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German mechanical engineers at attention

With over a million employees, German mechanical engineers are a backbone of the German economy. They continue to fight intensively against product piracy and cyber attacks.

Every two years, the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering (VDMA) examines the effects of product piracy and plagiarism. There is a positive trend. Two years ago, 72 percent said they were affected by illegal replicas, copies or other plagiarism, but now the figure was only 46 percent. This is the lowest value since the study began in 2003. Larger companies tend to be more affected by product piracy than small and medium-sized companies.

The total damage in mechanical and plant engineering caused by product and brand piracy amounts to 4.1 billion euros, up from 6.4 billion euros two years ago, it is said. According to the study, this is due to the efforts of companies. The companies surveyed have increased their efforts and activities against product and brand piracy.

Most plagiarism from China

Most counterfeits still come from China, followed by India and Germany. According to the VDMA, they came primarily from competitors, but increasingly also from professional large-scale plagiarists and state-owned companies. What is worrying is that, according to the original manufacturers, many counterfeits pose a safety risk for operators and users.

Cyber ​​attacks are increasing

As much as German mechanical engineers can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to product piracy, they are still struggling with an increasing threat from attacks from the Internet. Around a quarter of the approximately 100 member companies surveyed stated that they had been affected by a serious cybersecurity incident in the past two years. These included targeted hacker attacks to obtain trade secrets or blackmail intentions. The resulting damage was difficult to estimate because of the necessary secrecy.

According to the study, most companies are trying to prepare themselves against the risk of cyber attacks. 96 percent of the companies surveyed said they were arming themselves against attacks with at least one cybersecurity measure. The majority of companies rely on attack detection measures in order to be able to react early.

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