Supply-chain cyber-attacks have recently risen to the fore in the case of the manufacturing sector.  Often manifested through disruptive attacks on suppliers hindering production and cascading downstream.  This, coupled with the Russia-Ukraine war, and pandemic induced supply-chain impediments is having a serious business impact on the manufacturing sector.

The automotive sector especially is feeling the pressure of supply-chain cyber compromises with recent attacks on Denso, Bridgestone, GMB Corp, and Kojima.  A Reuters article on 1-Mar-22 indicated that Toyota shares finished flat that week, underperforming a 1.2% gain in the broader market due to supply-chain issues.

The global supply-chain phenomenon has been a great business enabler for manufacturers to be incredibly efficient in their day-to-day operations.

Check The NACD Board Supply-Chain Risk Checklist

When supplies roll in on a consistent and reliable schedule, plants can perform “just-in-time” production, minimizing inventory costs and time wasted.  But when this chain is somehow disrupted by cyber-attack or other factors, the costs can be significant for manufacturers – as reported in an article by ThreatPost.  The post goes on to rightly explain that: “However, COVID-19 demonstrated the risks in just-in-time production, and ransomware is proving it again. When a perfectly choreographed dance of suppliers, workers, schedules and processes is interrupted by an IT shutdown – and there’s not much inventory to fall back on, on top of that – the consequences are felt more quickly and more severely than they otherwise would be.”

Since mid 2020 there have been a number of cyber-attacks on automotive manufacturers which inflicted significant impact on production and sales activity for the victim organisations.  Notable examples are Honda in Jun-2020 and Kia in Feb-2021.

According to a report by cloud technology provider Upstream, which focuses on the automotive sector, automakers could lose approximately $1.1 billion for a single attack. Collectively, the entire automotive industry is estimated to lose up to $24 billion before 2023. Those most impacted as of today are fleet operators, Tier 1 suppliers, and car-sharing companies.

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