Recent global security attacks have involved all sorts of systems from smart home devices to global domain name servers (DNS). One universal source of easy pickings for hackers is old Windows systems that are no longer fully maintained by Microsoft, and this immediately leads us to MES and other industrial systems running on Windows.
These systems are usually developed for a specific role in a factory and, when completed and left to run, often unchanged for years or decades; they quietly do their job with little to no maintenance. That “no maintenance” tag includes no operating system updates and little or no backups, a recipe for insecurity. We have had many clients admit that they still use Windows XP (I even met one with live Windows 3.1 applications) for manufacturing critical applications.
Many understand that there is a security issue, and they often try to hide vulnerable systems behind firewalls. This is a weak defense as firewalls will be the first port of call for the determined malicious hacker.