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Manufacturers Say Cybersecurity Threats Starting to Overwhelm Resources

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Most manufacturing executives participating in a survey said cybersecurity threats are beginning to overwhelm their resources.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said the workload of their security operations exceeds the capacity of their staff “significantly” or “somewhat,” according to a summary of the survey.

“The combination of threat detection/response challenges and staff/skills shortage leads to predictable results,” according to the report by TrapX Security and Enterprise Strategy Group.

The summary added that 53 percent “of manufacturing organizations surveyed claim that they have experienced a cyber-attack or other type of security incident in the last 12-24 months.” Such attacks either affected or were aimed at operational technology (OT), the report said.

Of those who said their organizations were attacked, almost half, 47 percent, said it took from one week to one month to recover while 19 percent said it took between one and three months.

Attacks “and long remediation cycles can cause unplanned downtime, leading to business disruption and higher costs,” according to the report.

One trend in manufacturing is the convergence of information technology (IT) and OT. A majority of respondents, 58 percent, said “detecting and responding to IT and OT threats has become more difficult” over the past two years.

Among the reasons: Manufacturers collect more data than before and “the threat landscape is evolving and changing so rapidly.”

“As if threat detection and response challenges weren’t enough, they are often exacerbated by the global cybersecurity skills shortage,” according to the report. “Many organizations don’t have enough staff members or the right skills to meet their cybersecurity requirements.”

The report is based on a survey of 150 manufacturers. It was conducted between Aug. 17 and Aug. 31.

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