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According to the Kaspersky Lab, IT Security Risks Survey[1], every fourth industrial company of over 900 surveyed faced a variety of cyber attacks in 2017. Of the evolving types of threats used by cybercriminals, one of the fastest growing types aimed at industrial organisations is targeted attacks, with 28 percent of those surveyed admitting they faced an attack in 2017, compared to 20 percent in 2016.

The survey also revealed that 48 percent of industrial businesses have insufficient insight into the threats specifically faced by their business. With a lack of network visibility, 87 percent of industrial companies responded affirmatively when asked if any of the Informational Technology/Operational Technology (IT/OT) security events they experienced over the previous year were complex. Given there is an unclear understanding of the threats they are facing, it is no surprise that industrial organisations spend on average of several days (34 percent) to several weeks (20 percent) detecting a cyber attack.

Although industrial organisations lack insight and have difficulty identifying cyber attacks in their networks, they are fully aware of the need for high-quality protection against cyber threats. In fact, 62 percent of employees at industrial companies firmly believe it is necessary to use more sophisticated IT security software. However, software alone is not enough: almost half (49 percent) of industrial company respondents blame staff for not properly following IT security policies, which is 6 percent more than respondents surveyed that belong to other sectors.

Due to the steady increase in complexity and number of attacks on the industrial market, the consequences of industrial organisations ignoring cybersecurity threats in 2018 could be disastrous. Cybersecurity awareness training is a must when it comes to cybersecurity in industrial organisations, given that all employees – from the administration side to the factory floor – play a key role in the safety of an enterprise and maintaining operational continuity.

The Kaspersky Lab survey findings further confirm the predictions of Kaspersky ICS CERT experts about the emergence of specific malware that will target vulnerabilities in industrial automation components this year.

[1] Global annual IT Security Risks Survey 2017, conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab

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