Nearly Half of Manufacturers Lack Access to Cybersecurity Tools

The ‘Cyber Security for Manufacturing’ report EEF and AIG, carried out by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), surveyed 170 UK companies and found that 41% of them believe they don’t have access to enough information to assess their levels of cyber security, while 45% feel they lack access to the right tools.

One third of those surveyed admitted to being reluctant to carrying out digital improvements and transformation programmes because of the threat of a cyberattack. This suggests that opportunities are being missed and some businesses risk falling behind in the race to digitise. The result must not be that the UK falls away from the vanguard of manufacturing excellence, warned the report.

The report welcomes government moves to improve national cybersecurity resilience; however, no priority was given to the needs of manufacturing. A one-size-fits-all approach for business is insufficient and, equally as important, comprehensive security cannot be the exclusive domain of large businesses who can afford it.

We know businesses cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer. And while we welcome government’s progress in improving cybersecurity resilience, to date through the work of the NCA and NCSC, there needs to be an increasing focus given to the specific needs of manufacturing, which hitherto has been lacking, said Stephen Phipson, CEO of EEF.

The document stated that the motivation for change is coming from manufacturers themselves, with 59% reporting that they have already been asked by a customer to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cybersecurity processes, and 58% having asked the same of a business within their supply chain.

Even though some manufacturers might be just starting their cybersecurity journey, it is important to approach it with sensible precautions and a good cybersecurity business plan. If the issue of cybersecurity is taken care of, then businesses will have the confidence to invest in digitisation.

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