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What Are the Top Security Issues in the Manufacturing Industry?

With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) driving the adoption of cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics in factories, manufacturing companies face not only improved efficiency but also increased security concerns.

Top 5 Security Threats in Manufacturing

As cyber-physical systems collect operational data and integrate all elements of a supply chain, the manufacturing attack surface expands, increasing opportunities for bad actors to infiltrate your network.

Here are five critical security issues in the manufacturing industry:

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks seek to extort money from victims by encrypting files and requesting a ransom for the decryption key. With heavy reliance on operational technology (OT) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, manufacturing companies are prime targets for ransomware attacks.

Equipment sabotage

In addition to the compromise on devices with malware, damage to factory equipment used for production causes operational disruption and downtime. To minimize the possibility of equipment sabotage, companies should educate employees and partners on facility and data security best practices.


Most often for political and economic reasons, criminals working on behalf of a government or an independent actor carry out sophisticated cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure or other manufacturing assets. To protect against nation-state attacks, manufacturing companies should invest in real-time asset monitoring, security awareness, and incident response planning.

Learn more about this threat by reading our State of Cyberwarfare Report.

Internal breaches

Attackers exploit vulnerabilities within a manufacturer by leveraging phishing emails and malicious software insertion. Also, bad actors within the organization may provide cybercriminals with unauthorized access to systems, credentials, and tools. Manufacturing organizations should implement security principles such as network segmentation, zero trust, and least privilege in order to minimize the risk of internal threats.

Supply chain attacks

In a supply chain attack, threat actors target their victim’s business partners and suppliers, compromise the systems of third parties, and acquire assets to launch cyberattacks. After gaining access to a manufacturer through a vendor, attackers can steal data, plant malware, and disrupt operations.

Improve Your Manufacturing Cybersecurity With Armis

With connected industrial devices opening the door for more sophisticated attacks, manufacturing companies need comprehensive asset visibility to remain ahead of cybersecurity risks. Armis Centrix™ for Asset Management and Security identifies and monitors managed and unmanaged devices — including IT, OT, IIoT, and IoMT — to provide a holistic view of your industrial environment.

Learn how to secure the manufacturing industry with our OT-IT convergence playbook.