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Nearly half of manufacturers have been the victim of cyber-crime, with the sector now the third most targeted for attack, according to a new report published today.

This report, published by Make UK and AIG and carried out by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), pinpoints the susceptibility of manufacturers to cyber risk, revealing that 41 per cent of companies do not believe they have access to enough information to even assess their true cyber risk. And 45 per cent feel that they do not have access to the right tools for the job.

Cyber threat is holding back companies from investing in digital technologies, with a third of those surveyed nervous of digital improvement. Moreover, a worryingly large 12 per cent of manufacturers admit they have no technical or managerial processes in place to even start assessing the real risk. One of the easiest forms of cyber-attack comes through poorly protected office systems, often the first implemented historically within manufacturing businesses.

The report looks at a number of real-life examples, including two where production systems were infiltrated and severely disrupted after hackers gained access to their IT systems by initially hacking into unprotected office software, used to keep HR and admin records.

More and more companies are at risk of attack and manufacturers urgently need to take steps to protect themselves against this burgeoning threat. Failing to get this right could cost the UK economy billions of pounds, put thousands of jobs at risk and delay the supply of essential equipment to key public services and major national infrastructure projects. I hope this report underlines the critical risk to government and industry.
Stephen Phipson, CBE Chief Executive, EEF
There is evidentially significant need for greater awareness and understanding of the importance of cyber risk management, not only to protect existing business, but to create more secure environments to grow and capitalise on the potential that digital technology advances bring to manufacturers.
Romaney O'Malley Head of Industrials Segment, AIG UK

Available resources

Digital technology / Cyber Security / Industry report