Cybersecurity: UK manufacturers most attacked industry - NTT

By Georgia Wilson
Leading global technology services provider - NTT - releases its 2020 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR). The latest report conducted by the tech...

Leading global technology services provider - NTT - releases its 2020 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR).

The latest report conducted by the technology services provider, provides a comprehensive view of the threats impacting businesses in the EMEA, Americas and Asia Pacfic, as well as emerging trends across various industries. 

Key highlights from the report showed that manufacturing in the UK and Ireland has become the most attacked sector - representing almost a third of all attacks. 

The GTIR revealed that attackers are innovating faster than ever before, by developing multi-function attack tools and using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning capabilities and investing in automation techniques.

The report also showed that 21% of attacks globally were in the form of a vulnerability scanner, and that “despite efforts to layer up their defences, many organisations are unable to stay ahead of attackers, while others are struggling to do the basics like patching old vulnerabilities,” said NTT.

UK manufacturing industry

“Manufacturing regularly appears as one of the most attacked industries globally. Most commonly linked to intellectual property (IP) theft,” but it “increasingly faces financially motivated data breaches, global supply chain risks and risks from unpatched vulnerabilities,” commented NTT.

The UK manufacturing industry was one of two countries this year to top the list of most attacked industries - representing 29% of all attacks.

Of those attacks, reconnaissance accounted for half of the hostile activity in the UK and Ireland, with web applications accounting for 22%. While globally reconnaissance activity accounted for 60% of the attack types followed by web applications which accounted for 36%.

“UK manufacturing has become a major target for attackers in recent years as a result of the increased risks brought about from the convergence of IT and Operational Technology (OT). The biggest worry is that security has lagged behind in this sector, potentially exposing systems and processes to attack. Poor OT security is a legacy issue; many systems were designed with efficiency, throughput and regulatory compliance in mind rather than security. In the past, OT also relied on a form of ‘security through obscurity’. The protocols, formats and interfaces in these systems were often complex and proprietary and different from those in IT systems, so it was difficult for attackers to mount a successful attack. As more and more systems come online, hackers are innovating and see these systems as ripe for attack,” commented Rory Duncan, Security Go-to-Market Leader, NTT Ltd.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical for all organisations, regardless of sector or region, to pay attention to the security that enables their business; making sure they are cyber-resilient and secure-by-design, which means embedding privacy and security into the fabric of their enterprise architecture and organisational culture. The current global pandemic and the flow of trusted and untrusted information used to mask the activities of cyber criminals has shown us that they will take advantage of any situation. Organisations must be ready to respond to these and other threats in a constantly evolving landscape.”


For more information on manufacturing topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Manufacturing Global

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