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Hackers and other cybercriminals are developing increasingly sophisticated methods to breach organizations’ computer networks in order to steal data, halt operations, hold data to ransom or all of the above. Unfortunately, while the manufacturing sector has traditionally not been a target, that’s no longer the case. With the rise of smart factories, hackers have more and more opportunities to gain access to your network and generally wreak havoc.

We’ve put together the following list of cybersecurity trends and threats to look out for in the upcoming year so that you can be better prepared:

  • A push for more data protection regulation: On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation act came into effect. This act applies to all companies, regardless of where they’re headquartered, that monitor the web activity of individuals inside the European Union or offer services and products to individuals inside the European Union. Companies that fail to comply with these regulations may be subjected to hefty fines. And since Europe has already led the way, the chances are high that other regions will follow with their own data protection policies.
  • A rise in supply chain threats: Supply chain threats are a type of cyber attack in which cybercriminals target the most vulnerable parts of a supply chain to gain access to more valuable data, a more powerful business partner or both. For example, if you supply components to a large electronics manufacturer that has a more robust cybersecurity system than you do, hackers may try to breach your network to access their system via your access point. This activity is not only detrimental to the supply chain process but can also undermine your business relationships.
  • Enhanced cloud-based security: A growing number of manufacturers are embracing digitization due to the scalability, agility and affordability it offers. Logically, cybercriminals are focusing more of their efforts on breaching the cloud to gain access to sensitive data and systems. For this reason, cloud providers are stepping up their security measures to provide better protection so that they can safeguard their clients’ data and applications.
  • An increase in advanced persistent threats: An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a system breach that takes place over a long period of time. Typically, a hacker gains access to a system by means of a phishing email that contains malware. Then, they pinpoint vulnerabilities to exploit and siphon off sensitive or valuable data. Unfortunately, it often takes companies that are not prepared months, if not years, to detect a breach. By then, the damage can run into the millions of dollars in terms of stolen IP, compromised personal data, legal and liability expenses and eroded public trust.

Knowing all of this, it should be clear that you can’t leave your cybersecurity to chance. If you’re looking for more advice on how to protect your manufacturing company against cybercrime, contact us. We’ve been providing expert advice to manufacturers since 1988, and we’ll make it our business to be aware of the threats you face — as well as how you can prepare for them.

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