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Industrie 4.0

Cyber attacks are often directed against SMEs

Although IIoT applications are on the rise in German industry, seven out of ten companies are already complaining of data theft, sabotage or espionage. SMEs in particular are the target of attacks.

01 Oct. 2018
Cyber attacks are often directed against SMEs (Photo: Bitkom)

According to a Bitkom study , cyber-attacks have caused 43.3 billion euros of damage in Germany over the last two years. A good 500 companies were surveyed for the study. Of them, 68% reported data theft, sabotage or espionage, while another 19% suspected such attacks. The problem areas are manifold. For example, around one-fifth of the companies surveyed complain about digital sabotage of their information systems, production facilities or operations, while 11% report attempts to eavesdrop on their digital commutations.

In almost half of all cases, concrete damage was caused by tapping into communications, customer or financial data. Attackers succeeded in stealing sensitive research and development information from one in ten companies. The study also shows that almost two-thirds of perpetrators come from the internal environment.

The German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI), which examined the attacks on German companies and institutions as part of the 2017 Cyber Security Survey , comes to similar conclusions within a somewhat broader framework.