German manufacturers lose $50B to cyber attacks, SMBs at greatest risk

A quarter of German manufacturing companies reported losing sensitive mobile phone data, according to a Bitkom survey.

How AI, IoT, and big data will shape the future of cybersecurity

Two-thirds of German manufacturers have faced cyberattacks, racking up $50 billion in costs, according to a Bitkom survey released on Thursday. Acting as Europe's largest economy, Germany has recently been a hot bed for cyber criminals.

Bitkom surveyed 503 managers and security chiefs from Germany's entire manufacturing sector, determining SMBs--the economy's main backbone--to be the most vulnerable to attacks, Reuters reported in a Thursday press release.

SEE: Cybersecurity strategy research: Common tactics, issues with implementation, and effectiveness (Tech Pro Research)

As one of the top exporters worldwide, Germany has been a long-time focus for hackers in competing economies. In fact, German security officials have been trying to shed light on cyberattack threats for a long time, said the release, warning government administrators about foreign spy agencies that may look to steal Germany's manufacturing strategies.

"With its worldwide market leaders, German industry is particularly interesting for criminals," Bitkom head Achim Berg said in a statement, reported Reuters. With such a dominate manufacturing economy, German companies needed to take cybersecurity seriously, said the release.

A third of German companies also reported mobile phones being stolen, and a quarter of companies admitted losing sensitive digital data in the process, said the release. Additionally, 19% of companies reported their IT and production systems had been compromised, and 11% said their communication systems were tapped, added the release.

Check out this TechRepublic article for tips on how to improve your organization's cybersecurity.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Two-thirds of German manufacturers lost $50 billion to cyberattacks. -- Bitkom, 2018.
  • A third of German companies said their mobile phones had been stolen, and a quarter reported losing sensitive data. -- Bitkom, 2018.

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