Why Cybersecurity is So Critical in the Manufacturing Industry Today

In 2022, the manufacturing sector had the highest volume of cyberattacks of any other type of business. That alone should be a red flag for these businesses. 25% or higher of all cyberattacks this year will occur in manufacturing. Some of the biggest names in the industry have already experienced financial losses as a result of these trends. From Bridgestone Americas (tires) to Nordex (wind turbines), Colonial Pipeline to Brenntag (chemicals), manufacturers are spending record numbers on cleaning up after a cyber disaster. Cybersecurity has become a paramount concern for manufacturers as the consequences of a successful cyber attack can be devastating in terms of financial losses and potential harm to human safety. Why are manufacturers so vulnerable?

The Role Cybersecurity Plays in Manufacturing Today

Cybersecurity and Manufacturers

The manufacturing industry has evolved to become more digitalized, relying heavily on advanced technologies and data-driven processes. While this digital transformation has brought numerous benefits, it has also exposed the industry to new and sophisticated cyber threats.

Supply Chain Risks

The manufacturing industry heavily relies on a complex global supply chain to source raw materials and components from various suppliers. Each area in the supply chain presents potential entry points for cyber threats. Cybercriminals may infiltrate supplier networks to gain unauthorized access to manufacturers’ systems or introduce malicious code into the products, compromising their integrity and safety. Securing the supply chain is crucial to maintaining the overall security of the manufacturing ecosystem.

Operational Disruptions

A cyber attack that disrupts manufacturing operations can lead to significant downtime and financial losses. Ransomware attacks, for example, can encrypt critical systems and bring production lines to a standstill until the ransom is paid or systems are restored. The manufacturing industry operates on tight schedules and margins, making any disruption in operations particularly damaging. Implementing robust cybersecurity measures can help prevent, detect, and mitigate these operational disruptions.

Safety and Human Lives

In recent years, cyber attacks have targeted industrial control systems (ICS) in manufacturing facilities. These attacks can lead to the manipulation or shutdown of critical systems, potentially compromising employee safety and causing accidents that may result in loss of life. For example, an attack on a power plant could lead to widespread blackouts, affecting the facility and the broader community. Ensuring the security of ICS and other safety-critical systems is paramount in protecting human lives.

Compliance and Legal Obligations

The manufacturing industry is subject to various regulations and legal obligations related to data protection, privacy, and industry standards. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines, legal liabilities, and reputational damage. Cybersecurity is crucial in ensuring compliance with these requirements and demonstrating due diligence in protecting customer data and sensitive information.

Facing Today’s Challenges with the Right Staff

Cyber threats are constantly evolving, and manufacturers must stay ahead of the curve to safeguard their operations, intellectual property, and the safety of their employees and customers. A proactive approach to cybersecurity, including regular risk assessments, employee training, system monitoring, and incident response planning, is essential to maintain a strong defense against cyber attacks. Manufacturers can protect their assets, ensure uninterrupted operations, and secure their position in a competitive and digitally-driven marketplace by prioritizing cybersecurity.

Call on Kable Staffing Today!

Kable Staffing offers manufacturers the right staff at the right time to keep production running smoothly. We help keep the industry running from temporary to permanent with our expert staffing help. We also partner with our sister company, Kable Academy, to bring clients fully certified cybersecurity graduates in IT, Network, and Security Support. Contact us today to find out more.