It’s safe to say that are more aware than ever that cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Unfortunately, the manufacturing industry still has a long way to go when it comes to cyber. And with manufacturing being the place where our stuff is made, including all the fun, new IoT devices, that’s a pretty big problem. Recent reports say that manufacturing is one of the top targets of cybercriminals, with 1/3 of all attacks leveled at this crucial industry. Yikes.

Unfortunately, changing manufacturing is like turning a really, really big ship. Most large manufacturing operations are using antiquated Industrial Control Systems (basically the brains of the operations) that are vulnerable to attacks. These systems, often running on Microsoft 98 or 2000, are often the weakest link in the manufacturing security loop.

Recent attacks at manufacturing giants Merck and Honda that forced them to halt operations and fix the problem has been a bit of a wake-up call and the manufacturing sector is beginning to address the issue. Many companies are crafting readiness & response plans, defining roles, and conducting war-gaming exercises. Addressing digital supply networks, smart factories and connected devices are all important parts of the equation.