Manufacturers face a barrage of cybersecurity threats today, and half of companies have fallen victim to at least one data breach during the past 12 months, according to the 2019 Manufacturing and Distribution Report

Digital technologies—such as connected devices in the Industrial Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and robotics, among others—continue to receive significant attention. These technologies are rewriting the rules of competition for industrial companies, while also increasing their vulnerability to the growing threat of cyber attacks and data breaches.

More than half of the companies participating in the survey reported they have at least some automation in production processes/machining (79 percent), assembly (64 percent), and packaging (60 percent). 

Larger companies are roughly twice as likely as smaller companies to have extensively automated their production process/machining (56 percent vs. 31 percent), assembly (53 percent vs. 21 percent), and packing (45 percent vs. 23 percent).

Key findings from the report include:

  • 27 percent of executives expect a U.S. recession within the next 12 months. 
  • Nearly 50 percent of companies report selling their product through Amazon and other e-commerce companies.
  • Top two steps companies are taking to help ensure they have the talent required are: Assessing the workforce to determine which additional skills will be needed (72 percent) and Undertaking initiatives to enhance commitment and engagement (70 percent).