IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

UK manufacturing industry 'must ramp up cyber security'

Research shows organisations' security is failing to keep pace with technology advances

The UK manufacturing sector must step up its security game in the face of ever-increasing cyber threats, according to the manufacturers' association, EEF.

Its research showed that while cyber security is given "serious attention" at board level by nearly two-thirds of companies that responded, there are still significant failings elsewhere.

Investment in cyber security has stagnated, with half of manufacturers making no increase in cyber security investment. Among small manufacturers, that figure rises to 56 per cent.

Only 36 per cent said they have an incident response plan in place, while 20 per cent said they do not make their employees aware of cyber risks in company policies.

These kinds of attitudes are a serious risk to what is termed the "fourth industrial revolution", EEF claimed, pointing out that cyber attacks on the manufacturing sector could lead to data manipulation that "[if] left undetected could lead to changes in product formulation or create health and safety risks", as well as IP theft, loss of customer databases, deletion of critical data and other issues.

"As technology and data start to play increasingly critical roles in manufacturing, companies will inevitably find themselves more vulnerable to cyber breaches. Our survey highlights that investment in new technology isn't being matched by investment in managing risks, especially among smaller firms," said Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF.

"Technology is set to transform our industry as part of the fourth industrial revolution, opening up immense opportunities and possibilities but risks run alongside the rewards. It is important that manufacturers are able to identify, understand and put the correct strategies in place to keep their businesses safe and cyber secure," she added.

In response, the trade body has developed a tool to help manufacturers benchmark their cyber security and is also planning to organise focus groups to continue monitoring security trends in the sector.

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Most Popular

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
Costa Rica declares state of emergency following Conti ransomware attack

Costa Rica declares state of emergency following Conti ransomware attack

10 May 2022
16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022