Quest survey reveals two-thirds of enterprises expect cyberattacks within 12 months


Quest Software has released the results of a survey shedding light on how manufacturing enterprises tackle cyber threats. The survey, which gathered responses from 300 C-level IT executives, reveals insights into the security landscape of the manufacturing industry, which had become a major target for ransomware and extortion in 2022.

IT executives indicated that within the manufacturing sector, the most significant security threats are ransomware (22%), industrial espionage (21%), and state-sponsored threats (21%). Meanwhile, 35% of respondents identified ransomware/malware as the most common form of attack, while 27% cited phishing/social engineering.

Notably, 66% of participants expressing their belief that their manufacturing enterprise will be targeted by a cyberattack within the next 12 months.

Moreover, the financial ramifications of such attacks can be significant, as more than 38% of manufacturing organisations expect revenue losses ranging from US$20 million to US$50 million if their Active Directory environment was compromised for 24 hours.

An additional 32% anticipate losses between US$50 million and US$100 million. Surprisingly, despite these risks, only 19% of respondents conduct monthly reviews of vulnerabilities and potential attack paths in their Active Directory environment, with a mere 7% performing these reviews on a weekly basis.

“Against a backdrop of ever-increasing cyber threats, organisations, and especially those in the manufacturing industry, should always view Active Directory as a Tier 0 asset and pay particular attention to its security and protection,” said John Hernandez, General Manager at Quest. “It is also critical to invest in cyber resilience to be prepared for cyber-attacks and disaster recovery situations to reduce the risks of supply chain disruption and manufacturing system downtime”.

The survey findings also revealed the impact of cybersecurity on the adoption of new technologies. 66% of respondents believe that potential cyber threats will hinder the speed of technology adoption in their organisations.

This belief is further supported by the fact that 57% of survey participants recognise the significance of cybersecurity when embracing recent technologies.

Additionally, 67% of respondents prioritise aligning with a cybersecurity framework for their organisation as a medium to high priority over the next 12 months.

This demonstrates a growing recognition of the need to invest in critical infrastructure to support the ever-expanding ecosystem of connected devices and strike a balance between strategic objectives and security.

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • 80% of respondents acknowledged that a skills shortage adversely affected their organization’s cybersecurity.
  • 33% of respondents identified the fast pace of new technology adoption as the biggest challenge in the cybersecurity skills gap. This was closely followed by reliance on legacy technology (32%) and budget restrictions (27%).

A free executive summary and key findings of the survey are available by the following link Understanding how manufacturing enterprises navigate threat landscapes.

The research was commissioned by Quest and conducted by CXO Priorities, surveying C-level IT executives in the manufacturing sector in the UK, France, and Germany from 25th March to 11th May 2023.


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