Monthly Report by Radar & Truesec

Swedish Manufacturing Industry Report - September

We want to give people who operate in Sweden the best possible conditions to be data-driven in their work regarding risks related to cyber threats so that they can prevent hacking.

Perceived Threat Situation Within the Manufacturing Industry

Swedish organizations are generally experiencing an increased threat situation in almost all categories, except for threats from industrial espionage and their own employees, which both take a step back regarding high and medium-high risk. It’s hard to point out a specific factor that can explain the changing trend and the variations in threat assessments. However, the reporting of incidents, vulnerabilities, and geopolitical insecurities in media has, of course, had a considerable impact on what’s considered a threat. Our responders’ answers align with the report about cybersecurity in Sweden.

The manufacturing industry, our focus industry this month, experiences a similar threat situation, with the major exception being that industrial espionage is perceived as a much greater risk. Additionally, threats from other national actors are also seen as a greater risk in this industry than in other Swedish industries.

We can connect the concern of both types of threat actors with the perceived risk, or even the business risk, of losing confidential business information and IP (intellectual property) along with the perceived probability that one’s organization has become a target.

IT attacks are Increasing to Swedish Industries

Since May this year, IT attacks to Swedish companies have increased by 40% compared to the past winter and early spring. Since then, a significant increase in IT attacks directed to a wide range of industries have been found and stopped. Attacks that are not being detected and disarmed quickly can lead to serious consequences for the affected company. Together with Radar, Truesec declares that the current threat level on Swedish industries is a level 2 out of 5, which means that there is a moderate threat level. An example, stated in this month’s full report, describes an example of how threat actors can complete an attack in several steps, conducted during a long time period. Download the full report to read more about this specific case.

The Industry Compared to the National Average

In general, the industry reacts quicker to changes in the national economic situation compared to the national average. For example, investments in new innovations have historically hinted that the security aspect has not been as prioritized as cost reductions. However, compared to the national average, the industry has taken a step back when it comes to investments in innovations and instead increased its security investments dramatically in 2021.

Digitalization and outsourcing of service are also a question of security since it’s hard to know how information is being exposed online or in long and complex chains of subcontractors.

Download the report to see the chart that is presenting specific investment areas within the industry compared to Sweden as a nation.

Priorities and Challenges Within the Manufacturing Industry

As the world is changing, so are the priorities and challenges that organizations face every year. Before the pandemic, new applications, digitalization, and automation was on the top list of most prioritized areas for the Swedish organizations. During the pandemic, the focus changed and cost reduction climbed to the top ten list, whilst security got a lower priority. In 2021, digitalization, automation and security was once again some of the top priorities for the organizations in Sweden. Going into 2022, the challenges and priorities changed yet again and for the first time ever, security became the highest priority for Swedish organizations.  Keep in mind that the challenges the industry is facing do not fully align with the priorities. Take part of the report to find out more about the challenges that the industry is facing today, compared to a few years ago, to get an indication on how the industry should, or may, prioritize the focus and budget onwards.

Swedish Manufacturing Industry Report - September

The information is based on enriched data from analysts having done an individual assessment of each case and concluded that the IT attacks, had they not been stopped, could have led to serious consequences for the affected company. Check out this month's example to learn how these types of incidents can develop if they're not detected and disarmed quickly.

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