27 April 2018

With almost half of UK manufacturing firms having been victims of cyber-crime, a new report urges companies to take a more proactive approach to managing digital security.

Issued by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, “Cyber-Security for Manufacturing” can be found at https://bit.ly/2FbLLk8.

In its report, the EEF sets out the nature and scale of the threat from cyber-crime, stresses the commercial case for taking cyber-security measures and highlights the challenges facing manufacturers.

It suggests five steps that can be taken to protect digital systems and devices. The advice is based on Cyber Essentials – the Government-backed scheme intended to help any business or organisation protect itself against the most common types of cyber-attack.

Cyber Essentials works on the principle that the vast majority of cyber-attacks are basic in nature, untargeted and unsophisticated, the EEF explains.

They are designed to prey upon systems without even the most rudimentary protection measures – “the digital equivalent of a thief trying your front door to see if it’s unlocked”.

To ensure that the door is effectively locked against intruders, the advice includes using a firewall to secure internet connections, selecting the most secure settings for devices and software, and controlling who has access to data and services.

Of the 48% of manufacturers who say they have been a target for cyber-criminals, half of them suffered some financial loss or disruption to their business.

Despite their vulnerability, the EEF notes that 41% of companies do not believe they have access to enough information to assess the level of cyber risk they face, while 45% do not feel that they have the tools needed to protect themselves.

“More and more companies are at risk of attack and manufacturers urgently need to take steps to protect themselves against this burgeoning threat,” EEF CEO Stephen Phipson concluded.