Manufacturers are the number one industry target for cyber attacks. Is your product and company data safe? That’s a question you need to ask since the 2020 State of Encrypted Attacks identified manufacturing as the industry most vulnerable to malicious browser breaches. (It found that 38.6% of attacks were targeted at this sector.)

Manufacturing’s unique vulnerability lies in its tendency toward fragmentation and technological obsolescence. Fragmentation refers to the fact that the various facilities of single manufacturers are rarely on the same page. More often than not, each facility is using different systems and IT infrastructures with no coordinated oversight, integrative processes, or policy enforcement between them.

Cyber Attack

Moreover, much of the manufacturing industry is struggling with the technological obsolescence of legacy network equipment. This equipment preceded the digital revolution and was never designed to defend against data breaches. Between fragmentation and technological obsolescence, manufacturers’ security systems have as many holes as swiss cheese, and cyber “rats” are quick to take the bait.

At Pivot International, we are a global one-source manufacturer, product development, and supply chain company with integrative operations and extensive investment in the latest digital technologies. These technologies include mirror-mounted twinned SMT, blockchain, AI, and more. Centralized coordination and oversight are built into our business model and technology stack. This ensures we achieve alignment across all our company-owned facilities and afford our partners maximum data security.

What signs can manufacturers watch for that may indicate an attempted attack?

One of the most popular phishing approaches is impersonating a respected brand or trusted company’s tech support team. Here’s how the ploy works: Hackers cripple your system, and then — like a criminal who remains at the scene of the crime — pose as an innocent source of support for solving it.

This good cop/bad cop game is played using malicious web redirects from compromised websites. Suddenly, you receive a pop-up alerting you that your system has been hacked, along with a “helpful” offer from “Microsoft” to “fix” it — provided you first issue a credit card number.

From there, things quickly go from bad to worse. Phishing is only the first stage in a far more elaborate plot to succeed at credential theft that continues through email attempts at deception. If the user bites, the system is rendered defenseless against malware installation, and eventually, to corporate data theft.

Manufacturers need visibility into and the ability to monitor all the users and the nooks and crannies of their networks. “As more traffic is encrypted, it is mission-critical to inspect all of the traffic,” explains, Deepen Dasia, CISO and VP of security research at Zscaler, “a proxy-based architecture with a multilayer defense-in-depth strategy that fully supports SSL inspection is essential to an organization’s security approach, regardless of size.”

What other ways can manufacturers protect themselves?

  • Use cloud-native proxy-based architecture to inspect every user across all traffic to decrypt, detect, and prevent threats in all SSL traffic.
  • Deploy AI-driven quarantine measures to contain suspicious activity, store it for analysis, and stop malware installation.
  • End fragmentation by adopting technology that ensures all your facilities and users fall under a unified network umbrella of IT infrastructure and security.
  • Play it close to the vest. Use apps — which, by definition, are not detectable to attackers — to allow authorized access to resources and data without exposing the entire network.

Are you looking for a trusted partner to help you bring a new product to market?

Pivot brings nearly a half-century of product development experience and DFM expertise that spans over fourteen industries and 320,000 square feet of manufacturing across three continents. Pivot is the proven partner and driving force behind some of the world’s most successful and award-winning innovations. If you’d like to learn more about how Pivot can support your growth objectives, contact us today for a no-cost consultation!