While many cyber security attacks are driven by criminal organisations looking to make a pay day, the APT41 hacking groups – who allegedly have close ties to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government – have been running a sophisticated campaign targeting manufacturing, research and development firms. Their aim? To make off with intellectual property including everything from manufacturing blueprints, specifications and machining programs to research and pharmaceutical formulas and recipes.
The obvious fallout from this is firms will either lose a potential market when attempting to sell products to markets or they may even face competition from state-sponsored manufacturers selling products identical to their own and using their own processes.
As will any attack vector, company need to take a company-wide layered approach to their defences. A good way of ensuring this is done in a careful and considered way is to follow standards such as ISO 27001, NIST and Cyber Essentials which have the added benefit of being able to demonstrate to your customers that you have robust security controls in place.