Industrial cybersecurity breaches impacting 50 pc companies’ bottom line, reputation : survey

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Mumbai: Industrial cybersecurity breaches are damaging organizations, impacting the bottom line and company reputation, according to a recent Honeywell sponsored survey of business leaders in India.

Among the surveyed 252 respondents, 50% of them, who experienced a cybersecurity breach in the past year admitted of a reputational impact on their business.

The survey polled strategic decision-makers from Indian industrial companies on types of cybersecurity threats, their approach to dealing with them, and their organization’s respective preparedness as they adopt Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-enabled technologies.

The Honeywell-sponsored poll conducted, by a global survey company Censuswide interviewed 252 respondents from verticals including oil and gas, refining and petrochemicals, pulp and paper, mining, batch, pharma, utilities, manufacturing, power and terminals industries.

Companies today risk significant financial losses, damage to customer satisfaction, and market reputation due to cybersecurity issues, as evident in the survey responses. Given the high likelihood of a cyberattack and its potential repercussions, increased investments in industrial cybersecurity defenses are paramount.

However, the Honeywell survey found that on average, only 25% of the surveyed companies’ budgets were allocated to cybersecurity, with an expected 37% average budget increase within the next five years.

“This new information from Honeywell reveals that while decision-makers are more aware of threats, cybersecurity layers of defense have not yet been implemented by a majority of India’s industrial community,” said Ashish Gaikwad, MD – Honeywell Automation India Limited.

“The cost of industrial cyberattacks cannot be measured in capital losses alone, but must also be measured by the potential reputational damage a company could sustain. These survey findings underscore the need for our ongoing work to ensure every enterprise can safely manage their cybersecurity risks,” added Gaikwad.

The Honeywell survey in India revealed:

· Of respondents who experienced a cybersecurity breach in the past year:

  • Almost half (49%) say that there was a reputational impact on their business
  • Nearly half (48%) had their operations suspended for a period of time after they suffered the breach
  • 42% across all industries received a fine
  • 67% of utility companies received a fine

· On average, respondents allocated 25% of last year’s budget to cybersecurity and are expecting to increase their spending by 37% within the next five years

· When asked about best practices to self-assess cybersecurity maturity levels using industry standard models:

  • 6% believe their organization is at the lowest “non-existent” maturity level
  • 30% of respondents believe their organization is at the “managed” level of industrial cybersecurity maturity
  • 20% believe their organization is at the more advanced “optimized” level

· Half of respondents (50%) have cloud-based monitoring to identify potential threats external to their organization.

Honeywell recommendations:

  • Engage with highly experienced experts to develop a safe, appropriate industrial cybersecurity strategy that does not adversely impact operations
  • Define a clear cybersecurity roadmap to improve cybersecurity maturity levels
  • Work with skilled suppliers who can help educate and upskill workforce to address cyberthreats, and those who can provide managed security services to strengthen capabilities
  • Invest in the latest technology and solutions to optimize cybersecurity operations and continually defend against changing threats

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