Why is the manufacturing sector particularly susceptible to cyber-attacks?

Why is the manufacturing sector particularly susceptible to cyber-attacks?

According to Make UK, formally The Manufacturers’ Organisation (EEF), the manufacturing industry contributes £6.7 trillion to the global economy. In the UK, the sector accounts for 44% of total exports, represents 70% of business research and development, and directly employs 2.6 million people. Yet the industry accounted for 46% of all cyber-attacks in 2017.  And two-thirds of all UK manufacturing businesses don’t have cyber insurance.

Faced with worrying statistics

EEF’s CEO, Stephen Phipson, said that manufacturing is amongst the industries that are least-protected against cyber-attacks. It probably stems from a lack of awareness from the ground up. 41% of manufacturing firms feel they don’t have the right tools to truly understand their own cyber risks. 48% admit they have been the subject of a recent attack, with half of those confirming a financial loss. Disastrously, 12% of businesses admit they have no system or plan in place to control or mitigate a cyber-attack should one occur. So why are firms leaving themselves open to such risk?

Understanding why

Cybercriminals deem manufacturing firms easy targets. They usually use advanced technology, high-end systems and co-operate with other businesses in and out of the sector to be competitive. Due to this, cyber-criminals look to steal intellectual property, sever operations and hack into related sites. It’s a case of vigilance to keep on top of it, insiders warn. But there are more problems beneath the surface.

What can you do?

Encouraging an active understanding of how cyber-attacks work, even at a basic level, is crucial. But Oliver Welch, EEF’s security expert, warned that “there is quite a lot of malware that is designed to sit in the background, not really do[ing] very much, while the person infected doesn’t even know that [an attack] is happening.” When they realise they’ve been hacked, it’s probably already too late.

Do you feel confident that your business can withstand such an attack? If you are a manufacturing firm looking for commercial insurance or wish to know more about how cyber insurance could improve the safety of your manufacturing business, contact the Fiveways Insurance team on 01952 812 380 to get started.

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