According to a survey of businesses IT managers worldwide, 21% of manufacturers suffered a loss of intellectual property (IP) within the past year. Malware was the most common cause of data loss incidents for manufactures, although other types of cyber-incidents – including software vulnerabilities, theft of mobile devices, network intrusion, etc. – were also cited as sources IP leakage.
In a highly competitive global economy, businesses rise to leadership or sink into bankruptcy on very slim profit margins. Most often, a business’s most decisive advantage comes in the form of Research & Development insight or a proprietary high-tech solution which, in the case of manufacturers, can help businesses produce items more efficiently than their competitors. If a competitor is able to obtain this insight, especially without incurring the initial R&D costs, then that competitor now has a significant business advantage.
The manufacturing industry clearly understands the importance of securing their intellectual property. The survey found that manufacturers ranked “Internal Operational Information” and “Intellectual Property” as the two types of non-financial data they fear losing the most. Interestingly, manufacturers ranked the fear of losing “Customer/Client Information” the lowest out of all business segments, most likely because manufacturing facilities are less likely to store this information in the first place.
When asked about the cause of their most serious data loss event within the past 12 months, “Malware” was the most common cause, cited by 23% of manufacturers. Manufactures also reported other sources of incidents leading to data loss, including “Software Vulnerabilities” (8%), “Network Intrusion” (8%), “Information Leaked on Mobile Devices” (5%), and “Targeted Attacks” (3%).