For the manufacturing industry downtime is something to be avoided if at all possible. Unfortunately, it seems the unscrupulous people behind ransomware attacks have realised this and, as a result, are focusing their attention and efforts on this industry – making this sector the most targeted of all, accounting for 23% of all reported ransomware attacks.
Whilst some other sectors can try to hold firm and not pay out to these criminal organisations, scrambling to remedy the situation via other means, the manufacturing sector is reliant on its supply chain, and vice versa. A stumbling block at any point in the supply chain effects the whole, and it’s the added pressure this creates which means manufacturers are more likely to pay the attackers – this, in turn, drives the appeal to attack the sector.
The problem is exacerbated due to the close working relationships amongst the supply chain. Should an attacker gain access to an email account via a phishing exercise (accounting for approx. 41% of attacks), it’s a simple process for the attacker to send an email with a file link for, say, a purchase order to the other members of the supply chain, all too soon they may have access to the majority of your partners, further increasing the pressure to remedy the problem quickly – by paying the ransom.
As such, vulnerability management is becoming increasingly important; for instance, informing your staff of the potential techniques utilised in phishing exercises and taking care when clicking on links, even when received from trusted sources.
From a technology standpoint, ensuring the IT Systems and software in use are up-to-date and from reputable companies that understand the risks is paramount.
This also highlights issues when using disparate software solutions for managing your business – when using a single, all-encompassing ERP solution to manage your business, you only have to rely on a single source to ensure your business solution is able meet these challenges.
Having a single, all-encompassing ERP solution in a hosted environment ensures the highest level of security for your business, as it is incumbent on any decent hosting provider to maintain the hardware and operating systems in use, saving your business time, money and the potential stress in keeping abreast of all the potential vulnerabilities.