Deloitte: Manufacturers “woefully unprepared” for supply chain threats

supply chain

A new study from Deloitte has found that cyber security breaches in manufacturing plants are increasing, with the sector “woefully unprepared” for these threats.

Titled Industry 4.0 and Cyber Risk: Security in an age of connected production, the Deloitte study revealed that one-third of all manufacturers sampled admitted to not having performed any cyber risk assessments of the connected devices operating on their factory floors.

“The chemical and pharma sectors are probably the most refined in their understanding on how to protect the attack surface, but other industries must quickly come up to speed,” said Rene Waslo, a cyber risk principal at Deloitte.

The study lists the following as key cyber challenges manufacturers must address:

  • Evolution of cyber risks from I3.0 to I4.0: New cyber threats facing Industry 4.0 have built upon common Industry 3.0 attacks with malicious marketing campaigns, disruption of service attacks using botnets and privacy breaches, including the compromise of sensitive customer data and trade secrets.
  • More IoT devices equals more vulnerabilities: Over 20 billion IoT devices are expected to be deployed around the world by 2020, with many of these devices being used in manufacturing facilities and production lines. As these devices are integrated further, manufacturers will need to implement their own safeguards and security practices to protect their operations and those that they depend on from third-parties.
  • Learnings from other industries need to be leveraged: As manufacturing has been behind the curve in adopting connected technology compared to other industries, learnings from other sectors like financial services should be incorporated into manufacturing strategies.

Deloitte also believes that new technologies such as blockchain have the potential to help reduce cyber threat by streamlining the flow of goods and information.