Manufacturing: Ransomware’s Biggest Target

Ransomware is quite possibly the biggest threat to any organization in 2022. Through gaining access to your network and IT infrastructure, bad actors can steal and encrypt services and private data you need for your business to run efficiently or at all. What’s even worse is that ransomware gangs will offer your data back at an exorbitant cost making a breach like this financial straining. These ransomware groups will oftentimes never give your data back, because you are working with criminals it is entirely possible that they will take the money and run leaving your organization in shambles. However, the threat of ransomware has become increasingly detrimental to the manufacturing industry.

According to KnowBe4, ransomware attacks have reached new heights in both volume and damage as over 160 industries have been targeted worldwide. One notorious ransomware gang leading the charge is “Conti”. Conti is a ransomware-as-service operation that, according to CISA, targets victims primarily in North America and Western Europe. Conti hits hard and fast with its breaches often taking only 4 days to establish command and control within an organization. It has been found that Conti has just recently hit 40 different organization in just month. Additionally, we now know what industries Conti is targeting specifically with manufacturing leading the pack. Other targets including real estate, transportation, and professional services.

This means that if you work within the manufacturing industry, ransomware should be a primary concern for the future success of your business. According to reports by Coveware, the average cost of a ransomware attack is $211,529.

Can your organization afford to take a hit like this? Unfortunately, most SMBs cannot. Additionally, it is SMB’s who are most often targeted by ransomware attacks. The same Coveware report outlines that 35% of ransomware attacks are directed at organizations with 101-1,000 employees. This puts small-medium sized businesses on the front lines of the security battle. The sheer volume of ransomware attacks combined with the financial cost of even the smallest attacks makes ransomware the biggest security threat to your organization, it just so happens that manufacturing is often the industry in the sightlines of these cyber criminals.

Why do ransomware gangs attack the manufacturing industry specifically? One of the biggest reasons that manufacturers are targeted is how closely they are linked to the federal government and global supply chains.

Without manufacturer’s many of the products and materials we need to keep our economy on the right track would be impossible to get. This is why manufacturer’s often bid on contracts with the Department of Defense or other government agencies. This close relationship with the federal government could give hackers the foothold they need into government agencies. Additionally, it’s no secret that global supply chains are at risk. Criminals can disrupt entire supply lines just through infiltrating one manufacturing organization. This is why the Department of Defense has begun implementing security frameworks like CMMC to help protect both the private sector and federal government.

Another reason that ransomware gangs may target manufacturers is the disconnect between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). Manufacturer’s may see tension in how they are to implement security controls and if they are limited to just their organizations IT infrastructure or if they extend to the machinery and OT used to conduct business. All it takes is one unsecured entry point for attackers to exploit and gain control of your network. You could have the strongest IT infrastructure on the planet, but if your OT systems are not protected it may not matter.

Luckily, CorpInfoTech is capable of implementing and maintaining controls necessary for securing both OT and IT systems. Let’s talk today.

CorpInfoTech (Corporate Information Technologies) provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.

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