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The State of Security in Manufacturing

We surveyed security professionals worldwide to discover how organizations are working to detect, investigate and respond to IT and OT cybersecurity threats. Here, we highlight key findings from respondents in the Manufacturing industry.


Manufacturers are a top target for bad actors. But they’re gearing up to take them head-on.

Splunk’s State of Security 2024 indicates manufacturers are building defenses to prepare for more sophisticated threats. Forty-six percent reported attacks on cloud-based infrastructure, which explains why manufacturing respondents also rated cloud security as their top cyber security initiative over the next year — and prioritized it higher than other industries. In addition, generative AI has gone mainstream and many organizations are actively implementing it to transform their businesses. Nearly half of manufacturers say they will use generative AI to identify risks and vulnerabilities or for threat analysis.

Splunk for Manufacturing

Racing to harness AI

Seventy-four percent (74%) of manufacturing respondents agree that generative AI expands the attack surface to a concerning degree. But they also see its potential.

Most think generative AI can help alleviate the skills gap — 79% say it will help them hire more entry-level cybersecurity talent, and 88% believe entry-level staff can lean on it to help develop their skills in the SOC.

Manufacturers are also taking generative AI into their own hands, with 63% creating in-house large language models (LLMs) based on proprietary data. Most line-of-business employees (90%) and security professionals (87%) are already experimenting with it in their day-to-day work. Still, 41% of manufacturers we surveyed have not implemented a policy for generative AI use. This oversight could come back to haunt security teams. Guardrails will be critical to minimize data leakage and new vulnerabilities wrought by generative AI.

Who benefits more from generative AI?

Manufacturing respondents are almost evenly split:

42% say it will give defenders an edge


41% believe adversaries will have an advantage


For more insight into the race to harness AI, read the State of Security 2024 full report.

Navigating a more sophisticated threat landscape

Managing security requirements has become more challenging over the last year and respondents were likelier to say that increased threat sophistication was bogging them down (50% versus 38% across industries). The current geopolitical climate is also an emerging security factor: 85% believe it contributes to their organization being targeted more. 

To address growth in the attack surface and a more sophisticated threat landscape, most (93%) manufacturing respondents plan to increase cybersecurity spending over the next few years. However, manufacturers were much less likely (36%) to expect a significant rise in cybersecurity spending versus 48% across industries.




of respondents rank cloud security as a top initiative for the next year, more than any other industry


Breaking down silos that hinder security efforts

Manufacturers already have a variety of enterprise security tools in their arsenal. But unlike other industries, they also support networks of dispersed operational technology, compounding the number of point solutions and assets they need to protect. Not surprisingly, security leaders rate managing complexity from too many disconnected security tools as a top challenge – second only to talent shortages.

Most manufacturing leaders say that their complexity impedes security efforts:

  • 69% say completing an IT asset inventory takes too much time.
  • 60% say tech debt makes it difficult to keep up with security hygiene and posture management

To rein in complexity and get their environment under control, manufacturers are ramping up tool consolidation efforts and increasing enterprise SOC talent — and will likely prioritize these initiatives for the next two years.


Threats are becoming more sophisticated, but manufacturers are up to the task.

Learn more about today’s State of Security — and see how Splunk can help.

Get the Full Report
Manufacturing Overview