According to the report “Industrial Cybersecurity — USB Threat Report 2022”. Recently released by Honeywell, the risks of a cyberattack through the use of USB are a serious concern for companies.
Data from the study indicates that the use of removable media increases the risk of cyber attacks by 52%, up from 32% last year and more than double the 19% reported in 2020. Clearly showing the danger of pen use. -drives, USB cables and other communication devices on machines and systems.
Now in its fourth year of publication, Honeywell’s 2022 USB Threat Report points to a clear trend: security risks are more prominent and potent.
According to the publication, threats designed to establish remote access capabilities remained stable at 51%. While the number of threats specifically designed to target industrial control systems increased slightly year on year, from 30% to 32%. At the same time, malware (malicious software) was more capable of causing disruption to industrial control systems, rising to 81% compared to 79% the year before.
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This year’s report was based on aggregated cybersecurity threat data from hundreds of industrial facilities around the world over a 12-month period. Along with USB attacks, the survey highlights that “Trojans” remain a top concern due to their potential to cause severe disruptions to industrial infrastructure, comprising 76% of malicious software.
“This year’s report indicates that hackers are using removable media to break into systems, connect remotely, steal data and even take command and control of company systems,” says Jose Fernandes, president of Honeywell Materials, Performance and Technologies (PMT) for Latin America. “USB media is being used to penetrate industrial and operational environments. Organizations must adopt formal programs to defend against this type of threat, which causes costly disruptions.”
The Honeywell study further proves that threats attempting to enter industrial and operational environments are increasingly sophisticated and frequent, with USB-borne malware clearly being leveraged as part of larger cyber-attack campaigns.
“Hackers are taking advantage of USB removable media to bypass network defenses and air gaps that many of these installations rely on for protection. Continued care is critical to defend against the growing USB threat and strong USB security controls are highly recommended” reiterates Jose Fernandes.