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Unstructured Data Security Solution for Manufacturing

Superna helps manufacturers protect their most valuable assets

Protecting unstructured data in manufacturing is no longer optional… it’s mission critical!

Manufacturing orgs facing ransomware attacks between Jan and Mar 2023
Manufacturing orgs that paid a ransom to get their data back
Had their data stolen in addition to being encrypted

Ransomware attacks in manufacturing are on the rise

More than half of manufacturing organizations were hit with ransomware attacks in the last year, according to recent findings from cybersecurity firm Sophos, an uptick from the prior year. The industry remains a top target for attackers. More than a third of manufacturers paid the ransom in an attempt to get their data back. More importantly, only 1 in 4 companies were able to thwart the attacks before their data was fully encrypted.

Why is ransomware in manufacturing so bad?

Because an attack can be disruptive, manufacturing has become a prime target for cybercriminals. When a ransomware event disrupts production, manufacturers are desperate to get their data back as quickly as possible, to avoid possible business disruption that can last days, weeks – even months – resulting in both financial loss and reputational damage.

Because of this, some manufacturers are willing to pay a ransom (even when there’s no guarantee that attackers will deliver a decryption key). This makes the industry very lucrative for attackers, along with other top-targeted sectors, like healthcare and finance.

In 2023, IBM found that manufacturing has been the most targeted industry for ransomware attacks for the previous two years.

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Superna’s data security capabilities for manufacturing

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Superna understands manufacturing
For more than a decade, Superna has been at the forefront of protecting and managing unstructured data around the globe. Manufacturing organizations turn to us for our innovative data protection and recovery solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions we receive about manufacturing.

What is unstructured data in manufacturing?

In manufacturing, unstructured data refers to information that doesn’t have a predefined data model or is not organized in a predefined manner. Some examples include:

  • Free-form text: This includes notes, comments, or descriptions written by engineers, technicians, or inspectors. For example, maintenance logs, incident reports, or operator notes may contain valuable information but are typically unstructured.
  • Images and videos: Manufacturing processes often generate images and videos from inspection cameras, quality control checks, or even from assembly line monitoring. These visual data sources are unstructured unless accompanied by metadata.
  • Sensor data: While sensor data can be structured, raw sensor outputs or data from IoT devices may be considered unstructured before it is processed or interpreted.
  • Design specifications: CAD (Computer-Aided Design) files themselves are structured, but the accompanying design notes, change requests, or annotations can be unstructured.
  • Emails and documents: Correspondence related to manufacturing operations, such as emails discussing production issues, supplier communications, or project proposals, are typically unstructured.
  • Social media and customer feedback: In the context of manufacturing, feedback from customers or even social media discussions about products could be unstructured data that contains valuable insights.
  • Voice recordings: Meetings, conference calls, or verbal instructions recorded during the manufacturing process may be stored as unstructured audio data.
  • Log files: Logs from machinery, equipment, or software systems often contain unstructured data that needs to be parsed and analyzed for operational insights.

Managing and extracting value from unstructured data involves advanced analytics, natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and data integration techniques to derive actionable insights and improve operational efficiency.

Why is manufacturing such an attractive target for cybercriminals?

There are several reaons why manufacturing presents such an attractive target for hackers:

  • Operational Impact: Manufacturing relies heavily on continuous operations and any disruption can lead to significant financial losses. Downtime in manufacturing can halt production lines, delay shipments, and disrupt supply chains. This urgency makes manufacturers more likely to pay a ransom quickly to restore operations.
  • Critical Infrastructure: Many manufacturing sectors, such as automotive, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals, are considered critical infrastructure. An attack on these sectors can have widespread implications, increasing the likelihood that organizations will pay the ransom to avoid broader disruptions.
  • Legacy Systems: Manufacturing companies often use legacy systems and outdated technology that are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. These systems may lack modern security features, making them easier targets for ransomware.
  • Complex Supply Chains: The interconnectedness of supply chains in manufacturing means that a ransomware attack can have a ripple effect, impacting multiple businesses and increasing the overall cost of an attack. This complexity can make manufacturers more willing to pay ransoms to quickly restore normalcy.
  • Intellectual Property: Manufacturing companies hold valuable intellectual property (IP), including proprietary designs, formulas, and trade secrets. Ransomware attacks can threaten to expose or destroy this IP, adding pressure on companies to pay the ransom to protect their competitive advantage.
  • Awareness and Preparedness: Historically, the manufacturing sector has not been as focused on cybersecurity as other sectors like finance or healthcare. This lack of awareness and preparedness makes them more susceptible to ransomware attacks.
  • Financial Capability: Larger manufacturing companies often have the financial resources to pay substantial ransoms. Cybercriminals are aware of this and may specifically target companies that are likely to be able to afford significant ransom payments.
  • Regulatory Pressure: Many manufacturing sectors are subject to stringent regulations regarding data security and operational continuity. Failure to comply with these regulations due to a ransomware attack can lead to hefty fines, further incentivizing companies to pay the ransom.
  • Human Error: The human factor in manufacturing environments, such as employees not following proper cybersecurity practices, can lead to vulnerabilities that ransomware attackers can exploit.

Learn how Superna can secure your data, on-prem and in the hybrid cloud.

Superna’s data-first approach secures your data, wherever it resides.

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