2018 Technology Priorities and Challenges in the Manufacturing Sector

Kaseya recently surveyed midmarket IT professionals in the manufacturing industry about their organizations’ IT operations and practices.

Here are few critical findings of the survey:

Technology Priorities and Challenges

Improving security, reducing IT costs and delivering higher service levels were voted as the top three technology priorities in the manufacturing industry.

A Kaspersky Lab report published last year states that in the first half of 2017, manufacturing companies were the most susceptible to cyber threats, and their computers accounted for about one-third of all attacks. And now, considerable rise in the awareness of cybersecurity can be noticed in the manufacturing companies. For 34% of the respondents who experienced security breaches in the past 5 years, improving overall security seems to be a valid priority.

Also, when surveyed for technology concerns for 2019, cyber security and data protection, capacity and speed of network Infrastructure and migration to cloud were the top technology challenges.

Security

Among the respondents, 23% have been impacted by a ransomware attack and among these,93% have had at least one network outage which has lasted longer than 5 minutes.

66% of the respondents claimed to not have any security breaches. But of the respondents that did have security breaches, 50 percent had 2 to 4 IT network outages which lasted longer than 5 minutes.

One of the most critical ways to minimize the risk of downtime or an outage is to choose a vendor which offers service level agreements (SLAs) covering the availability and performance of IT services. And how good is the manufacturing industry at having service-level agreements in place?

Well, nearly half of the respondents did not have formal SLAs in place. SLAs define the level of service expected by a technology vendor and lay out the metrics on which the service is measured. Not having SLAs might lead to non-performance by the vendor, which in turn might lead to the risk of downtime. According to Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC), a mid-sized company can expect a single hour of downtime to cost upwards of $100,000 in revenue alone.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

For manufacturing industries, data is the heart of the business. Data backup and a disaster recovery plan are critical to ensure that data can be recovered in the event of a breach or an outage. The manufacturing industry does focus on backup and disaster recovery technologies heavily. Kaseya found that 91% of respondents back up servers, 70% backup locally and off-site and 44% of the respondents had a proper disaster recovery plan in place.

Vulnerability Management Policy

With the interconnected nature of rising manufacturing operations and the pace of digital transformation, cyber-attacks have more extensive effects than before. And, in resonance, the manufacturing companies have come up to terms with managing and mitigating vulnerabilities.

90% of the respondents, who didn’t have a single outage in the past year, had a policy of scanning all servers and workstations for operating system patches regularly.

66% of the respondents who did not have a single outage in the past year had applied critical OS patches within 30 days of release. 52% scanned all the servers and workstations for third-party software patches regularly.

The main focus of the survey was IT operations (individuals and groups) at midsize organizations, which we define as organizations with up to 5,000 employees.

VSA by Kaseya helps MMEs manage both endpoints and infrastructure. To know more about Kaseya, request a demo here.

Divyarthini is a marketing professional with over 4 years of experience in the IT industry which includes 3 years of experience in Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Email Marketing.

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