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UK manufacturers are not investing to tackle rise in cyber-attacks

10 May, 2016

Only about half of UK manufacturers have increased their spending on cyber-security in the past two years, despite Government figures showing that 90% of large businesses and 74% of small businesses reported a cyber-security breach last year – an increase on 2014. The average cost of these breaches was £1.46m–£3.14m for large firms, and £75,000–£311,000 for smaller businesses.

A new survey by EEF has found that 46% of manufacturers are not spending any more on cyber-security than they were two years ago. Among smaller manufacturers, the figure rises to 56%.

The survey also found just over a third (36%) of manufacturers have an cyber-incident response plan in place, and 24% monitor cyber-threats through business KPIs.

Based on these findings, EEF is urging manufacturers to step up their planning to counter the increasing number of cyber-security threats.

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

Hopley: risks run alongside rewards of Industry 4.0

“Technology is set to transform our industry as part of the fourth industrial revolution, opening up immense opportunities and possibilities,” she adds, “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.”

In response to the cyber-threats, EEF has developed a free online tool that manufacturers can use to benchmark their cyber-security. They can also find advice on the EEF Web site and register to take part in focus groups to help tackle cyber-concerns.

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