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Industrial Cybersecurity Forecasting, Courtesy of Kaspersky

By Alex Passett
March 15, 2024

Since 1997, the cybersecurity and digital privacy teams at Kaspersky have built up an impressive portfolio, one rife with comprehensive solutions that protect consumers, businesses, critical infrastructure and even governments around the globe. We’re talking robust endpoint protection, specialized security products and services and much more. According to recent statistics, “400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies” as the company helps its 220,000 clients (and counting).

Earlier in Q1, fellow TMC Editor and MSP Today ace Greg Tavarez covered Kaspersky’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS CERT) and its in-depth predictions outlining key preparations businesses should make to prepare for further automation and digitization changes across industries. (Read Tavarez’s story in full here.)

Today, we’ve got additional data and forecasts from Kaspersky; specifically, statistics from its Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).

Here’s a short breakdown:

  • In the second half of 2023, “32.6% of ICS computers globally had been attacked with malware.” In the Middle East, Türkiye and Africa (META) region, that percentage is broken down further, illustrating slight decreases compared to 2022 but ultimately still highlighting the importance of industrial organizations paying even closer attention to future-forward cybersecurity measures.
  • Kaspersky ICS CERT’s 2024 predictions (as mentioned, per Tavarez) also spotlight the stubborn persistence of sophisticated ransomware threats and “cosmopolitical hacktivism,” pointing to necessary transformations for IoT/IIoT when it comes to what Kaspersky defines as “offensive cybersecurity.”
  • Also in the second half of 2023, “7.55% of OT computers in Africa were exposed to threats via USBs,” which Kaspersky notes is roughly 20 times more than figures in parts of Europe, albeit those obviously need to be properly addressed and secured, as well.

Furthermore (and again in the vein of ransomware in IIoT), unique product suppliers and even major smart logistics companies are facing increased risks tailed by potentially “severe economic and social consequences.” Cybercriminals are expected to continue targeting entities capable of substantial ransom payments, which can cause (and actively have caused, in the past) disruptions to production and delivery of key industrial technologies.

Lastly, the rapid automation and digitization of logistics and transport are introducing new challenges, intertwining cyber and traditional crimes. This includes theft of vehicles and goods, maritime piracy, and smuggling. Non-targeted cyberattacks may lead to physical consequences, especially in river, sea, truck, and special-purpose vehicles.

Per Kaspersky’s Head of ICS CERT, Evgeny Goncharov:

“The industrial sector’s cybersecurity is continuously going through significant changes, with both new types of attacks and more sophisticated versions of old ones. Ransomware attacks are still a big problem, and hackers are getting better at targeting large, profitable companies with more advanced methods. Hacktivists who are motivated by social issues are also becoming more active, adding another layer of complexity to the threats. The transportation and logistics industry is especially vulnerable to these changes because its systems are becoming more and more digital. This combination of cyber and traditional crime is a serious threat to global supply chains. To protect themselves, organizations need to prioritize cybersecurity and keep improving their defenses.”

Read more IIoT-relevant security data from Kaspersky here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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