According to Make UK, more than half of manufacturers have been victims of cybercrime in the past year and many have lost thousands of pounds as a result.
The body, which is the largest of its kind to represent UK manufacturers, found that 63 percent suffered losses of up to £ 5,000, while nearly a quarter (22 percent) revealed a cost to their business between £ 5,000 and £ 25,000.
With many employees forced to work from home since the lockdowns started in March 2020, 50 percent of companies said cyber security has since been given a higher priority.
But more than half of manufacturers (59 percent) cited cost as the biggest barrier to strengthening security, while 43 percent were asked by a customer or supplier to demonstrate or ensure the robustness of their cyber security.
The automotive sector has been hit particularly hard: 62 percent of companies were cyber attacked in the past year because of their lucrative IP.
In its report, Cyber Resilience: The Last Line of Defense, Make UK said the pandemic has “catapulted” cyber security to the forefront of governance agendas.
About 50 percent of manufacturers said cyber security has been a higher priority since the start of the Covid outbreak. “Digitization is revolutionizing modern manufacturing and has no doubt successfully sustained it over the past year,” said Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK.
“The rewards are clear: technological leaps in the design, development, manufacture and operation of the goods and services the UK makes. But the cyber security threat to manufacturers grows and evolves with it.
“No company can afford to ignore this issue and while the increased awareness in the industry is encouraging, there is still much to be done with too many companies still burying their heads in the sand.
This is a strategic threat; If not done properly as a nation, it could cost the UK economy billions of pounds and put thousands of jobs at risk. Every business is vulnerable and every business must take the necessary steps to properly protect itself. “
Make UK also found that investments in the latest digital technologies are being held back due to fears that they could open the door to a greater risk of cyber-attacks.
One in eight companies surveyed admit that they are currently not investing in new digital processes, even though they know they need to to compete.
In February, the National Cyber Security Center started offering personalized cyber security support to companies in the form of a “Cyber Action Plan”.