Cybersecurity in manufacturing: How to improve your posture

cybersecurity for manufacturing

We live in a fast-paced digital world. Manufacturing companies are embracing innovative technologies to boost efficiency and productivity. Yet, alongside these benefits, a mounting wave of cybersecurity challenges threatens to weaken the very core of these companies. As an IT decision maker within a manufacturing firm, it is crucial for you to understand and address these challenges head-on. This article explores the critical cybersecurity challenges faced by manufacturing companies and introduces the transformative solution of Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR).

The manufacturing industry’s cybersecurity landscape

  1. Supply Chain Vulnerabilities: Manufacturing companies often operate intricate supply chains comprising various partners and suppliers. While these networks are essential for production, they can inadvertently introduce vulnerabilities. Ransomware is of key concern. Cybercriminals exploit these weak links to infiltrate the entire ecosystem, causing disruptions and data breaches.
  2. Legacy Systems and Outdated Infrastructure: A significant proportion of manufacturing processes rely on legacy systems that predate the era of robust cybersecurity measures. In fact, this is true for 74% of manufacturers. These systems lack the advanced security features present in modern software and hardware, making them prime targets for cyberattacks.
  3. IoT and OT Convergence: The integration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices with Operational Technology (OT) systems has revolutionised manufacturing processes. However, this amplifies the potential attack surface. They are particularly vulnerable to network attacks. Cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in connected devices with phishing attacks, spoofing and denial of service attacks (DDoS attacks). This helps them gain unauthorised access to crucial production systems.
  4. Data Protection and Privacy: Manufacturing companies handle an array of sensitive information, including proprietary designs, customer data, and intellectual property. Data breaches not only lead to financial losses but also erode customer trust and tarnish the company’s reputation. IBM reported that manufacturing companies are the most heavily targeted industry.

Now we understand the threat landscape, it’s time to move on to how we improve security posture with an innovative cybersecurity service.

Unveiling MXDR: A comprehensive cybersecurity solution

Truth be told, conventional solutions fall short in addressing the sophisticated techniques employed by malicious actors. Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR) is an innovative manufacturing cybersecurity service designed to bridge this gap by offering proactive, real-time threat detection and response capabilities.

Advantages of MXDR as cybersecurity for manufacturing companies:

  1. Real-time Threat Detection and Mitigation: MXDR employs cutting-edge AI-driven analytics and machine learning algorithms to monitor network traffic and identify anomalies. This proactive approach enables the swift detection of potential threats, preventing them from escalating into full-blown cyber incidents.
  2. Comprehensive Visibility Across the Digital Landscape: One of MXDR’s standout features is its ability to provide a unified view of your entire digital environment. From traditional IT systems to the myriad IoT devices and legacy machinery, MXDR ensures no potential entry point for cybercriminals goes unnoticed.
  3. Swift and Efficient Incident Response: In the unfortunate event of a cyber incident, MXDR excels by enabling rapid and effective incident response. Automated workflows and predefined playbooks empower your IT team to contain the threat, minimise damages, and restore normal operations in a timely manner.
  4. Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Learning: Unlike traditional security solutions, MXDR does not operate in silos. It is in a constant state of vigilance, continuously scanning your network for emerging threats. Moreover, MXDR’s algorithms evolve alongside attackers’ techniques, ensuring your defences remain formidable.

Case study: MXDR in action

CloudGuard has been supporting the cybersecurity of global manufacturing company with its MXDR over the last 12 months. They initially contacted us after one of their subsidiaries was compromised by a ransomware attack, which soon impacted the entire group’s operations.

Once we’d helped them securely restore business operations, they wanted to build a new, more security-focused strategy that met the changing business needs with 24 x 7 real-time security monitoring and expert response. Enter our MXDR service.

Over the last 12 months, 82% of all identified vulnerabilities have been successfully remediated – with 76% solved through automation. This performance led to them renewing their partnership with CloudGuard with a multi-year contract.

Read the full case study here.

Key considerations when embracing MXDR:

  1. Integration Complexity: Implementing MXDR requires careful integration with your existing cybersecurity infrastructure. To ensure a seamless transition, collaborate closely with the MXDR provider and conduct comprehensive testing.
  2. Resource Allocation: While the benefits of MXDR are undeniable, its effective utilisation demands an investment in both financial resources and skilled personnel. Adequate training for your IT team is imperative to fully harness the potential of the platform.
  3. Data Privacy and Compliance: Given the sensitivity of data handled in the manufacturing sector, it is paramount to verify that MXDR aligns with data protection regulations and industry-specific compliance requirements.
  4. Tailored Customisation: No two manufacturing companies are identical, and neither are their cybersecurity needs. Seek an MXDR provider that offers customisable features and support to align the platform with your unique requirements.

Cybersecurity in manufacturing: MXDR secures your future

The manufacturing industry’s transition into the digital era is not without its challenges, and robust cybersecurity has become non-negotiable. Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR) emerges as a serious contender, equipping you with the tools needed to safeguard your operations and sensitive data.

With real-time threat detection, 360 visibility, rapid incident response, and continuous monitoring, MXDR enables you to tackle cyber threats head-on. However, a successful MXDR implementation requires careful consideration of integration complexities, resource allocation, compliance, and customisation.

By embracing MXDR, your manufacturing company can embrace the future with confidence, knowing your operations are protected against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Stay secure, stay ahead with MXDR.

Thomas Shelton24. Aug 2023