Auto industry vulnerable to cyber threat

A new report by NordLocker has found that the automotive industry is the eighth most vulnerable to ransomware attacks.

An analysis of 1,200 companies hit by cyber extortion between 2020 and 2021 revealed those sectors where ransomware is the most widespread, with automotive in the top 10.

The 56 companies affected range from industry giants, such as one of the top car companies in the world with more than 10 million cars sold a year, to smaller enterprises, such as local car dealerships. The research suggests the automotive industry is enticing to cyber racketeers because of the core processes that make up the industry’s inner workings.

Cybersecurity expert Oliver Noble said: “The automotive industry has eagerly adopted the digitisation and automation of its internal operations, which has rapidly increased the industry’s productivity while at the same time making companies more vulnerable to cyber attacks.”

He also notes that automotive companies are at an increased risk of ransomware due to their close partnerships with clients and suppliers, as getting access to one company’s data could open up avenues for the extortion of several.

He continued: “Small enterprises usually do not have the same cybersecurity checks in place as larger businesses, making them an easier target for ransomware attacks. That being said, major companies are still the preferred targets, as their deeper pockets and higher stakes make them more likely to pay up.”