Industrials & Manufacturing

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Cyberattacks: A potent reminder of technological vulnerabilities in the age of automation.

High profile cyberattacks are a potent reminder of growing technological vulnerabilities as manufacturers implement higher levels of automation. Adoption of “Industry 4.0” technology infrastructure is increasing the attack surface to include legacy systems not designed to defend against today’s sophisticated cyber criminal or rogue nation. Ransomware can trigger financial losses, but disruption to production and supply chains can cause harm beyond the initial shake-down. Breaches such as the Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds attacks grab headlines and underscore the need to defend operations and silo production networks from companies’ external facing business networks. In response, manufacturers should audit not only their existing cyber defenses, but also the resiliency of their operations in the event of a cyber attack. 

Cybersecurity plays a vital role in M&A strategy and execution. Firms considering a transaction should understand risks present in the form of data leaks, ransomware, and opportunities for malicious actors to use a transaction as a way to break into an acquiring company. According to IBM, more than half of companies wait until due diligence is completed to perform cybersecurity assessments. Considerations surrounding data privacy regulations, mandatory disclosure laws, and the risk of business interruption should be a priority for sellers and acquirors from the early stages of the transaction process.