British manufacturers urged to step up their cyber-security plans

To face the growing number of cyber-threats and be ready for the "fourth industrial revolution", British manufacturers are being urged to step up their cyber-security planning.

EEF, the Engineering Employers' Federation, surveyed over 650 respondents in the technology, consultancy and professional services as well as government, education, financial services, insurance, banking and other sectors, sampling from a range of small, medium and large businesses in the UK. 

Last year, 90 percent of large businesses and 74 percent of small businesses reported a security breach, an increase from 2014.

The findings show that 46 percent of manufacturers failed to increase their investment in cyber-security over the past two years. Two in ten firms are not actively making employees aware of cyber-risks. And 56 percent say cyber-security is given serious attention by their board. Only 36 percent of manufacturers have an incident response plan in place.

Some 80 percent of manufacturers say that the fourth industrial revolution will be a business reality by 2025. Three core components to the transformation included:

  1. The Industrial Internet of Things
  2. Big data and real-time data analysis
  3. Secure and reliable digital infrastructure to support and trust machine autonomy

“As technology and data start to play increasingly critical roles in manufacturing, companies will inevitably find themselves more vulnerable to cyber breaches,” says Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF. “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.”