Manufacturers and distributors are largely neglecting key cybersecurity concerns, according to a new report by professional services firm Sikich.
Less than 40% of respondents in the firm’s 2020 Manufacturing and Distribution Report said they performed important data-breach prevention activities, such as penetration testing, phishing exercises with employees and assessments of vendors’ data-security measures.
Unsurprisingly, manufacturers and distributors have remained vulnerable to breaches; nearly half of survey respondents said that their companies had experienced cyberattacks within the last 12 months.
“Cybersecurity is an essential part of a company’s operations, but too few manufacturers and distributors take the necessary precautions to protect sensitive data,” said Brad Lutgen, partner-in-charge of Sikich’s cybersecurity team. “The coronavirus pandemic, which sent many office workers to insecure remote environments, has only elevated the risk these companies face. Manufacturers and distributors must commit to a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes everything from technical updates to employee training.”
The report also found that the sector made extensive use of some new technology, but remained “stubbornly slow” in the adoption of others. Eighty-six percent of respondents said their companies used cloud storage, and more than 60% used forecasting software, data-driven customer service technologies, advanced analytical tools, data visualization and the internet of things.
However, only have of the executives surveyed said their companies used robotics, robotic process automation and 3D printing. Just 39% said they used blockchain and virtual or augmented reality.