Cyber Resilience in Manufacturing: Why You Need to Be Smart and Secure

The manufacturing sector is going through a digital revolution. At the same time, cyber-attacks against manufacturers have increased 300% in the past year. Here’s why your factories can’t just be smart – they need to be secure, too.

Manufacturing has undergone a digital revolution over the past few years. Cloud-computing and digitally-enabled smart factories have enabled manufacturers to achieve efficiencies and gain competitive advantage.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these trends, as manufacturers have been forced to adapt to remote working and keeping frontline workers safe from infection. However, the looming spectre of cybercrime has never been far from manufacturers’ minds.

Globally, the manufacturing sector saw a 300% increase in cyber-attacks over the past 12 months. In the UK and Ireland, manufacturing was the most targeted industry – accounting for 80% of all attacks in 2020.

The drivers for manufacturing cloud adoption are compelling, but so is the need to shore up cyber defences. In this blog we’ll explain why your factories can’t just be smart – they need to be secure, too.

The Rise of the Smart Factory

Cloud computing is enabling manufacturers to evolve smart factories. Let’s take a look at why 91% of industrial companies are investing in digital factories:

  • Digitally empowering workforces. By providing data, access and control everywhere, manufacturers can enhance worker decision making, competency, mobility, safety and remote supervision.
  • Create more resilient supply chains. The security provided by cloud hosting services is often better than what is available from a manufacturer’s own IT department. Risk concerns have also been diminished, as manufacturing professionals use cloud-based applications in their daily lives without disruption.
  • Unlock innovation and new services. Manufacturers are empowered to design, simulate and validate sustainable products and processes using the affordable, scalable power of the cloud.
  • A more sustainable way to deliver products and services. Running business applications in the cloud can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by a net 30% or more versus running those same applications on on-premises infrastructures.

With such compelling drivers for cloud adoption, it’s not surprising that more and more manufacturers are evolving their operations to take advantage of the cloud. But cloud adoption shouldn’t come at the expense of operational resiliency. As we’ll cover next, manufacturers are operating in an increasingly hostile digital landscape.

The Cyber Risk to Manufacturers

MAKE UK, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, has released a policy paper – Cyber Resilience: The Last Line of Defence – that explores how cybercrime has impacted the manufacturing industry with the move to remote working and the continued focus on digital adoption.

Here are some of the key findings from MAKE UK’s policy paper:

  • As they transition to more digitalised and interconnected systems and devices, manufacturers will face increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks that are harder to prevent.
  • Almost half of UK manufacturers have been the victim of cyber-crime in the past 12 months.
  • 63% of manufacturers that were a victim of cyber-crime said it cost them up to £5,000, while 26% said it cost between £5,000 and £50,000.
  • 61% of manufacturers now have a board director responsible for cyber security.
  • Despite this, 47% of manufacturers lack an incident response plan, and 66% of manufacturers report that cyber security does not have a regular slot on their board’s monthly agenda.
  • 43% of manufacturers have been asked by a customer or supplier to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cyber security.

As we covered in a recent blog, the cyber threat to manufacturers is real, and it’s getting worse. The smart factories you evolve should not come at the expense of weakening your cyber security posture. By working with a secure cloud provider like Six Degrees, you can adopt transformational cloud services while minimising the cyber risks you face.

Cyber Resilience in Manufacturing

The latest hybrid cloud technology is enabling today’s manufacturers to do amazing things, achieving efficiencies and creating more sustainable ways to deliver products and services. At Six Degrees we understand the cloud landscape and can help manufacturers to drive success by helping them to migrate to a platform that enables them to reach their cloud potential.

We help manufacturers to analyse their workloads and define cloud strategy, creating a cloud migration plan that will help them to achieve optimal performance, cost and security.

And by transitioning manufacturers’ cloud-ready workloads using industry best practices, aligned to Microsoft, Cyber Essentials and ISO 27001, we ensure that cloud adoption minimises risk and enhances security throughout their infrastructure – promoting cyber resilience and making their operations both smart and secure.

In our new infographic, created in collaboration with our cyber security and industry specialists, we map out key security threats across the supply chain. You can download it for free here.

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