According to the US Department of Homeland Security, manufacturing industry is the second most targeted industry measured by the number of reported cyber attacks, and a cyber security report by the EEF in the UK shows that almost half of UK manufacturers have been subjected to cyber attacks.
Hackers are increasingly focusing on more traditional industries, such as manufacturing, but cyber security can play a key role in offering a competitive advantage by helping maintain brand reputation and avoid revenue and customer losses.
“Cyber-Security for Manufacturing” pinpoints the susceptibility of manufacturers to cyber risk, revealing that 41% of companies do not believe they have access to enough information to even assess their true cyber risk, while 45% do not feel that they do not have access to the right tools for the job.
The report urges companies to begin a programme of continuous assessment of which people, information and technologies are critical to their organisation and undertake real-time scenario planning to map out the consequences of a cyber-security infrastructure or data breach.
Cyber threat is also holding back companies from investing in digital technologies, with a third of those surveyed nervous of digital improvement. Moreover, a worryingly large 12% of manufacturers admit they have no technical or managerial processes in place to even to start assessing the real risk.
“Failing to get this right could cost the UK economy billions of pounds, put thousands of jobs at risk and delay the supply of essential equipment to key public services and major national infrastructure projects,” says Stephen Phipson, CEO of the EEF.
Dr Karin Von Hippel, Director General of RUSI added: “The importance of the manufacturing sector to the security of the UK economy cannot be overstated. Increasing digitisation creates further opportunities, but also exposes us to potential vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks, whether from criminals or nation-state adversaries. The sector needs to recognise these risks and respond accordingly.”