According to a survey by Germany’s IT sector association, two-thirds of Germany’s manufacturers have been struck by cybercrime attacks, costing a massive 43 billion euros, or $50 billion, in lost revenue.
The survey, conducted by German industry association Bitkom, queried 503 security chiefs and executives from across Germany’s manufacturing sector to determine that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are most vulnerable to attacks. This is particularly concerning for a sector that’s seen as the backbone of the German economy, the biggest economy in Europe.
The survey also narrowed down on risks across the spectrum with a third of companies surveyed reporting they had lost plenty of sensitive digital data alongside stolen mobile phones, as reported by Reuters.
In a statement, Bitkom chief Achim Berg urged German companies to budget and invest in better cybersecurity safeguards.
“With its worldwide market leaders, German industry is particularly interesting for criminals.”
The survey also found that 19 percent of those polled admitting that their production and IT systems had been sabotaged digitally, with 11 percent revealing their communications had been tapped into.
German authorities and security officials have, for a long time, warned of state-sponsored foreign spy agencies targeting Germany’s manufacturing industry to steal advanced production techniques. A number of German energy and electricity providers suffered a sweeping cyberattack in June this year, with fingers firmly pointed at Russian state-sponsored hackers.
The research is yet another reminder of the how crippling cyberattacks can be, particularly for the SME sector.
Thomas Haldenwang, Vice President of the BfV domestic intelligence agency, said: “Illegal knowledge and technology transfer, social engineering and economic sabotage are not rare individual cases, but a mass phenomenon.”
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