Cybersecurity warning issued to manufacturers

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Manufacturers need to be aware of cyber security threats, warned Nozomi
Manufacturers need to be aware of cyber security threats, warned Nozomi

Related tags IoT cybersecurity

Threats to industrial and critical infrastructure reach new heights as business are warned to beef up their cybersecurity in light of recent attacks by hackers in the US.

A new report by digital security specialist Nozomi Networks has identified the major threats to manufacturers.

The report showed that ransomware activity continued to be the biggest threat, with breaches in cyber security having the potential to hit any part of the supply chain as businesses accelerate digital operations. Introducing more Internet of Things integration into the production line creates more chances for a hacker to access and damage the system, according to Nozomi.

The company’s co-founder Moreno Carullo urged businesses to take action now, or risk facing attacks such as the recent Oldsmar, Florida water system hack and the ongoing SolarWinds investigation. It describes the latter as the largest and most sophisticated attack on governmental organisations and businesses. 

‘Dramatic reminder’

“These attacks are dramatic reminders that the critical infrastructure and other systems that we rely on are vulnerable and at constant risk of attack,”​ said Carullo. “Understanding the effectiveness of defences against the emerging threat and vulnerability landscape is vital to success.”

Research by Nozomi found that memory corruption errors were the dominant vulnerability type for industrial devices.

Nozomi chief executive Edgard Capdevielle added: “Urgency has never been higher. As industrial organisations race toward digital transformation, threat actors are taking advantage of greater OT connectivity to create attacks that aim to disrupt operations and threaten the safety, profitability and reputation of enterprises around the globe.

‘Act quickly’

“While threats may be on the rise, the technologies and practices to defeat them are available today. We encourage organisation to act quickly to implement the recommendations in this report. It’s never been more important or more possible to take the necessary steps to detect and defend critical infrastructure and industrial operations.”

In 2019, food and drink firms ranked the lowest in terms of investment to prevent the threat of cyber-attacks, according to UK Government data.

Research carried out by Specops Software, using the latest government figures, has indicated that food and hospitality businesses invested the least financially, at an average of just £1,080 a year. Despite the low sum, it was still an increase of 20% from 2017-18 – when firms within the sectors were spending £900.

Meanwhile, Kosher biscuit manufacturer Rakusen’s has partnered with the University of Bradford to adapt its 100 year old production line with Industry 4.0 technologies,​ supported by the Knowledge transfer Network (KTN).

Related topics Supply Chain Industry 4.0

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