AI has led to some massive changes in many different industries. The manufacturing industry is among those most affected by the changes it has created.
Manufacturers are projected to spend $2.3 billion on AI technology this year. While this figure might not seem significant, it is growing at a rate of 47.9% a year through 2027.
One of the biggest reasons that the manufacturing sector is investing more heavily in AI is to take advantage of the cybersecurity benefits it offers. Manufacturers are among the biggest targets of cybercriminals. In 2021, over 40% of manufacturers experienced a cyberattack. That figure is likely to increase in the coming years, so they must use all resources at their disposal to combat them.
Therefore, using AI-driven cybersecurity strategies will be more important than ever.
Ways that AI Can Help Manufacturers Fight Cyberattacks
Technological advancements and innovation have helped manufacturing industries to grow exponentially in the past few years. Companies are no longer limited to using old and offline trends. They are now making significant shifts to online activities. Unfortunately, this has also led to increasing incidences of cyber-attacks.
Manufacturers should be aware of the different cybersecurity threats the industry faces today. They must also develop effective solutions to address these threats and minimize risks, which includes using AI to its full potential.
Here are three cyber security issues in manufacture you should know, which can be addressed with AI technology.
Ransomware is a type of malware that attacks by encrypting files. The attacker will then hold these files in ransom and demand that the victim make a payment before they can access the files again. Victims will be given instructions on how to pay for the ransom amount, which usually ranges from a few hundred dollars to thousands, often payable through cryptocurrency like Bitcoins.
There are various ways in which the attacker can access the files of a computer, but one of the most common methods is through phishing spam, where they will send attachments to the victim via email. Once these attachments are opened and downloaded, the attacker will have control over the victim’s computer, which can be made easier through built-in social engineering tools that trick users into giving the attacker administrative access.
Once the attacker has taken over the victim’s computer, they will encrypt some important files. The attacker is the only one who can decrypt these files and will only do so once a ransom is paid. When you become a victim of a ransomware attack, the attacker will send you a message explaining that some of your files are inaccessible. The only time they will decrypt it is when the victim sends a payment, usually in the form of Bitcoins.
Manufacturers can protect their companies against ransomware attacks by getting their employees to undergo cyber security training. The training is crucial because attackers these days are very creative with how they attack computer systems. Online training courses such as the business cyber security applicable compliance courses teach employees how to identify phishing emails to prevent them from opening these emails that could be a pathway to ransomware attacks. The training covers various aspects of cyber security, including GDPR and Anti-money Laundering.
The good news is that AI technology can help manufacturers identify and fight ransomware. TechBeacon has a report on the various benefits of using AI to fight ransomware.
Before AI became a mainstream tool in the arsenal of cybersecurity experts, companies had to identify malware that had common models that suggested the application would be used for sinister purposes. The newer, AI-driven approach to fighting malware involves identifying programs that are engaged in malicious activities and neutralizing them, even if they don’t have models that resemble known malware.
2. Intellectual Property Theft
Intellectual property theft is when an idea or invention from a company or an individual is solen. Companies in the manufacturing industry are often at high risk of intellectual property theft, especially since we are in an era of heightened technological advancement. Unfortunately, studies show that Intellectual Property Theft costs manufacturing companies billions of annual losses, leading to a national security concern in the US.
Most cases of intellectual property theft are considered federal cases. Companies that are victims of intellectual property theft can take the manner to the court. If found guilty, the court will slap the criminals with serious penalties. Intellectual property theft can also apply to a stolen logo, patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. It is exceptionally common, and companies in the manufacturing industry should be fully aware of this and should make an effort to educate their employees regarding this.
Manufacturing companies are often built as a result of the ideas and innovations of the owners, which usually consist of inventions and trade secrets that set the company apart from other manufacturing companies. These ideas are unique, but once they are stolen and get into the wrong hands, the organization’s operations could get compromised.
To protect from Intellectual Property Theft, manufacturers should recognize their weakest point, and that’s human error. Often, companies become victims of intellectual property theft due to their employees. For instance, an employee could send sensitive data to the wrong people, which puts the organization at risk of IP theft. There are also instances when a staff member could misplace some devices that contain trade secrets, which also puts the company at risk.
To avoid IP theft, companies should educate employees about the importance of creating strong passwords and keeping sensitive data private. They should also monitor the devices used across the company to ensure that none of the sensitive information is leaked to the wrong people. In addition, manufacturing companies should have their employees sign non-disclosure contracts.
AI technology can help with all of these issues. Companies are using AI technology to bolster their password security and identify warning signs of phishing scams. These measures can prevent IP property from being stolen in the first place.
AI is also helping companies find stolen IP after the fact. They can use machine learning bots to crawl the Internet to identify instances where their content has been shared elsewhere or find products that seem like they might have elements that have been patented.
3. IoT Attacks
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the world’s most versatile technologies, and many manufacturing companies have benefited from it. IoT has allowed every component of the manufacturing process to collect data, which can improve efficiency and yields, increase output, and reduce expenses.
Unfortunately, the increasing use of IoT also comes with possible consequences. Threats to IoT systems and devices can lead to security breaches due to the specific characteristics that the technology has. While these characteristics make IoT more efficient, they are highly vulnerable to threats. For instance, using IoT-connected equipment in manufacturing comes with risks like operational disruption.
The production flow would be interrupted if a criminal accessed the device. In addition, once a hacker gets access to the IoT device, the other systems could be affected, jeopardizing the entire manufacturing process. Some of the protocols used in IoT technologies may also come with security issues that could affect the entire manufacturing system. In addition, IoT systems are prone to network attacks like spoofing and denial of service, also known as DoS.
To minimize the threat of IoT attacks, manufacturers should exercise utmost precaution when it comes to the connectivity of IoT devices. They should limit the number of people who can access these devices. Also, they should limit the ability of these devices to connect with the other systems. That way, the rest of the computer systems will not be affected when there’s an attack. In addition, manufacturing companies should ensure that their IoT providers possess top-notch security systems.
IoT attacks could also affect the embedded software, which is an important manufacturing component. For this reason, companies must hire highly competent embedded software engineers. When it comes to filling embedded software jobs, recruitment agencies that specialize in embedded software engineers can be a big help.
AI is the First Line of Defense Against Cybercrime for Manufacturers
More manufacturers are dealing with the growing threat of cybercrime. They are finding that AI technology is invaluable for putting these threats to rest.
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