Until recently, the manufacturing sector didn’t see itself as a particularly vulnerable target for hackers. This is evidenced by a recent Kaspersky Labs report that indicated that in the first half of 2017, “manufacturing companies were the most susceptible to cyber threats: their ICS computers accounted for about one-third of all attacks.” The reality, however, is that in today’s digital age where everything is highly connected, the threats facing manufacturers are more significant than ever and can no longer be ignored.
Smart Manufacturing has revolutionized the way supply chains, factories, customers, and operations interact through the use of advanced technologies including the Internet of Things (IoT). And while these interconnected and responsive technologies have tremendous benefits, this also means that cyber risks become greater and a single threat can have expansive reach. As a result, it is increasingly important for manufacturers and their partners to have an integrated approach to cybersecurity, including defined IoT security solutions.
Not only can compromised IoT devices lead to downtime in production and delays in the supply chain but in a highly connected manufacturing environment where heavy machinery and robotics are remotely programmed and controlled, IoT security breaches can even pose a threat to the safety of workers on the factory floor.
Beyond the implications of an IoT hack during the manufacturing process, as more and more manufactured products include IoT technology designed to improve the consumer experience, the cybersecurity risk often extends beyond the point of sale. While a refrigerator that has the ability to send feedback directly to the manufacturer when there is an issue can help streamline the repair and part ordering process, it also creates another potential point of cyber vulnerability for manufacturers.
If you’re involved in manufacturing, it’s pretty clear that connected and integrated technologies are here to stay, but that doesn’t mean manufacturers just need to accept a higher level of cyber threat exposure. At ATB, we specialize in technology for manufacturing companies. Our security specialists can help your manufacturing business create a customized security solution that addresses the challenges associated with IoT and more to ensure a safe, secure and productive operation. Schedule a consultation with our manufacturing security experts today and let us help you close the security gap before it’s too late.