Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

8/8/2018
10:30 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Manufacturing Industry Experiencing Higher Incidence of Cyberattacks

New report reveals the natural consequences of ignoring the attendant risks of industrial IoT and Industry 4.0.

The rapid convergence of enterprise IT and operational technology networks in manufacturing organizations has definitely caught the eyes of cyberattackers. According to a new report out today, manufacturing companies have started experiencing elevated rates of cyber reconnaissance and lateral movement from attackers taking advantage of the growing connectivity within the industry. 

Developed by threat hunting firm Vectra, the "2018 Spotlight Report on Manufacturing" features data from a broader study of hundreds of enterprises across eight other industries. It shows that even though organizations in retail, financial services, and healthcare industries are more likely to experience reportable breaches involving personally identifiable information, manufacturing organizations outpace them in other areas of risk. 

For example, the manufacturing industry is subject to a higher-than-usual volume of malicious internal behaviors, which points to attackers likely already having found footholds inside of these networks. In particular, during the first half of 2018 manufacturing firms had the highest level of reconnaissance activity per 10,000 machines of any other industry. This kind of behavior typically shows that attackers are mapping out the network looking for critical assets. Similarly, manufacturing was in the top three industries most impacted by malicious lateral movement across its networks.

All of these metrics indicate a heightened level of risk to manufacturing's bread-and-butter: uninterrupted operations and well-guarded intellectual property. According to the "2018 Verizon Data Breach Industry Report," 47% of breaches in manufacturing are motivated by cyber espionage. 

Experts chalk up the increased risk to the industry's mass deployment of industrial Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the shift to what some tech pundits call Industry 4.0. As analysts at McKinsey, Deloitte, and others explain, we're in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution. The first started with steam-powered machines. The second came with the advent of electricity. The third occurred with the first programmable controllers. And now the fourth is occurring with increased connectivity, automation, and data-driven adaptivity of operation systems across manufacturing plants. Industry 4.0 delivers ubiquitous production and control to the business, but it also increases the risk of disruption by cyberattackers if automated and connected systems aren't sufficiently protected. 

Unfortunately the industry's paradigms around protecting systems hasn't caught up with the changing realities of its attack surface. For example, the Vectra report explains how manufacturers traditionally used customized and proprietary protocols for connecting systems on the factory floor. That in and of itself kept the bar of entry for cybercriminals pretty high. But that trend is changing as more IoT devices have utilized standardized protocols.

"The conversion from proprietary protocols to standard protocols makes it easier to infiltrate networks to spy, spread, and steal," the report states. 

Additionally, manufacturers tend not to implement strong security access controls on certain systems for fear of interrupting the flow of lean production lines. All of this is adding up to heightened levels of risk.

"The interconnectedness of Industry 4.0-driven operations has created a massive attack surface for cybercriminals to exploit," says Chris Morales, head of security analytics at Vectra.

Related Content:

 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Browsers to Enforce Shorter Certificate Life Spans: What Businesses Should Know
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-17366
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
An issue was discovered in NLnet Labs Routinator 0.1.0 through 0.7.1. It allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions or to cause a denial of service on dependent routing systems by strategically withholding RPKI Route Origin Authorisation ".roa" files or X509 Certificate...
CVE-2020-9036
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
Jeedom through 4.0.38 allows XSS.
CVE-2020-15127
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
In Contour ( Ingress controller for Kubernetes) before version 1.7.0, a bad actor can shut down all instances of Envoy, essentially killing the entire ingress data plane. GET requests to /shutdown on port 8090 of the Envoy pod initiate Envoy's shutdown procedure. The shutdown procedure includes flip...
CVE-2020-15132
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
In Sulu before versions 1.6.35, 2.0.10, and 2.1.1, when the "Forget password" feature on the login screen is used, Sulu asks the user for a username or email address. If the given string is not found, a response with a `400` error code is returned, along with a error message saying that th...
CVE-2020-7298
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-05
Unexpected behavior violation in McAfee Total Protection (MTP) prior to 16.0.R26 allows local users to turn off real time scanning via a specially crafted object making a specific function call.