One in five manufacturing staff involved in cybersecurity incident


One in five staff in the manufacturing industry admit to having been involved in a security breach or loss of sensitive company data, according to a recent survey conducted by Impero Software, provider of software solutions helping people work, learn and connect safely online.
The research, which saw 400 manufacturing employees asked about their cybersecurity behaviours and experiences, found that more than a quarter (28%) lack the confidence to recognise and report cybersecurity threats at work, while a further three in ten (30%) want their employers to improve the quality of cybersecurity training. Forty percent would also consider resigning if their company was involved in a major security incident.

This is significant given that over half (51%) access company systems and data on their personal devices, on average, three times a week. Amongst this group, a further 24% report that their organisation does not enforce a strict security policy for personal devices – or simply does not have such a policy to begin with. An average manufacturing professional will access company data four times a week, employee data three times a week, and customer data twice a week. 
The availability of cybersecurity infrastructure also shows room for improvement. Only around half of respondents reported having access to critical security tools such as secure remote access software (54%), virtual private networks (51%) and multi-factor authentication (41%). 
The potential impact on cybersecurity is substantial here, as Impero CEO Justin Reilly warns: “Although many think of manufacturing as more analogue-driven, this is simply not the case anymore. The modern manufacturing environment is underpinned by a complex and often diverse network of connected devices, from cloud-based data storage systems, to automated assembly solutions and, increasingly, AI and robotics. While important for the sector’s evolution, this proliferation of devices has made it especially vulnerable to malicious attacks. Without adequate training to help staff spot and react to cyber threats, or clear device security policies and tools in place, many manufacturers will be left exposed to significant risk.”

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