Even manufacturing isn’t safe from cyber attacks.
In recent years there has been significant emphasis placed on the risk of cyber attacks relating to front office interactions with individual customers. However, the ever-increasing volume of data being integrated into smart products, manufacturing equipment and other machinery essential to business operations is increasingly being targeted by hackers. For manufacturers, cyber security and the potential fallout of a security breach are issues that must be addressed and acted on immediately.
At a recent CBI Future of Manufacturing Conference, it was noted that currently only circa 12% of global manufacturing equipment is internet connected. However, the rise of big data and the Internet of Things suggests that by 2020 over 85% of manufacturing equipment will be connected.
As manufacturers become more computerised and digitally integrated they are increasingly turning to cyber insurance in order to reduce their risk exposure. In 2016, US manufacturers paid £27.2 million in premiums for cyber-specific policies in 2016, an increase of 89% on the year prior. Though the UK has not yet reached this level, coverage is steadily increasing as manufacturers begin to understand their risk exposures in more depth.
This trend marks a significant change in how cyber insurance is perceived and utilised. Long used by consumer facing institutions to protect against customer data theft, it is now being used to protect data-related security weaknesses in the manufacturing sector. It is also broadening the scope of manufacturing insurance beyond straightforward property and casualty which often only cover physical damage before insurance money is paid.
In April of this year, security firm Radware ran an experiment to test the frequency of cyber attacks aiming to destroy routers and Internet of Things devices. Over a four-day period, their experiment recorded 1,895 PDoS (Permanent Denial-of-Service) attacks from all over the globe.
According to Radware’s site, these attacks are also loosely known as ‘phlashing’ and are “an attack that damages a system so badly that it requires replacement or reinstallation of hardware. By exploiting security flaws or misconfigurations, this type of cyber attack can destroy the firmware and/or basic functions of systems”.
This type of cyber attack is becoming increasingly popular in 2017 and with increasing prevalence comes a pressing need for manufacturers to address these threats.
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