In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, cybersecurity in the manufacturing industry has become a critical concern. The manufacturing industry is expected to reach a value of US$3.09tn by 2023, with a steady annual growth rate of 3.02%.
However, this growth comes with increasing manufacturing cybersecurity challenges.
According to IBM, in 2021, manufacturing became the topmost attacked industry by ransomware actors. The number of attacks even crossed the insurance and financial industries— hot spots for cyberattacks.
These numbers are a bit scary and show how urgent it is for manufacturing companies to take cybersecurity seriously. They must protect their work, reputation, and everything they do.
This blog highlights the importance of cybersecurity in manufacturing and how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can improve it. With RPA, manufacturers can reduce risks and fight against cyber threats.
Here are some ways how hackers take advantage of cybersecurity in manufacturing.
There are chances for some employees or contractors with authorized access to accidentally or purposely compromise security. As a result, this can lead to data breaches or disruptions in the system.
Manufacturing organizations can fall victim to phishing attacks. Hackers pretend to be someone trustworthy and send deceptive emails or messages. They try to trick employees into sharing sensitive information or giving them access. Info Security Magazine shares that phishing is the most common technique for hackers to invade this industry.
Manufacturing companies are at risk of ransomware attacks. Hackers encrypt valuable data and demand money to unlock it. In case of non-recoveries, these attacks can disrupt operations and cause financial losses.
The manufacturing industry's interconnected supply chains create cybersecurity challenges. Weak security practices by suppliers or partners can be exploited, ultimately putting the whole process at risk. In 2021, hackers tried to fracture the backbone of the global supply chain by exploiting its vulnerabilities.
With the increasing use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in manufacturing, there's a challenge of IoT device exploitation. Insecure IoT devices can easily be hacked, giving unauthorized access to critical systems or allowing attackers to disrupt operations.
Manufacturing companies store vast amounts of sensitive data, making them targets for data breaches. Unapproved access to intellectual property, customer information, or proprietary designs can have severe consequences for the organization, including financial and reputational damage.
The manufacturing industry is also vulnerable to industrial espionage. Competitors or foreign entities may try to gain access to
And other valuable intellectual property.
With cybercrime on the rise and manufacturers facing additional risks as they adopt and use new technologies, it's more important for senior executives to step up and lead the charge in developing and implementing an effective cybersecurity strategy.
The following are some of the most common challenges of cybersecurity in manufacturing.
A major challenge in manufacturing cybersecurity is that employees need more security knowledge. They might accidentally do the wrong things if they don’t know how to protect against threats which will ultimately put the company at risk. According to the Make UK report, only 26.8% of companies strongly believe they have the right tools and processes to deal with cyber incidents.
Manufacturers often need more money to invest in robust cybersecurity measures. Insufficient resources allocated to cybersecurity hinder the implementation of advanced security solutions. Ultimately, it leaves your systems vulnerable to attacks.
The increasing complexity and interconnectivity of manufacturing systems create cybersecurity challenges. It increases the attack surface and makes it difficult to ensure comprehensive security across the entire ecosystem.
The need for more skilled cybersecurity professionals in the manufacturing industry poses a significant challenge. The demand for experts who understand manufacturing operations and cybersecurity is high. It makes it challenging for organizations to recruit and retain qualified professionals.
The manufacturing sector is highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The extensive supply chain and the sheer volume of data generated by its operations make this sector an attractive target for hackers.
The consequences of breaches of cybersecurity in manufacturing can be devastating.
Let’s discuss some of them.
Cybersecurity breaches in manufacturing can lead to significant financial losses, including costs associated with incident response, system repairs, legal actions, and potential theft of intellectual property or sensitive data.
Breaches can disrupt operations, causing production delays and downtime. It can cause potential damage to critical infrastructure, which can result in reduced productivity, missed deadlines, and increased costs for remediation.
A cybersecurity breach can tarnish a company's reputation, eroding customer trust and loyalty. Loss of business opportunities and a damaged brand image are potential consequences of it.
Breaches undermine customer confidence in a manufacturer's ability to protect sensitive information. This can lead to customer churn, decreased sales, and reluctance to engage in future business transactions.
Dealing with the aftermath of a breach diverts resources and attention from core business activities. This results in productivity losses. Time spent on incident response, investigations, and system recovery impacts overall efficiency.
Breaches may lead to non-compliance with industry-specific regulations and data protection laws. This can result in penalties, fines, and legal consequences.
To tackle this cybersecurity for manufacturing challenges, leveraging RPA can play a pivotal role in enforcing robust security measures
RPA use is anticipated to rise considerably. According to a recent estimate from Gartner, Inc., global corporate spending on RPA software is anticipated to rise by around 20% in 2022. In 2022, businesses were expected to spend $2.9 billion on RPA software. In 2023, double-digit growth was predicted for the global RPA software industry.
Here are key areas where RPA can enhance cybersecurity compliance and regulations in the manufacturing industry.
Using RPA technologies, systems can monitor, detect, and respond to potential cyber threats in real-time.
By automating and enhancing incident response processes, RPA can reduce downtime. It then minimizes potential damage from security incidents.
RPA can automate vulnerability scanning and assessment across the manufacturing environment. This enables timely patch management and strengthens overall security.
RPA automates compliance audits and streamlines the assessment of compliance with regulatory requirements. This includes automatically generated reports.
Using RPA, manufacturers can ensure uniform implementation and enforcement of security policies throughout their manufacturing ecosystem.
RPA technologies can expedite incident investigation processes by automating data collection, analysis, and correlation. It enables faster identifying the root cause and timely resolution of security incidents.
Robotic process automation can enforce the consistent application of security regulations. It automates security policy enforcement, access controls, and data protection measures across manufacturing systems and processes.
RPA also automates routine tasks and frees up resources. It allows experts to focus on more strategic aspects of cybersecurity.
While RPA can help manufacturers comply with regulations like GDPR, certain best practices should be followed when deploying the technology within your organization.
Thoroughly assess existing systems and processes. Identify areas for improvement and determine necessary measures for a successful RPA implementation.
Evaluate various RPA solutions and vendors based on their,
Carefully design and optimize RPA processes to ensure they align with cybersecurity standards. Also, implement necessary controls and encryption mechanisms to safeguard sensitive manufacturing data.
Ensure that the chosen RPA solution seamlessly integrates with the existing security systems, establishing secure communication protocols and effectively sharing data while maintaining the integrity of manufacturing cybersecurity.
Implement robust monitoring and maintenance protocols to assess the performance and security of RPA processes continuously. Promptly address any vulnerabilities or issues and ensure a proactive approach to manufacturing cybersecurity.
Keeping manufacturing operations safe and secure is essential. That's why cybersecurity is so crucial in this industry. It helps protect important things like valuable assets and sensitive data and keeps everything running smoothly.
To make cybersecurity even stronger in manufacturing, it's a good idea to use RPA-based solutions. These solutions can find and stop threats, ensure data is sent securely, and respond quickly to any problems.
If you’re wondering about a reliable solution for cybersecurity in manufacturing, then Ennuviz is here to help. We can assist you in unlocking your desired potential with fully-automated cybersecurity solutions. Our advanced Process Intelligence and Hyperautomation technologies can set your business in growth mode without worrying about cyber threats.
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