Small manufacturers are a vital part of our nation’s economic and cyber infrastructure. For most small manufacturers, however, the security of their information, systems, and networks is not the highest priority given everything else faced in day-to-day activities. But the average cost of a data breach for small companies is estimated at $38,000. More than half of small companies go out of business after a significant attack. An information security or cybersecurity incident can be detrimental to business, as well as your customers, partners, and suppliers.
Manufacturing companies are one of the most popular targets for cybercriminals, based on the sheer amount of classified information they hold. In fact, a recent report from IBM X-Force Research’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index found that the sector is the second most-attacked industry behind healthcare, with automotive manufacturers and chemical companies scoring as the top targets for attackers.
Hackers’ intentions can vary when targeting the industry, but they are typically financially-motivated, state-sponsored attacks, which occur when government-funded organizations break into a network to steal intellectual property (IP) and trade secrets. These groups are some of the most sophisticated hackers, using a high level of expertise when targeting companies. They seek extremely valuable IP to further the betterment of the people in their country, or perhaps more commonly, for financial gain.
It’s important manufacturers understand and manage the risk and establish a cybersecurity protocol to protect their most critical assets.
The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance recently created a quick tips guide to help cost-effectively create a cybersecurity framework.