Half UK manufacturers cyber-attacked in last year, warns Make UK study
5 May 2021
Half of Britain’s manufacturers have been the victim of cybercrime during the last 12 months, claims trade body Make UK.
Its new report, Cyber Resilience – The Last Line of Defence, suggests the Covid crisis and subsequent lockdown created unwitting opportunities for criminals to exploit the situation after thousands of organisations moved their staff to remote.
Said a spokesperson: “Cyber criminals have been exploiting the emergency working measures mounting attacks which have come at a massive cost to businesses, with a quarter of companies reporting losses of up to £25,000 for each cyber breach and six percent left coming to terms with losing £100,000 plus after an attack.”
The report points out that companies were forced to switch to remote production, remote monitoring of equipment with staff working from home on hastily supplied laptops almost overnight realised.
Half of manufacturers surveyed said that cyber security had become a higher priority since the start of the Covid outbreak, and nearly two thirds (61 percent) said they now have a designated board director responsible for cyber protection across the whole of their business.
Cyber threat is increasingly a business-critical issue, with 43% of manufacturers reporting that they have already been asked by a customer to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cyber processes. Additionally, one in five have themselves asked customers or suppliers to show that they are cyber resilient and have effective measures in place to counter against any attack.
More than half of those polled said they have taken out insurance to cover any losses from cyber incidents, while 87% of companies believe they have the right tools and technologies in place to deal with any cyber incursion.
On the positive side, improved awareness over the last two years has seen a reduction in attacks by 10% across the sector, says Make UK. However, 44% of manufacturers still do not offer cyber security training to their staff, and 47% have no formal plan or process agreed in case of an attack.
Two thirds of manufacturers report that cyber security still lacks a regular slot on their board’s monthly agenda.
CEO of Make UK, Stephen Phipson, said:
“No business can afford to ignore this issue and while the increased awareness across the sector is encouraging, there is still much to be done with too many businesses still burying their heads in the sand.
“This is a strategic threat; failing to get this right as a nation could cost the UK economy billions of pounds and put thousands of jobs at risk. Every business is vulnerable and every business needs to take the necessary steps to protect themselves properly.”
Photo: Firms such as Honeywell are at the forefront of improving defences against cyber crime in the process industries