Thursday, May 23, 2024

Manufacturing has highest ransomware payment: report

Cybersecurity firm Sophos has released a new sectoral survey report which found that the manufacturing sector had the highest average ransom payment across all sectors — $2 million versus $812,360, respectively.


In addition, 66% of manufacturing and production organizations surveyed reported an increase in the complexity of cyber attacks, and 61% reported an increase in the volume of cyber attacks when compared to the previous year’s survey.

The increase in complexity and volume is also 7% and 4% higher than the cross-sector average, respectively, Sophos said in its report.

“Manufacturing is an attractive sector to target for cybercriminals due to the privileged position it occupies in the supply chain. Outdated infrastructure and lack of visibility into the OT environment provide attackers with an easy way in and a launching pad for attacks inside a breached network. The convergence of IT and OT is increasing the attack surface and exacerbating an already complex threat environment,” John Shier, senior security advisor at Sophos, said.

“While having reliable backups is an important part of recovery, today’s ransomware threat requires a detailed response plan that includes human-led threat-hunting capabilities. Complex attacks require comprehensive protection, which, for many organizations, will include the addition of managed detection and response (MDR) teams who are trained to look for and neutralize active attackers.”

While manufacturing and production had the highest average ransom payment, the percentage of organizations that actually paid the ransom was among the lowest across sectors (33% versus 46% for the cross-sector average).

The report also said the manufacturing and production sector had the lowest attack rate, tied with financial services, with only 55% of organizations surveyed targeted by ransomware.

However, the percentage of manufacturing and production organizations hit by ransomware increased by 52% over the previous year’s report (up from 36% in the 2021 survey report)

The sector also had the lowest encryption rate (57% versus 65% for the cross-sector average) and only 75% of those surveyed reported having cyber insurance — the lowest percentage across all sectors.

In light of the survey findings, Sophos experts recommend the following best practices for all organizations across all sectors:

  • Install and maintain high-quality defenses across all points in the environment
  • Review security controls regularly and make sure they continue to meet the organization’s needs;
  • Proactively hunt for threats to identify and stop adversaries before they can execute attacks – if the team lacks the time or skills to do this in-house, outsource to a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) team;
  • Harden the IT environment by searching for and closing key security gaps: unpatched devices, unprotected machines, and open RDP ports, for example.

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