Cybersecurity should concern processors

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Are you worried about cybersecurity and its potential vulnerabilities — like the ways your factory and company files could get hacked through all those fancy Industry 4.0-linked machines everyone says the modern manufacturer needs?

Not to be alarmist, but Stephen Gold, the president and CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, argues you should be.

Arlington, Va.-based MAPI published a report “Cyber Risk in Advanced Manufacturing” with consulting firm Deloitte on Oct. 14, looking at the threats facing manufacturing companies and strategies they can adopt.

Gold’s blog carried the not-so-subtle headline: “Does Cybersecurity Keep You Up at Night? It Should.”

OK, take a minute and grab a Xanax!

Gold argues that it’s an issue that CEOs and boards need to pay more attention to.

Trina Huelsman, vice chairman of Deloitte & Touche LLP and U.S. industrial products and service leader for the company, said manufacturers must carefully walk a line between the new technologies automating and connecting supply chains, and self-protection.

“While these advancements should position them for future growth, the industry is also likely to experience an acceleration in the velocity and sophistication of associated cyber threats,” she said.

The study said that 40 percent of surveyed manufacturing companies were impacted by cyber incidents in the last year, and 38 percent of those breaches caused more than $1 million in losses.

The report makes several recommendations, including establishing a senior management level committee with board members and doing much more regular testing of vulnerabilities.

Maybe most worrying: MAPI reported that three-fourths of the 225 respondents felt their companies did not have the internal skill sets to deal with cyberattacks. That sounds like a lot of lost sleep.

Toloken is Plastics News’ news editor — international. Follow him on Twitter at @Steve_Toloken.