It is widely acknowledged that the fourth industrial revolution is bringing huge opportunities for innovation, productivity gains and growth—as well as new challenges.
In fact, companies who weren’t traditional targets of cyber-attacks are making headlines. Ransomware, which is malicious software that locks computer files via encryption, has become the top threat, growing 239% since 2019. That’s because any industry that is sensitive to costly downtime is an appealing target. A cyber security breach in a pulp, paper, packaging, or tissue mill can bring production to a halt with potentially catastrophic results.
While companies are aware of the growing threats, a recent study by Deloitte found that one in four manufacturers surveyed have not performed a cyber risk assessment in the past year, and fewer than half of manufacturers surveyed performed assessments within the past six months. This significantly hampers the visibility of the impact a cyber attack could have on an organization’s operations.
It comes as no surprise that the acceleration of digitalization in recent years has focused on keeping operations running and not necessarily giving the same urgency to making sure things are secure. This “tunnel-vision” approach could potentially lead to a cyber attack and disastrous operational consequences (or, a shutdown) that could be avoided by manufacturers achieving a well-coordinated balance, or symmetry, between digitalization energies aimed at both plant operations and its cyber defenses.