As cyberattacks continue and access points expand, manufacturing companies are increasingly vulnerable, Raytheon CEO Tom Kennedy says.
In a post on LinkedIn, the defense and cybersecurity company leader writes that, “American manufacturing is at risk of becoming the big cyber-hack headline in 2018, as companies balance the drive to automate with the need to keep factory floors cyber-secure.”
Sales of automated manufacturing equipment — just one facet of the growing internet of things — grew 40 percent between 2012 and 2016, he writes.
“Every connected system or piece of machinery is a target for outside bad actors — nation-states, hacktivists or organized crime rings, for example — as well as from the insider threat — careless employees, employees with a grudge or third-party contractors with access to critical systems,” Kennedy writes.
To combat the threat, Kennedy recommends company leaders look closely at shoring up system architecture, strengthening IT teams and assessing vulnerabilities opened through suppliers.
“Above all, ensure someone is in charge of and focused on the security of your factory floors,” he says. “Your CISO should be working collaboratively with your operations manager as equipment is moved in and out.”