Manufacturing (NAICS 31-33)

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1,817 incidents, 262 with confirmed data disclosure

Top patterns


System Intrusion, Social Engineering and Basic Web Application Attacks represent 83% of breaches

Threat actors


External (90%), Internal (11%), Multiple (2%), Partner (1%) (breaches)

Actor motives


Financial (96%), Espionage (4%), Convenience (1%) (breaches)

Data compromised


Personal (60%), Credentials (38%), Other (37%), Internal (18%) (breaches)

What is the same?


The top three attack patterns remain the same, but their order has changed slightly. Financially motivated external actors continue to wreak havoc in this industry.



Hacking and Malware actions are pacing each other in the race for the top two spots. While Social Engineering attacks are still alive and well, they are a distant third. For incidents, do not discount Denial of Service attacks against this industry’s infrastructure to disrupt the ability to meet deadlines.

In our postmodern world, we rely on gadgets and gizmos galore to make it through our day—certainly more so than at any other time period in history.49 The importance of Manufacturing truly cannot be understated as it relates to how we exist and interact with each other on a daily basis. The Manufacturing industry is aware of this and consequently is continually looking for the next big thing that we all think we can’t live without. Cybercriminals know it as well and are constantly maneuvering in an effort to cash in.

This year we can see in Figure 54 the same top three patterns that we saw in last year’s report, albeit in a slightly different order. Social Engineering (23%) and Basic Web Application Attacks (17%) changed places in the lineup, while System Intrusion remains in first place at 42%.

2023 Data Breach Investigations Report
2023 Data Breach Investigations Report

As Figure 56 illustrates, when we drill down into what attack actions most often occur in the Manufacturing vertical, we see that Hacking and Malware attacks are occurring at almost exactly the same rate, and that Social attacks continue to make a strong showing. Ransomware, which accounts for a large part of the breaches in the System Intrusion pattern, continues to slowly trend upward in this vertical for the third year in a row (Figure 55).

From an incident perspective, it is still mainly about Denial of Service attacks. DoS attacks account for approximately 67% of incidents in this vertical. This has been a rising trend over the past few years, so if your organization resides in this industry, it is definitely something to keep an eye on.

2023 Data Breach Investigations Report

49 And believe me, we have lived through several of them.

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