Manufacturing most attacked industry

Manufacturing was the most attacked industry last year, according to a recent report by Symantec.

04/22/2013


ISS SourceWhile manufacturers over the years have delayed or put off various levels of defense in depth measures, a new report by security company Symantec just backs up the idea the industry is under attack.

Manufacturing leads the pack as being the most attacked industry at 24%, the Symantec report said. Manufacturing ended up followed by finance, insurance and real estate companies at 19% and by non-traditional services at 17%, Symantec said.

Meanwhile, small businesses are under the targeted eye of cyber criminals these days because, simply put, they are easy pickings due to their less sophisticated defenses, the report said.

It only makes sense because big businesses can afford to spend money on a strong defense in depth program, but the small guys have a more difficult time protecting the crown jewels.

Companies with 250 employees or less absorbed 18% of targeted cyber attacks in 2011, but the figure jumped to 31% in 2012, said Symantec in its Internet Security Threat Report 2013, released Tuesday.

“While it can be argued that the rewards of attacking a small business are less than what can be gained from a large enterprise, this is more than compensated by the fact that many small companies are typically less careful in their cyber defenses,” the report said.

Organizations between 251 employees to 2,500 ended up targeted 19% of the time, with companies with more than 2,500 employees making up the remaining 50%, Symantec said. The company said it detected a 42% increase overall in cyber attacks in 2012 compared to 2011.

Employees in research and development and sales functions are prime targets for hackers, and Symantec said it saw a large increase in attacks directed at those roles.

“This suggests that attackers are casting a wider net and targeting less senior positions below the executive level in order to gain access to companies,” the report said.

The websites of small businesses also prove attractive to criminals to plant malicious software in order to gain a foothold in other companies. If a user visits a hacked website, the person’s web browser will undergo probing for software vulnerabilities. The method of using a company’s website as bait is a “watering hole” attack, Symantec said.

“For example, an attacker may infiltrate a small supplier in order to use it as a spring board into a larger company,” Symantec said.

Small businesses may have less cash on hand for hackers to steal, but the companies may have other data, such as customer information or intellectual property, which hacker may value more than money.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me