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Cost Of Industrial Cyber Attacks Can Be Highly Damaging

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Industrial cybersecurity breaches are damaging organizations, impacting the bottom line and company reputation, according to a recent Honeywell survey of business leaders in India. The survey polled strategic decision-makers from Indian industrial companies on types of cybersecurity threats, their approach to dealing with them, and their organization’s respective preparedness as they adopt Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled technologies.

Companies today risk significant financial losses, damage to customer satisfaction, and market reputation due to cybersecurity issues, as evident in the survey responses. Given the high likelihood of a cyberattack and its potential repercussion, increased investments in industrial cybersecurity defenses are paramount. However, the Honeywell survey found that on average, only 25% of the surveyed companies’ budgets were allocated to cybersecurity, with an expected 37% average budget increase within the next five years.

“This new information from Honeywell reveals that while decision-makers are more aware of threats, cybersecurity layers of defense have not yet been implemented by a majority of India’s industrial community,” said Ashish Gaikwad, managing director, Honeywell Automation India Limited. “The cost of industrial cyber-attacks cannot be measured in capital losses alone, but must also be measured by the potential reputational damage a company could sustain. These survey findings underscore the need for our ongoing work to ensure every enterprise can safely manage their cybersecurity risks.”

The Honeywell survey in India revealed that of the respondents who experienced a cybersecurity breach in the past year, almost half (49%) say that there was a reputational impact on their business and a equal number had their operations suspended for a period of time after they suffered the breach.

On average, respondents allocated 25% of last year’s budget to cybersecurity and are expecting to increase their spending by 37% within the next five years.

When asked about best practices to self-assess cybersecurity maturity levels using industry standard models, 6% believe their organization is at the lowest “non-existent” maturity level, 30% of respondents believe their organization is at the “managed” level of industrial cybersecurity maturity and 20% believe their organization is at the more advanced “optimized” level

Half of respondents (50%) have cloud-based monitoring to identify potential threats external to their organization.

The report lists out certain recommendations to combat industrial cybersecurity breaches:

  • Engage with highly experienced experts to develop a safe, appropriate industrial cybersecurity strategy that does not adversely impact operations
  • Define a clear cybersecurity roadmap to improve cybersecurity maturity levels
  • Work with skilled suppliers who can help educate and upskill workforce to address cyberthreats, and those who can provide managed security services to strengthen capabilities
  • Invest in the latest technology and solutions to optimize cybersecurity operations and continually defend against changing threats

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