The Ultimate Guide to Data Security in Manufacturing


The manufacturing industry has long believed that companies in the sector are relatively safe from cyber threats, with a misconception that cyber attackers prefer to target financial services and healthcare companies instead.

However, according to the latest IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2022 report, the manufacturing industry is now the most frequently hacked industry. The sector was targeted in 23.2% of the attacks X-Force remedied.

Ransomware was the top attack type, accounting for 23% of attacks against manufacturing companies and underscoring the importance ransomware actors place on manufacturing. Server access attacks come second at 12%, while BEC and data theft are tied for third at 10% each.

Exploiting vulnerabilities was the top infection vector in manufacturing organizations in 2021, at 47%, followed closely by phishing at 40%. The report claims that the volume of these attacks likely drove the initial global infection vector trends that X-Force observed in 2021.

Removable media (7%), stolen credentials (3%) and brute force (3%) also accounted for a small percentage of attacks.

With the above statistics in mind, there is no doubt that it is more important than ever for organizations working in the manufacturing industry to implement data protection policies to better secure their data and respond regulatory compliance requirements.

To help you start your business, we’ve created this guide as an overview of everything you need to know to improve data security in the manufacturing industry.

Make sure your business complies with relevant data privacy regulations

With the emergence of data privacy laws that govern how organizations use personal data and share it with third parties, companies in the manufacturing sector must prioritize how they collect, store and use information. personally identifiable (PII).

Manufacturing companies must ensure that they comply with the regulations that apply to them in the region or countries in which they offer goods and services or collect consumer data.

The data privacy regulations your business must comply with depend on your region of operation, but some of the more common laws include:

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Colorado Privacy Act (CPA)
  • Virginia Consumer Protection Act (VCDPA)
  • Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA)
  • EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • And the Brazilian Data Protection Law (LGPD), also known as Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados

To learn more about any of these data privacy laws, please visit our recent blog post:

What are the consequences of not complying with data privacy laws.

Implement data security best practices in your business

Unlike other industries, the manufacturing sector typically does not hold large amounts of consumer data. As a result, leaders in the manufacturing industry have often failed to put data security and compliance first.

However, with the manufacturing industry now named as the most frequently hacked sector, the situation is changing rapidly. Contrary to popular belief, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and product manufacturers hold large amounts of sensitive data, including intellectual property and financial information. Your business is also exposed to additional risks due to your extended supply chain.

To mitigate the risk of cyberattacks and ensure the security of customer and business information, manufacturing companies should consider bolstering their data security strategy with a few key best practices:

  • Gain visibility into the location of your sensitive data

Understanding what sensitive data your organization has, where it resides and who has access to it gives your business visibility into its internal and external surface attack risk and ensures that your business processes comply with relevant data privacy requirements. .

data discovery software scans your entire organization’s environment, finding and identifying where structured and unstructured data resided in your business. This gives you real-time insight into where your data is, allowing you to better ensure that the data is protected and complies with data privacy laws.

  • Train your employees to recognize cybersecurity threats

When it comes to cybersecurity vulnerabilities, a company’s employees are the greatest weakness. Cybercriminals know that it’s easier to target employees with attacks like phishing than to find a way through a company’s infrastructure. This is why manufacturing companies need to train their employees to recognize the signs of cyberattacks so that they can avoid falling into the trap.

  • Use data classification to improve your compliance efforts

Data classification is the process of identifying and marking data into categories based on relevant information, such as file type, content, or data privacy laws with which the data must comply. By implementing this process in your data security strategy, your business will improve its visibility into where sensitive data is on the network, making it easier to ensure that data is both secure and compliant.

  • Treat data security as a business issue, not an “IT issue”

As we mentioned earlier, in the past, data security was not a priority for the vast majority of industry leaders. These companies typically viewed data security as an IT issue, making it an afterthought for the real business.

But data security isn’t just about updating your passwords every few weeks, it’s a highly strategic and comprehensive process that should be a critical aspect of all facets of business. Data security should be viewed as a vital process that mitigates costly system outages and downtime in the event of a breach or data leak.

Get a head start on your data protection strategy with a free vulnerability assessment from Cavelo to uncover sensitive data and vulnerabilities in your organization. See what you’re missing and register today.


*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of Cavelo blog and press release written by Mandy Bachus. Read the original post at:


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