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The manufacturing industry is transforming into industry 4.0, factories start to take advantage of data analytics and related technologies, but this technological transformation brings some new concerns as well. As the industry becomes more data-driven, manufacturers have a new threat to consider cybercrime. Manufacturing companies can be particularly vulnerable to digital threats nowadays, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first. There are five important reasons why manufacturers need cybersecurity:

(1) Cybercrime Is Rising

The world is moving toward digital processes as well as criminals today. Cybercrime is rising across all sectors at an alarming rate. Cybercrime is estimated to cost around £4.5 trillion a year by 2021. Criminals today are tech-native, having grown up around modern technology like the internet and cloud computing. Companies across all industries store a lot of data on the internet, making cybercrime a potentially lucrative option for cybercriminals.

(2) Manufacturers Are Valuable Targets

Hackers target manufacturers because they have a lot of valuable data. Some manufacturers have information like customer financial information or addresses. Even if a facility’s data can’t directly benefit a hacker, it can be a valuable target to hold for ransom.

(3) Cyberattacks Could Be More Severe

Manufacturers need cybersecurity not just because they’re a valuable target, but also because they have more to lose. Cyberattacks can damage any part of the manufacturing process, which could cause a wave effect of costly disruptions. As Industry 4.0 increases machinery interconnectivity, more data is produced, and manufacturers are becoming more vulnerable every day. A hacker could access and make something malfunction remotely, which could lead to defected products or stopped production which can lead to higher responsibility against the organization farther more than just direct cost or loss.  

(4) Modern Factories Have More Entry Points

Industry 4.0 encourages using internet of things (IoT) technologies which is an excellent tool for productivity, but without robust cybersecurity, they could be at substantial risk. In an interconnected digital ecosystem, hackers could gain access to the whole system at any point in the network. Without broader cybersecurity measures, every IoT device becomes a potential back door to sensitive information[I].

(5) The Industry Lacks Cybersecurity Experience

Industry 4.0 is still new, so many manufacturers are stepping into this kind of technology (Ex: IOT, Machine Learning, and AI) for the first time. The sector is not fully aware of the risks it presents. As a result, manufacturers could be vulnerable to many attacks. Comprehensive security mechanisms and a security-oriented mindset throughout the entire organization are essential to avert and control this risk.[ii]


[i] A manufacturer may have secure access controls over a database that stores valuable customer data. If it has an unsecured IoT device on the same network, though, a hacker may be able to access the database.


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