While headlines often focus on cyberattacks targeting tech giants and financial institutions, the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector faces a silent threat. The devastating impact of the NotPetya attack on Mondelez International, resulting in weeks of recovery, production disruptions, and a $140 million revenue loss, serves as a stark reminder of the industry's vulnerability.

Like any digitally transformed sector, the FMCG Sector faces cyber risks stemming from its complex, interconnected supply chains and expanding use of smart factories, cloud platforms, and connected devices. However, successful attacks here can completely paralyze production and distribution, especially during critical seasonal sales spikes - creating outsized business impact.

To drive resilience, FMCG leaders should prioritize four foundational areas:

Securing Operational Technology Environments

As smart manufacturing platforms and interconnected operational technology (OT) environments proliferate, they introduce new attack surfaces. Attackers can now target industrial control systems and rewrite PLC code to manipulate production lines or sabotage heating/cooling systems. Legacy OT equipment often lacks monitoring and patching support, enabling vulnerabilities to persist for years.

FMCG infosec teams must extend IT security best practices like continuous OT monitoring, network segmentation, and the principle of least privilege access controls to these environments. Partnering with OT specialists to embed security in technology refresh initiatives is key. New OT security standards like IEC 62443 should also inform roadmaps.

Enhancing Supply Chain Cyber Risk Management

The vast FMCG ecosystem of suppliers, distributors, retailers and other partners magnifies exposure. If a vendor with lax security is breached, attackers can pivot to target the company through trusted network connections. For example, threat actors compromised ASUS software updates in 2019 to distribute malware to consumers and downstream companies.

FMCG firms should implement risk-based third-party assurance programs to govern cybersecurity expectations. Vendors in high-risk categories should complete standardized assessments annually. The companies can also participate in intelligence-sharing platforms like the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center to gather threat data on partners.

Consumer Data and Services

With the rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) digital platforms and connected products, FMCG companies are amassing more consumer data and delivering online services. Poorly secured apps, websites, APIs, and cloud databases put this sensitive information at risk. Attackers could sell stolen customer data or launch ransomware campaigns against consumer-facing systems.

FMCG security teams need to implement robust identity and access management, web application security testing, cloud controls, and data loss prevention capabilities. Achieving compliance with regulations like the EU GDPR and state privacy laws also reduces data exposure risks. Firms should additionally prepare incident response plans tailored for consumer-impacting cyber events.

Training Personnel Across Functions

Despite advanced security tools, employees remain a leading threat vector through unchecked phishing, clicking, and misconfigurations. Attackers often gain initial access by compromising insider credentials. Reinforcing secure behaviours through engaging training across logistics, sales, manufacturing, and other teams is essential.

Programs should emphasize social engineering, password hygiene, data handling and incident reporting proficiency. Customizing content to address function-specific risks also promotes relevance. Gamification keeps personnel motivated while metrics demonstrate training ROI.

Given the growing sophistication of threats and talent scarcity, partnering with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) can provide crucial expertise and 24/7 monitoring. MSSPs use advanced tools and threat intelligence to detect and respond to incidents across the IT/OT environment. Leveraging MSSPs also provides access to a bench of skilled analysts, avoiding the overhead of building large internal teams. Ultimately, MSSP services enable FMCG firms to offload security workflow, driving better risk coverage through technology and human augmentation. Tightly integrating an MSSP into security operations and governance via defined SLAs helps extract maximum value.

GRAMAX CYBERSEC: Your Partner in Building a Secure FMCG Future

We're not just another cybersecurity firm. We're your trusted partner, deeply invested in understanding the specific threats and vulnerabilities that plague the FMCG sector.

That's why we offer a dynamic suite of services addressing the top concerns:

  • Continuous OT monitoring: We provide real-time visibility into your OT environment, identifying and addressing threats before they escalate.
  • Network segmentation: We implement secure network segmentation to isolate critical systems and minimize damage in case of a breach.
  • Third-party risk assessments: We conduct standardized assessments of high-risk vendors, identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): We implement robust IAM solutions to control access to sensitive data and systems.
  • Web Application Security Testing (WASC): We identify and remediate vulnerabilities in your web applications and APIs.
  • Cloud security controls: We ensure your cloud environments are configured securely and meet industry best practices.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): We implement DLP solutions to prevent unauthorized data exfiltration.
  • Compliance with data privacy regulations: We help you achieve compliance with regulations like GDPR and state privacy laws to minimize data exposure risks.

Partner with GRAMAX CYBERSEC for a tailored defense that speaks FMCG. Let's build a secure FMCG future, together.