According to Dragos, the number of ransomware attacks conducted against manufacturing companies has tripled in the last year. Additionally, a report by Claroty indicates that 53% of industrial enterprises in the US have seen an uptick in cybersecurity threats since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing supply chain cybersecurity threats is essential for all manufacturers, particularly in light of COVID-19 operational changes. The transition to a remote workforce and increasing mobile device use introduces new and more significant threat vectors, all of which are exploitable if not adequately secured.

By embracing cybersecurity best practices, it’s possible to prevent attacks, safeguard critical data, and provide operational continuity.

Manufacturing Cyberattacks – The Cost of a Breach

Overall, the cost of a cyberattack has risen dramatically in recent years. According to IBM’s 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cybersecurity incident costs an average of $3.86 million. This figure incorporates all associated breach expenses, including productivity losses, service disruptions, remediation efforts, and more. A McKinsey Global Institute study reports that a halted production line alone loses an estimated $20,000 per hour. However, these costs don’t fully account for long-term effects, such as damaging a company’s reputation or the broader economic impact of a potentially large-scale supply chain disruption.

With adequately implemented supply chain cybersecurity solutions, manufacturing companies can protect themselves against various threats. By reducing the likelihood of a disruptive event, following cybersecurity best practices, and investing in the right security solutions, companies can significantly lower the risk of incurring financial and other associated incident costs.

Manufacturing Supply Chain Cybersecurity Threats

Manufacturing companies are vulnerable to every form of cyberattack. However, Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report states that 23% of all malware impacting manufacturers comes in the form of ransomware.

Skybox Security reports that the pandemic led to a dramatic increase in overall ransomware attacks. Attacks grew by 72% during the first half of 2020, making ransomware the most significant current threat. Manufacturing organizations, by nature, need to allow easy remote access to industrial and networking assets, and this exposure gives hacking groups and ransomware gangs many opportunities to gain network access.

With the increase in mobile device use and a larger remote workforce, there has also been a significant rise in mobile device vulnerabilities. During the pandemic, mobile vulnerabilities grew 50%, and Android deficiencies spiked a whopping 110%.

Manufacturers must address all potential attack surfaces, including IT networks, mobile devices, operational networks, and infrastructure. Industrial companies are targets because they are not known to have robust cybersecurity systems, and their environments are complex and interconnected. As a result, cybersecurity measures often fall short. Understanding the possible targets is critical for creating opportunities to shield them from attackers.

Internal networks housing sensitive data, manufacturing equipment, mobile technology, and any other network-connected devices or systems are at risk. An attack on an area may disrupt critical supply chains, company operations, and even threaten national security.

Mobile Device Management Doesn’t Deliver

Supply chain cybersecurity needs to be robust, cost-effective, and user-friendly, ensuring the safeguarding of networks across the facility against intrusion and unauthorized access.

When it comes to mobile devices, traditional solutions like Mobile Device Management (MDM) aren’t sufficient for several reasons. First, MDM allows individual devices to store corporate data, an approach that causes security risks. When sensitive data is downloaded to and stored on a device, it becomes difficult to control, leaving it exposed to attackers.

MDM solutions are costly and cumbersome, and devices must be individually managed, putting a significant burden on IT. If the devices are company-issued, they also represent a high hardware cost.

Privacy is another major concern, especially in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. With MDM, IT has complete control of and visibility into employee personal devices, leading many employees to resist or reject MDM solutions because they are akin to spyware.

Companies with MDM policies can impact recruiting. Additionally, if an employee device is lost or stolen, it is remote wiped, risking personal data loss and creating a liability for employers. These privacy and adoption issues create more security risks and waste IT and financial resources.

While MDM solutions have been used in the past, the manufacturing industry must now innovate with next-gen technology that empowers employees and ensures enterprise-wide data and network protection.

Virtual Mobility Solutions & Security for Manufacturing

With a Virtual Mobility Solution (VMS), manufacturing companies get mobile device security solutions that boost BYOD adoption, meet enterprise needs, and reduce risk.

Hypori Virtual Mobility™ delivers military-grade secure, budget-conscious BYOD that gives all end-users access to critical systems and information. With Hypori®, there is 100% separation of company and personal data with no data at rest on the device, allowing seamless interaction with corporate data.

Hypori secures data, not hard-to-secure devices, and enables manufacturing industry organizations to improve productivity, maintain a competitive edge, and stay cyber safe, all while delivering user-friendly, cost-effective BYOD.

Hypori is a highly secure, flexible, scalable, and user-friendly mobile device security solution. For manufacturers looking for a streamlined, agile, robust BYOD solution, Hypori delivers. Contact us to learn more.