Manufacturing businesses face escalating cyber threats

Two thirds of IT executives in the manufacturing sector believe that their enterprise will be targeted by a cyberattack within the next 12 months.

The study of 300 executives, carried out by CXO Priorities for Quest Software, shows that the most significant threats are seen as ransomware (22 percent), industrial espionage (21 percent), and state-sponsored threats (21 percent).

When asked about attack vectors, 35 percent of respondents identify ransomware/malware as the most common form of attack, while 27 percent cite phishing/social engineering.

The financial implications of an attack can be significant. More than 38 percent of manufacturing organizations expect revenue losses ranging from $20 million to $50 million if their Active Directory environment was compromised for 24 hours. An additional 32 percent anticipate losses between $50 million and $100 million. Surprisingly, despite these risks, only 19 percent of respondents conduct monthly reviews of vulnerabilities and potential attack paths in their Active Directory environment, with a mere seven percent performing these reviews on a weekly basis.

"Against a backdrop of ever-increasing cyber threats, organizations, and especially those in the manufacturing industry, should always view Active Directory as a Tier 0 asset and pay particular attention to its security and protection," says John Hernandez, general manager at Quest. "It is also critical to invest in cyber resilience to be prepared for cyber-attacks and disaster recovery situations to reduce the risks of supply chain disruption and manufacturing system downtime."

Among other findings, 66 percent of respondents believe that potential cyber threats will hinder the speed of technology adoption in their organizations. This belief is further supported by the fact that 57 percent of survey participants recognize the significance of cybersecurity when embracing recent technologies. Additionally, 67 percent of respondents prioritize aligning with a cybersecurity framework for their organization as a medium to high priority over the next 12 months.

The skills gap remains an issue, 80 percent of respondents acknowledge that a skills shortage has adversely affected their organization's cybersecurity. 33 percent identified the fast pace of new technology adoption as the biggest challenge in the cybersecurity skills gap. This is closely followed by reliance on legacy technology (32 percent) and budget restrictions (27 percent).

You can read more about the findings on the CXO Priorities site.

Image credit: qerest/

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