10 May 2018
Manufacturing has become the most attacked industry sector in the UK, according to the 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report from NTT Security.
It says the sector represented 46 per cent of all UK cyber attacks in 2017 – more than double that of attacks on manufacturing across EMEA.
NTT Security is part of Japan-based global ICT provider NTT Group and runs a security operations centre in Gothenburg, Sweden.
For its report, the company says it analysed data from more than 6.1 trillion logs and 150 million attacks, highlighting global and regional threat and attack trends based on log, event, attack, incident and vulnerability data from NTT Group operating companies.
It also includes details from NTT Security research sources, including global honeypots and sandboxes in more than 100 countries in environments independent from institutional infrastructures.
The company says it has seen manufacturing becoming an increasingly attractive target to attackers in recent years, and believes this is for a number of reasons.
Jon Heimerl, senior manager of the threat intelligence communication team at NTT Security’s global threat intelligence centre, says with manufacturers introducing automation and the emergence of interconnected and intelligent production systems, the lines between traditional and digital manufacturing are “blurring”.
He says: “As a result, [the sector has] become more attractive to attackers who see it as a prime target for the theft of IP and disruption of operations, and for hijacking networks to launch an attack into other organisations.”
The report found that technology organisations came in second place and were the target of 23 per cent of attacks in the UK, while business and professional services were in third place with 10 per cent.
While the finance industry was the most attacked sector worldwide with 23 per cent of all attacks (up from 14 per cent in 2016), it was fourth in the UK with eight per cent. This was followed by government at five per cent.
According to NTT, China was the number one source of attacks against all sectors in EMEA during 2017.
The majority of attacks on UK manufacturers came from the country, representing 89 per cent of attacks on this sector.
The report says these were mostly from a known bad source, meaning the activity originated from IP addresses within China previously identified as hostile.