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48% of manufacturers in the UK have experienced a cyber attack

29 Jan

Yes, you read that right. Nearly half of UK companies in the manufacturing industry have been a victim of cybercrime. Due to their reliance on technology, manufacturers are particularly vulnerable. Despite this, a recent report highlighted that 12% of manufacturers have no process measures in place at all to mitigate against a cyber-attack and only 62% said that they train staff in cyber security.

In this article, our manufacturing expert, Mark Slade highlights 3 main ways a manufacturer can be affected by cyber crime and the importance of having tailored cover in place to ensure your business is protected in case the worst happens.

What impact can a cyber attack have on a manufacturer?

1. Business Interruption

A cyber-attack can be disastrous for manufacturers, with significant business interruption being one of the main problems. For example, a ransomware attack can disrupt the whole manufacturing process and also distribution. As well as relying on technology for things like moulding, mixing, bottling and labelling, it’s also used for the transportation of goods, processing orders, communications and more.

CAM processes are extremely common in the manufacturing industry and redundant systems are used to control certain machines. Older machines typically won’t have security updates, which leaves them highly susceptible to an attack. Following an attack, business interruption could put manufacturers at risk of losing time-critical contracts.

2. Damage to Reputation

Quality control is crucial for making sure your customers receive products that are free from defects and meet their standards. When quality control is carried out in the correct way and your customers receive quality products, you are more likely to retain customers, have new customers come on board and maintain your position in the market.

However, a cyber-attack can affect quality control and result in checks not being done properly. In turn, this affects the quality of your products, putting your customers at risk. In addition to the trust issues that your customers and suppliers would have after a breach, this can be a disaster for your business’ reputation.

3. Loss of Competitiveness

Manufacturing is one of the most targeted industries when it comes to cybercrime because of the sensitive information that manufacturers hold. This includes intelligence on new products, processes or technology that they are creating, from product design blueprints to assembly processes which their competition can use to their advantage.

As well as information regarding the manufacturing process itself, manufacturers could also suffer a data breach which could give cyber criminals access to customer, supplier and employee data. This doesn’t bode well when we consider how customers are becoming increasingly concerned with the way that businesses handle their data. In a recent report, 59% of manufacturers said that they have already been asked by a customer to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cyber security processes.

What should you do next?

A tailored cyber insurance policy can provide your business with protection in the event of a cyber-attack, including crisis management, cover for the loss of income and PR advice. Call our manufacturing team today on 02920 855246 or email mark.slade@thomas-carroll.co.uk to discuss your business’ needs.