those who need it.
Sophos Secure Access Portfolio enables manufacturers to connect remote and branch sites, deliver critical cloud and SaaS applications such as Dropbox, Salesforce, and others, and share data and information between sites.
- Sophos ZTNA to support secure access to applications
- Sophos SD-RED remote Ethernet devices to safely extend your network to branch locations and remote devices
- Sophos Wireless access points for easy and secure wireless networking
- Sophos Switch for secure access on the LAN
Everything is managed through a single cloud-based security platform, Sophos Central.
Speak with an expert
To learn more and discuss how Sophos can help you, contact your Sophos representative or request a call-back from our security specialists.