20 Sep 2022

Top 5 cybersecurity vulnerabilities and how to prevent cybercrime. Learn about recent trends so you can safeguard your systems and devices

Manufacturers large and small are facing ever-more sophisticated cyber threats. Whether you're a startup with a connected product, or an established corporation with years of experience in the field, it's more important than ever to be aware of the latest cybersecurity trends. As digital devices become more and more commonplace in our everyday lives, cybersecurity has emerged as a top concern for individuals and businesses alike. And with the recent surge in connected IoT products, including connected manufacturing equipment, the need for robust cybersecurity solutions has only grown. So, what issues have plagued the cybersecurity landscape this year?

  1. Continued growth of ransomware
    The rise of ransomware continues to be a top trend for which to prepare in the manufacturing space. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim's files and demands a ransom be paid in order to decrypt them. This type of attack has been on the rise in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The ransoms demanded once an attacker has seized control of an organization's data can be in the millions of dollars.  A robust backup plan for organizational information, cybersecurity awareness training, and an up-to-date vulnerability management plan can all help to mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack.

  2. Increased attacks on connected IoT products and devices
    As more and more devices become connected, the risk of cyberattacks increases. As the gap shrinks between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), organizations need to consider the impacts to their existing cybersecurity policies and protections.  A cyber-attack on the OT could cause significant downtime, or worse, serious safety concerns.

  3. Expansion of data theft and fraud
    One key trend that experts are keeping an eye on is the growing threat of data theft and fraud. Perhaps surprising to some, most data breaches appear to originate from external actors, not insider threats.  However, even though external actors are more commonly the source of a data breach, evidence suggests that insiders are more successful at compromising the data and able to do more damage.

  4. Growth in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
    DDoS attacks continue to be one of the most common types of attack.  An attacker can flood a server with internet traffic to prevent users from accessing connected online services and sites. As businesses continue to move their data and applications to the cloud, they'll need cybersecurity solutions that can adapt to this new environment. Cloud-based solutions offer the flexibility and scalability that businesses need to stay ahead of the curve.  The number of DDoS attacks continue and have been on the rise since 2019. When OT equipment is increasingly integrating with IT environments, system availability can have a direct impact on productivity.  Fortunately, there is specially designed network equipment as well as cloud-based protection services to help mitigate these types of attacks.

  5. More sophisticated phishing schemes and continued rise of cybercrime
    Finally, we can expect to see an increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks via phishing schemes. While hackers can target entire organizations with massive phishing email blasts, they are also using much more sophisticated attacks methods.  Spear phishing is a highly targeted attack where the attacker uses specific information about the victim and targets an individual or team using well-crafted and official looking communications. Again, cybersecurity awareness training is an essential tool to combat phishing.  Users should be trained to recognize the signs of a phishing email.  A few extra seconds spent confirming the validity of a message can help ensure the organizations security.

These are just a few of the top trends that we can expect to see in cybersecurity in the years ahead. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it's more important than ever to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in this rapidly changing field.


Wayne Stewart Intertek headshot

Wayne Stewart,
Vice President of Cybersecurity

During more than 18 years with Intertek-EWA Canada, Wayne has become an expert in many areas of the cyber security domain, including intrusion detection, cryptography, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, static code analysis, payment technologies, and product reviews. Wayne now manages a team of 60+ security specialists and penetration testers focused on securing network infrastructure, mobile and web applications, and connected products.

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