BlackBerry and Make UK research reveals almost half of UK manufacturers suffered from cyberattacks in the last 12 months
by CM staff
As businesses adopt more digital technologies, their exposure to cybersecurity risks increases.
LONDON — Nearly half of Britain’s manufacturers (42 per cent) have been a victim of cyber-crime over the last 12 months according to new research, Cyber Security: UK manufacturing, published by Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation and BlackBerry Limited. Over a quarter of respondents (26 per cent) reported substantial financial loss as the result of an attack, with losses ranging from £50,000 to £250,000.
As businesses adopt more digital technologies, their exposure to cybersecurity risks increases. Some 95 per cent say cybersecurity measures are necessary for their company, while two thirds said the importance of cybersecurity has increased in the last 12 months. Worryingly, the majority (54 per cent) decided not to take any further cybersecurity action despite adopting new technologies to boost production.
UK manufacturers face a battery of cybersecurity risks, ranging from simple employee error to complex targeted attacks. The top three cybersecurity vulnerabilities were identified as maintaining legacy IT (45 per cent), a lack of cyber skills within the company (38 per cent), and providing access to third parties for monitoring and maintenance (33 per cent). The research also found that production stoppages were the most common result of a cyberattack (65 per cent), with reputational damage ranking second (43 per cent).
Adoption of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is shown to be the biggest driver behind cybersecurity adoption for one in three organisations (30 per cent). Just over a third (37 per cent) say that concerns about cyber vulnerability have prevented the introduction of new connected technologies into their organisation, 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 cybersecurity training to staff. While 62 per cent of manufacturers now have a formal cybersecurity procedure in place in the event of an incident, up 11 per cent on last year’s figures with the same number giving a senior manager responsibility for cyber security. More than half (58 per cent) have escalated this responsibility to board level.
“Digitisation is revolutionising modern manufacturing and becoming increasingly important to drive efficiencies in this incredibly difficult inflationary environment,” said Stephen Phipson, CEO, Make UK. “While cost remains the main barrier to companies installing proper cyber protection, the need to increase the use of the latest technology makes mounting a proper defence against cyber threats essential.”
“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. Failing to get this right could cost the manufacturing industry 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,” said Phipson.
The composition of cyber defence across UK industry is wide – with 89 per cent of companies investing heavily in antivirus software and firewalls to secure internet connections. Threats originating in Russia and China are now seen as the main challenge to cybersecurity for UK manufacturers (75 per cent).