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Report reveals UK manufacturing drops to second place in league table of most attacked industry sectors

Report reveals UK manufacturing drops to second place in league table of most attacked industry sectors

Enterprise SecurityManufacturingResearchUnited Kingdom

UK manufacturing and technology sectors continue to battle it out for first and second place in the table of most targeted industry sectors by cyberattackers, according to the 2019 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) from NTT Security, the specialised security company and centre of excellence in security for NTT Group. While manufacturing took top billing in the 2018 GTIR, with almost half (46%) of all cyberattacks in the UK, this year’s report shows a significant fall to second place with a fifth (20%) of attacks. However, the tech sector, which attracted less than a quarter (23%) last year, jumps to top spot with 47% of attacks in the UK.

Finance, which earlier this month was revealed to be the most attacked sector in EMEA, accounting for 30% of all attacks, takes third place for the UK, with 13% of attacks, falling some way short of the global figure of 17%. Business & Professional Services and Healthcare take fourth and fifth place with 4% and 3% respectively.

The annual GTIR is the result of NTT Security summarising data from trillions of logs and millions of attacks, and analysing threat trends based on log, event, attack, incident and vulnerability data from NTT Group operating companies.

David Gray, Senior Manager – Cyber Security Consulting, NTT Security, said: “While manufacturing may have dropped down a position, the fact that it is still attracting a fifth of all attacks against UK organisations is a major concern. The critical national infrastructure sectors tend to grab the headlines, such as the attacks on the Ukrainian national grid in 2016, or the Wannacry attack on the NHS in 2017. However, the recent attacks on Norsk Hydro demonstrate the impact that cyberattacks can have on other sectors, such as manufacturing, and highlight the importance of effective incident response.”

David Gray commented: “The lines between traditional and digital manufacturing are blurring, where high value manufacturing and advanced technologies are key for global competitiveness and there is greater convergence of IT with Operational Technology (OT), which brings with it greater complexity and risk. The problem is that OT has traditionally been something of a ‘dark art’ for IT and security teams who lack the knowledge and skills to effectively map their OT risk landscape and implement practical plans and processes.”

NTT Security advises manufacturing organisations to focus on four key areas when it comes to cybersecurity:

1. Get the basics right: Without the right fundamentals in place, attacks do not need to be advanced to succeed. People are often a manufacturer’s greatest threat, so invest in staff awareness and training, and highlight the importance of collective responsibility
2. Take an intelligence-driven approach to security: IT and security should avoid working in silos and having a ‘not in my backyard’ mentality by developing robust holistic processes and procedures
3. Develop threat intelligence capabilities: There is no such thing as an isolated incident and there is a need to manage the whole incident by developing threat intelligence – pervasive visibility is essential
4. Manufacturers are still failing to prepare: There is still an element of ‘head in the sand’ where they do not think it is going to happen to them. Having effective incident response capabilities that are tested regularly is key and enables organisations to respond quickly in order to mitigate the threat and identify the cause

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