Nearly half of Britain’s manufacturers (42 percent) have been a victim of cybercrime over the last 12 months according to a new survey report ‘Cyber Security: UK manufacturing’ published by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organization, and BlackBerry Limited. Over a quarter of respondents (26 percent) reported ‘substantial financial loss’ as the result of an attack, with losses ranging from £50,000 to £250,000.
While two thirds of respondents said the importance of cyber security has increased in the last 12 months, worryingly, the majority (54 percent) decided not to take any additional cyber security actions despite adopting new technologies to boost production.
The top three cyber security vulnerabilities were identified as maintaining legacy IT (45 percent), a lack of cyber skills within the company (38 percent), and providing access to third parties for monitoring and maintenance (33 percent). The research also found that production stoppages were the most common result of a cyber attack (65 percent), with reputational damage ranking second (43 percent).
Adoption of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is shown to be the biggest driver behind cyber security adoption for one in three organizations (30 percent). These new IoT processes, such as automated sensors driving efficiencies, sit at the heart of manufacturing production and are seen as business-critical functions. However, just over a third (37 percent) say that concerns about cyber vulnerability have prevented the introduction of new connected technologies into their organization, hampering potential productivity gains and holding companies back from growth.
Targeted attacks are the most common, with smaller companies often the most vulnerable yet many offering no cyber security training to staff. 62 percent of manufacturers now have a formal cyber security procedure in place in the event of an incident, up 11 percent on last year’s figures with the same number giving a senior manager responsibility for cyber security. More than half (58 percent) have escalated this responsibility to board level.