Hacking into the Manufacturing Industry

Aug 30, 2017 | Industry Insight

Hacking is a longstanding threat. It is important to say that the first attack was in 1903, when a magician disrupted a telegraph product demonstration, to mock its security with offensive Morse code messages. Often played out by “geeks” or the overlooked in society, the epidemic has been allowed to spread, with a long line of scholars and child geniuses unmasked as perpetrators behind the computer screen, causing mischief to businesses, their workplace, or the government.

Also, hackers have been known as pranksters, infiltrating companies and the public services with harmless messages or stunts. As years have passed this has reversed, with companies employing ethical hackers to test and safeguard their systems. Whilst originally hackers have been known as harmless disrupters, choosing to embarrass badly behaving companies or to enter and leave a network undamaged, increasingly this in not the case.

In the recent years, Renault reported halting production in May after a cyber-attack hit computer systems, whilst Nissan were additionally reported at hacked, although denied to say whether production was affected (Autocar, 2017). Companies are reluctant to inform their customers and shareholders of an attack because of the impact it could have on their reputation. However lack of knowledge leads to a dangerous naivety, particularly for manufacturers, as producers of physical goods.

To conclude, we would like to focus on possible solutions to face against this problem. So what might we do? Industrial specific cyber security software is on the rise, and there are plenty of options. The most comprehensive and unbiased directory is the Cybersecurity 500, which lists the global top 500 based on customer feedback, sector knowledge and other considerations, ignoring company size as a factor. You can find that here. Moreover, another nice suggestion might be for staff to use strong passwords by the time they log in in the company database in order to avoid hacking issues.

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