Safeguarding Manufacturing from Ransomware and Cyberattacks

Securden Team

The manufacturing industry is reinventing its wheels

Cyberattacks can prove to be a costly affair. According to Cybersecurity Ventures estimates, cybercrimes are set to cost IT organizations globally $10.5 trillion by the year 2025. With another cyberattack just around the corner, organizations running for cover have found a silver lining in cyber insurance. However, with soaring Cyber insurance costs, organizations are compelled to demonstrate a solid overall security posture that includes robust privileged access security practices to ensure adequate coverage at affordable rates. This has made it difficult to qualify for cyber insurance and good policies without having top security controls.

The convergence of Operational Technology with Information Technology brings a multitude of business benefits to manufacturing. Industrial control systems such as SCADA are now moving to the cloud leveraging Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and communicating with on-field devices such as Programmable logic controllers (PLC). This means the field data can be accessed anytime and from anywhere, saving time and costs.

Other technologies that are commonly used in smart manufacturing units are advanced robotics and machine learning. Robots are a perfect fit for high-volume, labor-intensive, repetitive tasks, especially in hostile environments. Automating these tasks with bots delivers unparalleled accuracy, speed and safety thus boosting productivity. Similarly, AI and ML techniques are used to get a view of the current performance of the OT assets and to forecast predictive maintenance. This, in turn, prevents the chances of machine failure, thus reducing downtime.

While industries embrace technology, their IT and operations are exposed to many cyber risks. And certain cyberattacks could even turn out to be lethal for the organization.

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Manufacturing - the most attacked industry in recent years

Until manufacturing industries started adopting digitization, cybersecurity was not on their radar at all.

The Industrial control systems (ICS) that once remained isolated are now exposed to the internet. Financially motivated cyber criminals take no time to pounce on any lapse in security. Just a single compromised sub-system can bring the entire global manufacturing chain down, leading to disastrous consequences.

X-Force Threat Intelligence Index (a recent report by IBM) points out that in 2021, manufacturing became the most attacked industry dethroning financial services and insurance. Various malware/ransomware attacks and supply chain woes are continuously affecting manufacturing organizations.

    Key security challenges for manufacturing industries

  • Significant increase in the attack surface due to increasing number of interconnected software systems and devices that are exposed to the internet
  • Controlling and monitoring all access to the ICS/SCADA systems; preventing unauthorized access to control systems
  • The exploding number of identities, keys, tokens, certificates
  • Protecting the manufacturing systems, devices, processes, and the entire operations
  • Granting secure access to third parties and monitoring their activities
  • Preventing insider exploitation
  • Combating malware/ransomware propagation through endpoints, devices
  • Preventing supply-chain attacks
Enterprise Password Manager

The combat strategy

The IT divisions of manufacturing organizations should follow a multi-pronged strategy to combat ransomware and cyberattacks. It starts with adopting basic security practices such as vulnerability monitoring and timely patching, safeguarding identities, enforcing MFA at all levels, tightening internal controls, and monitoring all access and activities.

How does Securden help manufacturing organizations?

With a suite of solutions for identity management, remote privileged access management, and endpoint privilege management, Securden helps the IT divisions of manufacturing organizations reduce the attack surface and implement internal controls and effective monitoring.


Consolidate, organize and manage identities, credentials

With automation and industry 4.0 at full throttle, the sheer number of identities, credentials, digital certificates, and keys to manage to establish smooth workflows becomes a challenge. The distributed nature of manufacturing assets adds to further complexity. Securden helps consolidate all types of identities in a central vault and establishing controls on who can access what.


Enforce and automate password management best practices

Assets with default or weak passwords, and reused/recycled passwords that remain unchanged for a prolonged time are all vulnerable to thefts and attacks. Usage of strong, unique passwords, locking them down in an encrypted vault and rotating frequently is a must. Not just passwords but also SSH keys, Devops secrets, certificates and other identities spread across the organization need to be managed well. Securden helps you in automating password security best practices.


Secure and automate RPA / Machine-to-Machine communication

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is sweeping the manufacturing industry. Bots deliver unprecedented precision and scalability in executing mundane tasks, thus boosting productivity. However, bots require privileged access for machine-to-machine communication and carry out various operations. Hard coding privileged credentials in robotic software applications is an open invitation to hackers. Securden helps in highly secure, automated, programmatic access of credentials for such non-human communication through a rich set of APIs.


Controlled and monitored remote access to third-parties

The maintenance or administration of various assets requires technicians, partners and third-party experts to access and log in to the systems remotely. Sharing administrative credentials and granting standing privileges to third parties are common in many organizations. Securden helps eliminate all security risks in granting access to third-parties. You can achieve controlled and monitored remote access to third parties and track all their activities.


Just-in-time and just-enough access

When internal staff and external contractors need privileged access to critical IT assets, Securden helps ensure just-in-time access with just-enough privileges.


Track all activities with audit trails and session recordings

Tracking all activities related to privileged access across the organization, including field units, is critical to prevent cyberattacks. Securden captures every single activity as audit trails, offers actionable reports and sends real-time alerts besides recording entire privileged sessions that could be played back wherever required.


Manage privileges on workstations, control application usage

Enduser machines are often the weakest link in enterprise security. When local admin privileges are granted, users tend to deploy unapproved software or click random links inviting malware. Eliminating local admin rights, on the other hand, results in productivity issues. Securden Unified PAM helps eliminate local admin privileges on workstations and establish policy-based controls on applications/processes usage.


Demonstrate compliance

Manufacturing organizations are required not just to follow security standards but also to demonstrate compliance with various industry/international regulations. Most regulations lay stress on privileged access management. Securden helps you generate audit-ready reports on privileged access scenario.

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Secure your digital transformation journey with Securden

The manufacturing industry is undergoing fundamental changes in the way they work. With no option to stay away from digitization, manufacturers now find themselves suddenly dealing with several cybersecurity issues they never faced before. As the number of internet-facing assets increase, so does the number of attacks, as cyber crooks are always on the lookout to harvest privileged credentials, which gives them unlimited power to complete what they set out to achieve. Securden Unified PAM automates the entire lifecycle of privileged access management and helps manufacturing organizations focus on their core business objectives.

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