Only 19 percent of manufacturing leaders are confident of their cyber defenses

New research into the manufacturing threat landscape from Trustwave finds that just 19 percent of manufacturing industry leaders are confident in their cyber defense mechanisms.

The research documents the attack flow utilized by threat groups, exposing their tactics, techniques, and procedures. From email-borne malware to the exploitation of SMB and DCOM protocols for lateral movement, these persistent threats pose significant risks to the manufacturing sector.

In an era defined by rapid technological advancement and interconnected systems, the manufacturing industry is embracing digital transformation to improve efficiency and productivity. But this evolution is accompanied by profound and growing cybersecurity challenges. Cyberattacks can cripple production lines, resulting in large financial losses that can reach thousands of dollars per minute. These disruptions directly contradict the industry's primary objective of maximizing profitability.

Among the report's key findings are that the threat group LockBit accounted for 36 percent of ransomware incidents targeting the manufacturing sector. In addition 45 percent of all reported incidents in manufacturing can be attributed to credential access, and 72 percent of malicious email attachment types sent to manufacturers are HTML.

"The digital transformation sweeping through the manufacturing industry has led to a convergence of OT and IT business environments, effectively expanding the potential attack surface for cyber threat actors and ransomware," says Trustwave CISO Kory Daniels. "Our latest threat briefing is a valuable resource for cyber defenders building comprehensive security strategies that strengthen resilience, continuously assess risks of critical infrastructure, and empower the continuity of essential operations."

The full 2023 Manufacturing Threat Landscape: Trustwave Threat Intelligence Briefing and Mitigation Strategies report is available from the company's site.

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