More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of manufacturing companies hit by ransomware attacks globally had their data encrypted by hackers, a report showed on Tuesday.
This is the highest reported encryption rate for the sector over the past three years and is in line with a broader cross-sector trend of attackers more frequently succeeding in encrypting data.
However, in contrast to other sectors, the percentage of manufacturing organisations that used backups to recover data has increased, with 73 per cent of the manufacturing firms using backups this year versus 58 per cent in the previous year.
Despite this increase, the sector still has one of the lowest data recovery rates, according to the report by Sophos, a global leader in cybersecurity.
“Using backups as a primary recovery mechanism is encouraging, since the use of backups promotes a faster recovery. While ransom payments cannot always be avoided, we know from our survey response data that paying a ransom doubles the costs of recovery,” said John Shier, field CTO, Sophos.
With 77 per cent of manufacturing organisations reporting lost revenue after a ransomware attack, this added cost burden should be avoided, and priority placed on earlier detection and response, he added.
In addition, despite the growing use of backups, manufacturing and production reported longer recovery times this year.
In 2022, 67 per cent of manufacturing organisations recovered within a week, while 33 per cent recovered in more than a week. This past year, only 55 per cent of manufacturing organisations surveyed recovered within a week.
“Longer recovery times in manufacturing are a concerning development. This extended recovery is negatively impacting IT teams, where 69 per cent report that addressing security incidents is consuming too much time and 66 per cent are unable to work on other projects,” said Shier.