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Cyber- Manufacturer concerns

Cyber-ManufacturingStudy reveals cyber concerns among manufacturing executives

In an extensive and widespread interview of executives operating in the manufacturing industry, Deloitte and MAPI find out more about the challenges and concerns of those operating in the manufacturing industry.

The impact of technology in the manufacturing industry thanks to globalisation, complex systems and a drive for innovation, is vast.

With more “smart” products with interconnectivity cyber risks are becoming more widespread and difficult to crack. This is nowhere more the case than in the manufacturing industry, where competition is fierce and innovation rapid it can leave an open door for equally sophisticated hacking.

Inside operation According to figures from a study by Deloitte & MAPI, only 52% of executives surveyed said they were confident that their assets were protected from the threat of cyber attacks – 4 out of 10 of which involved employees.

One of the executives interviewed by Deloitte and MAPI said, “In the last couple of years, our people have been one of our biggest exposures; whether the intent is malicious or not, people are often the weakest link.”

Criminal superiority The results from the survey show Intellectual Property Theft to be the biggest cyber threat currently facing manufacturing, and that many of the instances can be traced back to the shop floor. This is not only due to the disconnectivity of outdated systems and processes leading to a lack of or mis-information, but is also down to the fact that manufacturers are failing in large numbers to carry out the appropriate risk assessments in these areas, which would otherwise identify vulnerabilities.

Do most commercial insurances cover such risks – NO. Often specialist cyber cover is required.

Increasing sophistication of cyber crime is perceived to be one of the greatest challenges according to 42% of executives interviewed. One executive couldn’t believe that their method of communication to head office was exploited.

“We were building a facility in China five years ago, and they acquired local equipment, cameras to show leadership back at headquarters live progress of construction. They put a live feed on the internet, but did not realise this rendered us/it as a target. It was brutal.”

Competition breeds failure In their haste to jump ahead of the competition, the marketing and product engineering departments have a keen focus on enabling connectivity anywhere they can in their products – even if it’s not really needed. Out of the companies surveyed, 7 in 10 transmit unique identifiers and other private information in their connected products.

“Our customers may not be asking for sensors in products; from our products; but we may feel the need to make our products capable of being connected even if not needed, but because our competitors are going there,” said one of the executives interviewed.

Businesses need to check with their insurance professionals as to what cover if any they have. 1Stop Insurance offer a wide range of covers from market leading providers to enable them to satisfy most cyber needs.

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