The threat of USB-borne malware continues to be a serious cybersecurity concern to manufacturing and industrial facilities.
Data from the 2022 Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity USB Threat Report indicates that 52% of threats were specifically designed to utilize removable media, up from 32% the previous year and more than double the 19% reported in the 2020 study. The USB Threat Report is based on aggregated cybersecurity threat data from hundreds of industrial facilities globally during a 12-month period.
According to the report, cyber threats designed to establish remote access capabilities remained steady at 51%, while the number of threats designed specifically to target industrial control systems increased slightly year over year, up from 30% to 32%. At the same time, the malware was more capable of causing a disruption to industrial control systems, climbing to 81% compared to 79% the previous year.
Hackers are taking advantage of USB removable media to circumvent network defenses and bypass the air gaps upon which many of these facilities depend upon for protection. Along with USB attacks, the research highlights that Trojans remain a top concern because of their potential to cause severe disruption to industrial infrastructure, comprising 76% of the malware detected.
For more report findings, click here.