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Understanding the Different Types of Cyberattacks

6/30/23  |  Billy Hayes & Paul Sainato, IIOT Solutions Managers

The interconnected digital landscape of today means industrial manufacturers are increasingly reliant on information technology systems to enhance productivity, streamline operations, and gain a competitive edge in today’s market. However, as technology continues to advance, so do the tactics of threat actors and cybercriminals. Unfortunately, the threat of cyberattacks continues to rise for industrial manufacturers, and it’s critical that you are well-informed and ready to defend your OT infrastructure.

In a previous post we talked about ways to protect yourself from a ransomware attack. Here we will explore other types of cyberattacks that target industrial manufacturers, providing valuable insights to OT professionals in the industry.

Related Post: 3 Tips to Protect Your Industrial Manufacturing Facility from a Ransomware Attack

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are one of the most common and effective methods used by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. Threat actors will post as a legitimate entity through emails, messages, or phone calls to deceive users into revealing confidential data, such as login credentials for financial information. Employees should be continually educated on how to identify phishing attempts and why implementing robust email security measures is an important step in protecting your infrastructure.

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Malware encompasses a broad range of software-based attacks. It can infiltrate a manufacturer’s IT system through infected email attachments, compromised websites, or malicious downloads. The result? Data breaches, system disruption, financial losses, and reputation damage. Completing regular software updates, antivirus software, and continually training employees are critical defenses against Malware attacks.

Related Post: Industrial Manufacturing Cybersecurity 101

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attacks are used to overwhelm the targets IT infrastructure, rendering it inaccessible to legitimate users. DDoS attacks against industrial manufacturers can be used to disrupt operations and cause major financial loss. Implementing network security measures, such as traffic filtering and intrusion detection systems, can help ward off a DDoS attack.

Insider Threats

Although external threats get a lot of attention, it’s important not to overlook the potential risk of insider threats. Employees or contractors with authorized access to systems may intentionally or unintentionally compromise your security. Having proper access controls, monitoring user activity, and regularly conducting security audits can minimize the risk of insider threats.

Related Post: Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Supply Chain Attacks

A supply chain attack takes place when a threat actor targets a manufacturer’s suppliers or vendors to access the manufacturer’s IT systems. By compromising a trusted third-party, they can exploit the manufacturer-vendor relationships and infiltrate the organization. It’s imperative to implement security controls, conduct regular security assessments of vendors, and have incident response protocols in place.

We Can Help

It’s important for industrial manufacturers to implement a digital transformation strategy to stay ahead of the competition. However, its equally important to ensure you have proper cybersecurity measures in place as you do so. Whether you’re just getting started or need an extension of your team, our  cybersecurity experts have the knowledge and resources to help you mitigate cyberthreats. Contact us today!