Manufacturers face a barrage of cybersecurity threats today, and half of companies have fallen victim to at least one data breach during the past 12 months, according to the 2019 Manufacturing and Distribution Report from professional services firm Sikich. Of the 50 percent of respondents who said their companies experienced data breaches, 11 percent said they had experienced “major” breaches.
“Cybercriminals have moved on from focusing primarily on organizations rich in sensitive personal data, such as financial or health care institutions,” said Brad Lutgen, partner-in-charge of Sikich’s cybersecurity practice. “Instead, they target any organization with IT weaknesses and attempt to turn a profit through ransomware and other cyberextortion techniques. In response to this growing threat, manufacturing executives must make security a core corporate priority and push forward the implementation of preventative measures in their organizations.”
Sikich’s 2019 Manufacturing and Distribution Report offers a comprehensive look at industry executives’ priorities and concerns related to technology, labor, the economy and more. Sikich surveyed 310 companies. The participants spanned the industry, including wholesale and distribution; industrial equipment; metal fabrication; apparel, footwear and textiles; chemicals and petroleum; aerospace and defense; and food and beverage.
“Despite a long run of impressive economic growth, manufacturers face challenges related to rapid changes in the industry, geopolitical uncertainty and the prospect of an eventual economic downturn,” said Jerry Murphy, partner-in-charge of Sikich’s manufacturing and distribution practice. “The manufacturers that thrive in the years ahead will be the ones that embrace advanced technology and proactively take steps to fortify their operations against cybersecurity, labor and economic challenges.”
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