Cybersecurity issues must be resolved urgently

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Significant Increase in Successful Security Attacks - Businesses Need Better Government Emergency Assistance - Cyber Resiliency as a Prevention Measure

The increase of networking and digitization in industrial manufacturing leads to growing IT dependencies, with the number of cyber attacks rising. "In the recent past, there has been a significant increase in successful attacks on the production facilities of German machine and plant manufacturers," says Steffen Zimmermann, Head of the VDMA Industrial Security Competence Center. "Our research shows that more than a third of the members surveyed by the VDMA already report production stoppages. Half of the companies surveyed have already suffered capital losses," says the cybersecurity expert.

There is a need for increased measures by companies and public authorities

Hacker attacks, some of which are followed by blackmail, make it clear that the situation is serious and that the potential danger is great. The cases of damage show that better prevention and professional and rapid expert help in emergencies are crucial.

The emergency assistance of the authorities in the context of cybersecurity should be extended to also include medium-sized companies. "The main contacts for cybercrime cannot provide adequate support in every federal state, as the experiences of our members show," reports Zimmermann.

"The main contacts for cybercrime cannot provide adequate support in every federal state, as the experience of our members shows."

Cyber resilience as a preventive measure
Coordinated measures are required to protect companies against security incidents and to detect and handle successful attacks. A suitable approach to achieve this is to consider cyber resilience. Resiliency describes resistance to threats and the ability to quickly return to a functional state after a successful attack. Resilience helps to be well prepared in an emergency. Companies with a high cyber resilience know which steps to take in the event of damage. This includes the internal resilience of the machines and plants in operation. Resilient systems are robust enough to withstand an attack and resilient equipment manufacturers are able to provide adequate security throughout the product lifecycle.

Support from VDMA for members

The VDMA is developing emergency support for mechanical and plant engineering in the Information Security Working Group. The VDMA also actively supports the cross-industry "CERT@VDE" reporting office. Here, machine builders can network with manufacturers of automation solutions and operators in order to obtain information on vulnerabilities in products at an early stage.