A new survey has found that half of British manufacturers have fallen victim to cyber crime during the last 12 months, after thousands of organisations moved their staff to remote working.
The findings are detailed in a new report from Make UK, Cyber Resilience - The Last Line of Defence. The report shows that the pandemic catapulted cyber security to the forefront of the boardroom agenda.
Almost overnight, companies that were forced to switch to remote production, remote monitoring of equipment and staff working from home from laptops, found that their vulnerability had increased dramatically.
Two thirds of those falling victim to a cyber attack faced losses of up to £5,000, with almost a quarter (22 per cent) saying the cost to their business was up to £25,000.
Half of the manufacturers surveyed said cyber security had become a much higher priority during the pandemic, with six in ten companies now having a designated director responsible for cyber protection.
With heightened concerns around data, 43 per cent of respondents also reported that they have been asked by a customer to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cyber security processes. One in five said they themselves had asked customers or suppliers to prove that they have effective measures in place to counter against attacks.
A further 52 per cent of companies polled said they had taken out insurance to cover any losses from cyber incidents.
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, commented:
“Digitisation is revolutionising modern manufacturing and has without doubt kept it running successfully over the past year. But the cyber security threat to manufacturers is growing and evolving with it.
“No business can afford to ignore this issue and while the increased awareness across the sector is encouraging, there is still much to be done with too many businesses still burying their heads in the sand. This is a strategic threat; failing to get this right as a nation could cost the UK economy billions of pounds and put thousands of jobs at risk. Every business is vulnerable and every business needs to take the necessary steps to protect themselves properly.”