From 2019 to 2021, ransomware attacks in the manufacturing industry doubled, making it the most targeted industry in 2020 and 2021, according to loss data from Advisen. Advis’s loss database contains 3,415 ransomware attacks and 189 ransomware attacks in manufacturing.
The manufacturing industry is a valuable target for ransomware attacks. Most manufacturers have adopted automation and digitization, but many only store files locally, making them vulnerable to attacks.
Manufacturing companies also store high-value data, such as intellectual property rights and trade secrets, which makes manufacturers more likely to pay if their information is stolen or hackers threaten to publish it online. In some cases, hackers will steal data that also involves third parties, such as customers, suppliers and partners. This gives them even more influence to extort money in a ransomware attack.
In addition to ransom payments, ransomware attacks on manufacturing can also be extremely costly in terms of responses and costs for business interruptions. For example, the ransomware attack on meat supplier JBS Foods on May 31, 2021, resulted in a total closure of the business and a ransom of $ 11 million, according to loss data from Advisen.
If you look at losses of ransomware by industry over time, public administration and healthcare were some of the most targeted industries from 2013 to 2019; manufacturing accounted for a relatively small proportion of total ransomware attacks. But by 2020, manufacturing became the most targeted industry.
In the manufacturing industry, the manufacture of computers and electronic products saw almost double the number of attacks on ransomware than any other category by 32%. These attacks include ransomware attacks on an Apple vendor, Samsung Electronics and Bose Corporation, according to loss-making data from Advisen.
Chemical manufacturing accounted for 14% of the remaining losses, while manufacturing of machinery and transport equipment accounted for 12% each, according to Advisen’s loss data.
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