Its research shows that vulnerabilities across critical manufacturing have increased 230%, something Chris Grove, Director of Cybersecurity Strategy at Nozomi Networks, says proves that the manufacturing sector remains a prime target for cyber criminals.
Nozomi Networks was founded in 2013 and has a decade of experience in IoT and OT cybersecurity innovation. The company is based in San Francisco.
Nozomi Networks report shows escalating threats in manufacturing
The research collected by Nozomi Networks Labs was sourced from across 25 countries, who reported network anomalies and attacks in the second half 2023.
Top critical threat activities have included:
- Network anomalies and attacks – 38% of all alerts
- Authentication and password issues – 19%
- Access control and authorisation problems – 10%
- Operational technology specific threats – 7%
- Suspicious or unexpected network behaviour – 6%
"These trends should serve as a warning that attackers are adopting more sophisticated methods to directly target critical infrastructure, and could be indicative of rising global hostilities,” says Grove.
He believes that the rise in anomalies could mean that the threat actors are getting past the first line of defence and getting deeper than many would have initially believed, which would need greater sophistication.
“The defenders have gotten better at protecting against the basics, but these alerts tell us that the attackers are quickly evolving in order to bypass them,” he says.
Manufacturing at high risk amid soaring cybersecurity threats
With this rise in network anomalies, Nozomi Networks Labs has shared the industries that should be on highest alert - unsurprisingly, manufacturing topped the list with the number of Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) in that sector rising to 621.
The manufacturing industry was followed by energy and water, as the most vulnerable sectors.
"For manufacturing, equipment vulnerabilities continue to be a significant problem, which puts them at higher risk of successful attacks,” adds Grove. “Our analysis found manufacturing remains a prime target for cyber criminals who understand that there’s a very low tolerance for process outages. The potential threats we observed in the last six months could also be used by nation-state actors on the search for IP or those seeking to lie in wait for future attacks.”
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