The onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the resultant social distancing measures across the world has had a sobering effect on the manufacturing industry. Large-scale plants have shuttered down and with demand at a historical low, the economic side-effects have been significant. Since a large part of the workforce in this sector works on assembly lines and shop floors, work from home is not really a viable option for manufacturing companies, leading to a steady drop in revenues and cost rationalization measures.
In recent years, the sector has modernized itself, embracing digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT). An era of smart manufacturing has emerged which enables more effective production and faster time to market. However, this digitalization has also resulted in an expansion of the attack surface for the manufacturing sector. Compared to even a decade ago, far more devices are connected which has increased the attack surface. Consequently, the sector has become one of the chief targets for cyber attackers. The ongoing pandemic has not changed this situation and adversaries are continuing to use various attack channels to target manufacturing organizations.
Gaps in the supply chain
Manufacturing is a sector which is more reliant on their supply chains than other domains. The ecosystem is characterized by various partners at different chains that regularly interact with each other during the production process. Overnight, these entire chains have had to shift to working remotely which has caused severe gaps in the chain in terms of cyber-preparedness. Cyber actors are exploiting this gap as they are aware that one breach can affect the entire supply chain of the manufacturing ecosystem.
Security gaps in a remote working system
Many companies have tried to enable business continuity by shifting workstations to employees. This is not an ideal situation as this is a sector that requires specialized software. By shifting these systems out of secure office perimeters, the security apparatus has been reduced. Organizations now have lesser controls over these systems and the prospect of employee error has increased. Employees may connect to insecure networks or click on malicious links – they could use pirated software on work devices which may lead into a collapse in security.
Lack of cybersecurity awareness
A large portion of a typical manufacturing company’s workforce is skilled or semi-skilled. The ongoing pandemic has compelled organizations to switch to a remote working model without getting the time to train such workers on cybersecurity precautions. Workers unfamiliar with digitalization are now required to download and use company-mandated apps but their unfamiliarity with the process makes them easy targets for malicious threat actors.
Seqrite’s Endpoint Security Cloud offers manufacturing organizations a comprehensive solution to keep their perimeters safe by securing endpoints, remotely. The cloud-based software enables simple and secure management remotely by integrating innovative technologies to protect from advanced threats at different levels. Requiring minimal technical expertise to set up, Seqrite Endpoint Security Cloud offers a user-friendly interface that can easily be customized to keep organizations secure during these tough times.