Manufacturing sector more exposed to ransomware attacks-report

2022 recorded the highest rate of encryption in three years.

In Summary

•This past year, only 55 percent of manufacturing organizations surveyed recovered their data within a week. 

•Manufacturing firms will have to maintain good security hygiene, including timely patching and regularly reviewing security tool configurations

A ransomware attack on a computer
A ransomware attack on a computer

Manufacturing is emerging as one of the most exposed sector to ransomware attacks according to “The State of Ransomware in Manufacturing and Production 2023,” report by Sophos.

 The report revealed that in more than two-thirds just about 68percent of ransomware attacks against this sector, the adversaries successfully encrypted data.

This is the highest reported encryption rate for the sector over the past three years and is in line with a broader cross-sector trend of attackers more frequently succeeding in encrypting data.

However, in contrast to other sectors, the percentage of manufacturing organizations that used backups to recover data has increased, with 73 percent of the manufacturing organizations surveyed using backups this year versus 58percent in the previous year.

Despite this increase, the sector still has one of the lowest data recovery rates.

The State of Ransomware 2023 survey polled 3,000 IT/cybersecurity leaders in organizations with between 100 and 5,000 employees, including 363 organizations in manufacturing and production, across 14 countries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

Sophos field chief technology officer John Shier says that in the review period, majority of the firms used backups as a primary recovery mechanism, since the use it promotes a faster recovery.

“While ransom payments cannot always be avoided, we know from our survey response data that paying a ransom doubles the costs of recovery. With 77 percent of manufacturing organizations reporting lost revenue after a ransomware attack, this added cost burden should be avoided, and priority placed on earlier detection and response,” said Shier.

In addition, despite the growing use of backups, manufacturing and production reported longer recovery times this year.

In 2022, 67 percent of manufacturing organizations recovered within a week, while 33percent recovered in more than a week.

This past year, only 55 percent of manufacturing organizations surveyed recovered within a week.  

“Longer recovery times in manufacturing are a concerning development, the manufacturing sector is consistently at the top of organizations needing assistance recovering from attacks. This extended recovery is negatively impacting IT teams, where 69 percent report that addressing security incidents is consuming too much time and 66 percent are unable to work on other projects.”

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star