Industrial data security at risk: almost one-fifth of organizational files open to all employees

The finding comes from a new report by Varonis, which examined the state of data security on premises, in the cloud and in hybrid environments among industrial manufacturers and engineering companies  

Industrial data security at risk: almost one-fifth of organizational files open to all employees

Photo: BIGSTOCK/Copyright: Milkos

Data security and analytics company Varonis published its Manufacturing Data Risk Report for 2021. It is the company's third report analyzing threats, trends and specific solutions for the industry. 

The threats against the manufacturing sector are growing. Large hacker groups are operating ransomware, stealing the data of their victims and encrypting it. Recent headlines demonstrate how these kinds of serious ransomware attacks can stop production lines and disrupt supply chains. Hackers are trying to locate technological secrets in order to damage countries, and employees acting as "moles" in companies are searching for information that they can sell to the highest bidder. 

Exposed information – especially sensitive information – exponentially raises the risk. The larger the exposure, the larger the potential radius of damage to the business. Think about the damage that could be caused by an attacker that penetrates your organization's work environment. If only one employee clicks on a phishing link that arrived by email, an attacker could potentially access any file accessible to that employee.      

In order to understand the extent to which the industrial sector is protecting its sensitive data from these emerging threats, Varonis produced its Manufacturing Data Risk Report for 2021. The report examines the state of data security on premises, in the cloud and in hybrid environments among industrial manufacturers and engineering companies. The company analyzed a random sample of data risk assessments for 50 companies, with about four billion files, in order to determine the exposure of organizations to risks.     

Among the key findings were: 

  • Every employee can access an average of about six million files on his or her first day on the job.
  • Four out of every 10 organizations have more than 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee.
  • 44% of companies have more than 1,000 active accounts that are not being used.  
  • More than half of companies have more than 500 accounts with passwords that never expire.

To read the 2021 Manufacturing Data Risk Report, click here.   

Veronis, which was established in 2005, serves thousands of customers from various sectors worldwide, and employs close to 2,000 workers. The company focuses on monitoring and protecting organizational data. Its security platform detects and warns of data security threats from internal and external sources using big data tools, analysis of human behavior and the way that accounts are used. Following identification of a threat, the Varonis system prevents and neutralizes the threat using automatic tools.   

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