Nearly half (48%) of UK manufacturers have been victims of a cyber-attack and 45% feel they lack access to tools for cybersecurity, according to a new report.
The ‘Cyber Security for Manufacturing’ report EEF and AIG, and carried out by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), surveyed 170 UK companies.
It found that 41% do not believe they have access to enough information to even assess their levels of cyber risk; meanwhile, 45% feel that they lack access to the right tools for the job.
The threat of a cyberattack is also holding back manufacturers from investing in digital technologies, with one-third of those surveyed nervous of carrying out digital improvements and transformation programmes.
The report warns: “This suggests that opportunities are being missed and some businesses risk falling behind in the race to digitise. The result must not be that the UK falls away from the vanguard of manufacturing excellence.”
It adds that the maturity levels of different organisations’ cybersecurity were “highly varied, both in terms of awareness of the cybersecurity challenge and the implementation of appropriate risk-mitigation measures.”
The report also revealed that 12% of manufacturers have no process measures in place at all to mitigate against cyberthreats.
While the paper welcomes government moves to improve national cybersecurity resilience, it adds that no priority has been given to the specific needs of manufacturing.
The report says, there needs to be a focus on the requirements of our sector, recognising that a one-size-fits-all approach for business is insufficient and, equally as importantly, comprehensive security cannot be the exclusive domain of large businesses who can afford bespoke end-to-end protection.
The document adds that the motivation for change is coming from manufacturers themselves, with 59% reporting that they have already been asked by a customer to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cybersecurity processes, and 58% having asked the same of a business within their supply chain.
The cybersecurity journey
The report says: “While some manufacturers are only at the beginning of their cybersecurity journey, as this report shows, sensible precautions and a proper cybersecurity business plan are in reach of all.
“These measures will provide the confidence businesses need to invest in digitisation, and the credibility to operate in the sector as a trusted supplier.”
Stephen Phipson, CEO of EEF, said: “We know businesses cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer. And while we welcome government’s progress in improving cybersecurity resilience, to date through the work of the NCA and NCSC, there needs to be an increasing focus given to the specific needs of manufacturing, which hitherto has been lacking.”
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