Digital transformation for manufacturers requires additional IT/OT security


Written by Clayton Fernandez, IoT Sales Director, WW IoT Specialist Team


While every industry is vulnerable to a ransomware attack, manufacturers are at a particular risk. While digitization and automation have helped transform the industry, it has simultaneously opened up new attack vectors within organizations. Now the most targeted industry, the manufacturing industry, has seen a 300 percent increase in cyberattacks in a single year.


Beyond the tremendous growth in attacks, manufacturing companies make an ideal target for hackers due to the high value of the companies themselves, the high costs of unplanned downtime, and the highly visible impact that downtime has on consumers’ daily lives. With the risks so high, an enterprise-level solution that provides visibility and protection like Microsoft Defender for IoT is essential.


Visibility is the first step to network protection

The number of connected industrial control system (ICS)/operational technology (OT) devices in manufacturing facilities continues to grow. The benefits for the operations side of the house are clear, but the lack of visibility into them poses serious security risks for chief information security officers (CISOs).


Manufacturers often have no way to identify and monitor what all their connected devices are doing and with whom or what they are communicating. Worse, all too often they lack even a simple inventory of all the connected devices they have in their facilities. In case of an attack, the lack of visibility means that they have no way of tracing the attack vector the hacker took, making them vulnerable to a second wave and delaying recovery and remediation.


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