Survey: manufacturing businesses’ intellectual property gets lost to security breaches

According to a recent Kaspersky Lab and B2B International survey, 21% manufacturing businesses lost their intellectual property to security breaches. In most cases malware was the cause, although other problems were named.

Security breaches led to intellectual property loss for one in every five manufacturing business over the past year. This is one of the findings in the recent survey of businesses IT managers conducted worldwide by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International.

Malware was the most common cause of large data losses, although other types of cyber-incidents – including software vulnerabilities, theft of mobile devices, network intrusion, etc. – were also cited as sources IP leakage.

In industrial, and especially in post-industrial, societies information is the primary valuable, but for manufacturing businesses their technologies and know-how allow for more efficient production. This is essential for a competitive advantage over the other players.


Competition isn’t always a clean and law-abiding thing. Industrial (cyber)-espionage has been around for a long time, and currently it is taking the form of worldwide-scale APT campaigns, aimed at exfiltration of any valuable data. For the attackers the actual size of the businesses targeted matter little, only the area they are working in and their data, personal, working, technologies, etc.

The manufacturing industry understands the importance of securing their intellectual property. The survey found that manufacturers ranked “Internal Operational Information” and “Intellectual Property” as the two types of non-financial data they fear losing the most. No surprise here. As shown above, these data are the primary basis for the successful competition.

At the same time, manufacturers ranked the fear of losing “Customer/Client Information” the lowest out of all business segments, most likely because manufacturing facilities are less likely to store this information in the first place. 

Fears themselves are counter-productive, so to speak. If there are risks to lose data, those should be mitigated and diminished as much as possible.

Kaspersky Lab offers a number of security technologies to prevent data losses and block the attack vectors used by cybercriminals. These technologies include application control, automatic update installations, mobile devices control, and many others.

More details on the survey and its findings are available here.