Industrial operations under cyberattack

Industrial operations under cyberattack

KPMG’s latest publication on industrial cyber defence has revealed that the frequency of cyberattacks on industrial operations in increasing. According to the report the cost of ransomware attacks skyrockets from a mere $8billion in 2018 to $20billion in 2020. The biggest jump in costs was seen most recently – with ransomware attack costs increasing to $11.5million in 2019, before almost doubling the following year.

The threat of cyber attacks on industrial operations has become more acute than ever before, as they’ve rapidly expanded and evolved in a short space of time. They may be due to a move to remote engineering and maintenance activities, incomplete digitisation efforts and more remote operation work on production lines.

Houssain Alshedoki, IT/OT Cybersecurity ENR Lead for KPMG in Saudi Arabia, said: “Despite the growing threat and public pressure, organisations remain unprepared. Organisations may be facing a paradox of choice. The cybersecurity industry includes myriad services, many of which are relatively new and sometimes untested. Confounded by choices, many organisations end up unprotected.”

Organisations are being urged to adopt better methods of preparation for the evolving threats. “Risk assessment teams must be aware of the changing threat landscape and update their work processes and templates in line with those changes,” Alshedoki continued. “Cyber PHAs should link realistic threat scenarios – that consider new kinds of industrial cyberattacks – with known vulnerabilities and existing countermeasures.”

Cyber PHAs are a risk mitigation methodology helping to facilitate a holistic cyber PHA exercise. They’re typically performed in phases, are scalable and will serve to benefit an organisation’s broader business practices.